Employee wellbeing initiatives are often seen as a nice to have when it comes to benefits programmes, but more recently there has been a focus on the link between holistic employee wellbeing programmes and the financial performance of a business.
Both wellbeing and engagement levels are now being recognised as leading indicators of organisational performance and even the market value of a business. However, wellbeing initiatives can only make this positive impact if employees actively participate and much confusion remains over how to best drive usage and measure the impact of these benefits amongst staff members.
When it comes to employee engagement, think of your employees as customers. This means that they require the same focus and attention as you would spend on attracting new business, so it can be useful to view your benefits communications in the same way as you would an advertising campaign.
AIDA, one of the longest serving models used in both marketing and advertising is also great for the purposes of planning a wellbeing roadshow to showcase your benefits and encourage usage. AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action, which perfectly illustrates the journey your wellbeing communications should take each staff member through in order to get the most impactful results.
Attention – getting staff to notice you
Neil Pagnam, one of our Business Development Directors here at Personal Group recently attended Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust’s wellbeing roadshow and he has a few pointers to offer when it comes grabbing your employee’s attention and making your event successful.
“Make sure you communicate the timings and content of the event effectively to all departments. The timing itself is also crucial, there’s no use planning an event at a time all employees are busy at their desks, or on the wards.”
When it comes to getting their attention, communication is key. However, it is important to employ a multi-channel strategy based on employee preferences in order to ensure that all employees are engaging with the messages.
While older members of the workforce may prefer talking by telephone, email, or face-to-face, Millennials are most likely to respond to digital channels and push services, such as instant messaging and app notifications.
Interest – offer benefits that pique their interest
It’s not only your communication methods that need to be tailored to the workforce, it’s also important to offer benefits that are relevant to their needs and concerns.
“Roadshows that have lots of suppliers are the most successful, it’s as simple as that. I’ve also found that freebies are a huge draw to many employees. Albeit no deal has ever been done over a free pen, but employees love freebies and they can massively increase employee footfall and willingness to talk.”
It might be useful to have a sit down with members of HR to find out what sort of thing would entice your employees. Are they up for a fitness challenge? Or would they just prefer a sit-down chat? Make sure there is something for everyone, as one size just doesn’t fit all.
Desire - creating a desire for the benefits offered to them
“Consider how you present your benefits, we use technology to show the different ways to access our benefits platform. As it is this versatility which sits at the very core of our benefits, it is important to showcase the ease of use in order to assure employees that they will receive frequent use out of their benefits package.”
Here at Personal Group, we have Benefits Champions. These are employees from all departments and levels of the business who meet to discuss the employee benefits on offer.
Not only do they champion our platform to staff and come up with ways of communicating the launch of new services, we rely on them for feedback. Before we launch any benefit, the Champions get their hands dirty by testing the benefits, grilling HR and making sure that it is the right benefit for Personal Group staff.
Knowing that these benefits have been chosen by a variety of staff, and not just the directors, helps drive desire for the offering, as employees know that they are at the heart of the choice of benefits we offer.
Staff may be reluctant to give honest feedback, but the numbers never lie! This is why it is so important for your benefits platform to allow you to see what is going on behind the scenes. It’s important see who has been accessing which benefits over time and tailor your communications to give those benefits that aren’t being utilised a bit of a nudge.
This helps you keep your benefits offering up to date, letting you identify which benefits are worth keeping and which ones may not be as valued by your staff. There might be services that your staff would really appreciate such as fair value loans that you wouldn’t have known unless you dig into the data.
Action – get employees actively engaging with their benefits
“The engagement journey doesn’t stop once employees have signed up to their benefits programme. Sustaining usage requires as much attention as the launch itself.”
It’s important to make using the benefits as simple and easy as possible for staff.
This can be done by ensuring that your benefits and HR services easy to access. The easiest and most effective way to do this is to utilise the power of the smartphone!
Chances are most of your employees will have access to their own smartphone or have been provided a company phone to allow them to complete their daily duties. Implementing an Employee Benefits and Engagement App will reach staff anytime, anywhere. There’s not much use for in-store discounts while you’re sitting at your desk in the office.
Remember, you can’t just launch a benefits platform, run one roadshow and hope for the best (we wish it was that easy!). In the same way that staff without a reason to keep checking their benefits platform will see usage drop, only talking about your wellbeing initiatives at a single roadshow at programme launch will not make the programme an ongoing success.
In the same way that using your platform for more than just wellbeing initiatives can drive usage, reinforcing the messages from your wellbeing roadshow in your other employee comms can help compound the success of your roadshow.
We use the example of clients using the same platform that staff access their wellbeing benefits to also distribute e-payslips or staff rotas. This makes staff more likely to regularly visit and engage with the platform, which in turn makes them more likely to engage with the wellbeing content.
Gather together your HR team and newly assembled Benefits Champions and ensure they reinforce the message from the roadshow every chance they get.
After taking on all of this information you should have all the knowledge you need to create an effective and engaging wellbeing roadshow that has a lasting impact on the success of your wellbeing agenda.
About Hayley Dolby
Hayley is Communications Executive at Personal Group, a technology enabled employee services business which works with employers to drive productivity though better employee engagement and a more motivated workforce. With over 30 years’ experience, the Company provides employee benefits, serving 550 businesses, reaching over 2 million employees across the UK.