The importance of communicating your employee benefits package effectively

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Learn more ways to improve your workplace wellbeing with The Ultimate Wellbeing Toolkit - a practical learning hub brought to you by financial protection specialists Unum, designed to equip HR professionals with the skills and knowledge they need to show employees that they are valued. 

At Benefex we understand the importance of communicating your employee benefits package effectively. The right communication can drive engagement, improve absenteeism, increase benefit take up rates and ultimately boost your ROI.

But how do you communicate with your employees? We asked reward and benefit professionals which channels they’re using to communicate their employee benefit schemes. 83% of respondents said they use email, 44% provide a printed guide and another 40% host a staff event.

Amongst other key findings, the survey highlighted that despite being the most popular choice, using email was the least effective form of communication when used alone. Our analysis revealed a positive correlation between the number of communication channels and employee benefit take-up rates, confirming that you really do need a broad communications mix when it comes to employee benefits.

Employee communications are an investment. You’re investing in your scheme and your employees. The return on investment comes in the form of improved recruitment success rates, retention and tangible National Insurance savings from benefit take up. If employees don’t know what’s on offer they can’t make their selections but more importantly, all of the money you spend on those benefits is not being recognised or appreciated.

This is recognised by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, who state that “poor communication acts as a barrier to employee engagement. Despite the need for communication to be high up on the agenda in the organisation, our successive Employee Outlook surveys have shown that only around one in ten employees feels fully informed about what is happening in their organisation.”

But it’s not just a lack of understanding. Poor communication is having a knock on effect on retention rates and it’s estimated that the average cost of replacing an employee earning over £25k is over £30,000. So what can you do to insure you have an effective programme of communication?

To start with you need to review what you currently have in place and start preparing a robust business case. How many methods of communication do you use? Are these tailored to suit your employee demographic? What impact are they having on employees choosing certain benefits? Speak to your employees and find out what they think of your existing scheme. Do they know what’s on offer and do they have a good understanding of the value?

Use facts and figures to back up your proposal. These should be a mix of industry findings and your organisation specifics. For example, this research from Unum makes a great headline. “A typical organisation with 1,000 employees is losing £470,000 a year in increased staff turnover and absence due to lack of communications.”

Once you’ve got approval, you get to do the fun part – crafting the scheme. Work with a provider who will take the time to understand your employees and work with you to sculpt a communications campaign that you’ll be proud of. Your reward brand is incredibly important, it provides the opportunity to define your relationship with employees and set the standard high. Through consistency you can build trust, share your personality and ultimately drive engagement.

About Simon Andrew

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