Bringing benefits to life – a five point plan
Bringing benefits to life – a five point plan
The perennial problem of getting employees to engage with the benefits available to them has been frustrating HR teams for years and is a frequently raised topic. We feel that as with so many things in life, it’s all about effective communication…
The advantages to the business of ensuring that your employees understand the benefits you provide are well documented. When looking to attract and retain employees, assuming that the salary you are offering is about right, then people will often select the job based on the wider benefits provided. And word gets around – if you’ve got a well rounded, comprehensive benefits package, people will know. Conversely, if your package is not keeping up with market expectations, it has a knock on effect on your reputation as a good employer and your corporate brand value. You’ll likely be familiar with Glassdoor and how willing employees are to share their thoughts around benefits offered… So taking time to ensure that your benefits package is well communicated and understood is very worthwhile. Here is our five point plan.
1. Regular communication
When new people join, you have an induction programme, and usually the employee benefits package is explained at that time. So far so good, however there’s a lot to take in, and the nuances of their benefits may not be top of their mindset in the excitement of getting to grips with a new job.
Ensure that you send regular communications to remind people of the benefits you provide, keeping them informed of any changes, any impending deadlines, special offers or changes in legislation that may affect them.
2. Avoid the same old, same old!
When communicating with your employees, don’t just rely on email. Although it is a quick and efficient way to get the word out, people are bombarded with information and sometimes, it can be difficult to cut through the noise, which can mean your emails don’t even get read. Also, don’t forget that not everyone works at a desk or even uses email.
Mix it up and try different ways to get the word out. A poster campaign can be a very effective way to promote a new benefit, or encourage people to engage with, say, a staff discount scheme. Likewise, you could trying sending a paper memo or do a desk-drop with leaflets or flyers. Maybe it’s a blast from the past, but most people would pick it up and read it because little else comes in that form anymore.
3. Ask what they want
It’s all very well telling people what you have, but the old adage that you have two ears and one mouth and that you should use them in that proportion is a good one to remember. Ask for feedback, and don’t just do it via email. If you really want to know what people want, arrange small focus groups – you can’t beat that face to face contact. Make sure questions around benefits are included in your employee survey if you run one.
4.Try something really different
A benefits fair – or an event where people can come along to hear from experts, for example, pensions, child care packages, support for mental health, and wellbeing at work. Encourage them to come with questions. Have competitions, and make sure that you have lots of prizes so that people are in with a good chance of winning something.
If you have a distributed workforce, try running a road-show. Again, never under-estimate the power of a face to face conversation.
5.Use tech to take the burden
Not only can technology make benefits more engaging for employees and it can also provide valuable insights for HR. When looking at a new or replacement benefits platform you need to ensure that it can link to multiple systems so that the employee can find everything they need in one place. For HR it should provide comprehensive and detailed reports on engagement, so that you can see who is registering for which benefits. This will highlight areas and subjects where further promotion, and/or training is required.
A good employee discount scheme will be able to provide you with a wealth of information about engagement, the most popular discounts, how much is being spent through the scheme and savings made. All of this detail provides further information for additional promotion of the scheme, for example, just how much people are actually saving.
Hopefully this will give you some ideas on how to bring your employee benefits schemes to life. For more information about our “advantage” employee benefits platform, or for further help engaging your employees, drop us an email at [email protected] or call us on: 01865 876696. It would be great to hear from you!