Effective ways to communicate your employee benefits to ‘offline’ workers
When it comes to businesses communicating their employee benefits to their teams, there are lots of channels to choose from and a number of different factors to consider. We’ve worked with hundreds of UK businesses across a span of almost two decades to help optimise their employee engagement schemes. During this time, something that we’ve seen businesses find particularly challenging is initiating and maintaining communication with their offline workers about their employee benefits.
What do we mean by an ‘offline’ worker? This is essentially an individual who doesn’t have a corporate email address and typically doesn’t use a laptop or computer in their day-to-day jobs. On top of that, they also might not have much direct communication with managers and team members outside of the physical workplace. These individuals might work in sectors such as retail, hospitality, construction or healthcare. As you can imagine, as more elements of the modern workplace move into the digital space, this can provide a hurdle in communicating employee benefits effectively.
At peoplevalue, our starting point for all comms-related activity is pixel, paper, and person. We provide support in all three of these areas and work with our clients to tailor an internal comms strategy that will help to ensure efficient communication and scheme success, wherever and however their teams work.
Here are some useful tips to help you communication your employee benefits to offiline workers.
Arrange an in-person launch event
Company events should be high on the list of priorities for any employer, particularly those with offline workers. They have numerous benefits including strengthening teams, boosting social wellbeing and providing valuable networking opportunities. Plus, they provide an ideal backdrop for promoting the launch or revamp of an employee benefits scheme.
By gathering your team together in one central location, you’ll be able to efficiently verbally communicate and showcase the value of your scheme on a wide scale. The interactive element and buzz of in-person events will also be a powerful tool in generating hype around the scheme. On top of this, you’ll be able to utilise the physical space and incorporate all kinds of merchandise and promotional collateral – such as posters, leaflets, coasters, badges and TV displays – to further drive engagement.
By ensuring attendees have something physical to take away with them that features your scheme logo and URL or QR code, they’ll have a constant reminder of the scheme long after the event has finished. They’ll also have all of the information they could possibly need to access the scheme and get involved.
Use physical promotional items and merchandise
Following on from above point, physical promotional items and merchandise are going to be a business’s best friend when they’re communicating their scheme to offline workers. From pre-launch and all the way through their scheme’s journey, businesses can promote their benefits as well as keep users up to date on any new releases and campaigns via a variety of branded items.
There are hundreds of products to choose from, so before you start, have a think about what your employees will enjoy receiving and will use frequently. For example, once your scheme has launched, you could send a welcome pack to employees’ home addresses with an introductory postcard or leaflet and a selection of branded items such as a lanyard, notebook and pen. For offline workers, this might be the first they’ve heard of this scheme, so you want to make it really clear what is on offer, the value it can bring them, and how they can access it.
Utilise common space and social areas
In the modern working world, noticeboards and posters might seem a bit old-school. But, without an email inbox or company intranet to post updates on, utilising break rooms and public spaces where employees will be spending a considerable part of their working day can be really effective. That’s not to say you should completely disregard digital communications – if your employees use till screens, tablets or there are TV displays in your workplace, it can be really valuable to incorporate these into your scheme communications strategy.
When communicating with any employee, it’s important to put yourself in their shoes. How can you make it as simple as possible for them to engage with and get the most out of your scheme? For example, for some employees, it could be as simple as providing a QR code on posters for them to scan with their smartphones which directs them to your benefits portal. However, if your employees don’t have their phones on them, or maybe they don’t have one full stop, you could provide a kiosk with a tablet in their social area that they can use during their breaks to sign up and use the scheme.
Encourage Manager participation
Line managers are arguably the most important channel and driver of a business’ employee benefits communications – especially if these employees can’t be reached through more modern, mainstream channels such as email. We support managers in fulfilling this role in a number of different ways. Depending on the nature of manager and employee meetings, we can provide large scale presentation templates or more personalised pointers for them to share with individuals about their scheme.
As this channel of communication allows for two-way dialogue, it’s crucial that your managers have the necessary training to ensure they’re equipped with knowledge about your business’s employee benefits scheme. That way, they’ll be able to provide employees with a deeper level of understanding, answer any questions confidently and, overall, champion the scheme.
Capitalise on user advocacy using referral schemes
Once your employee benefits scheme has successfully launched and is being used, one way you can ensure offline employees are aware of it is through general day-to-day discussions around the workplace. If a user is really enjoying the scheme, encourage them to be an advocate by launching a referral scheme. This way, employees will be prompted to spread the word and recommend the scheme in return for outside reinforcement or a reward and scheme awareness will continue to grow. A number of our clients in both the hospitality and construction industries have successfully used referral schemes to spread the word and drive scheme registrations among their offline employees.
To summarise, in a modern workplace where it seems everything is now online, targeting offline workers with your employee benefits communications might seem like a challenge. However, there are lots of creative channels that businesses can use to promote their schemes that don’t involve the internet. We know that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to scheme communications, which is why we offer a wide variety of communications support and targeted messaging to support clients in any way that they need. Hopefully the tips we’ve provided you are useful, but make sure you also reach out to your offline employees to understand what types of communications they prefer and respond to. That way, you can be confident that the approach you take will be effective and positively contribute to the success of your employee benefits scheme.
Find out more about how we help businesses deliver valuable employee benefits here.