How great communication drives successful employee benefits schemes
Putting together a suite of employee benefits is for many reasons a great idea for businesses, but the work doesn’t end there. Employees have to get invested in schemes for a business to see any upside, and some companies find it challenging to get their initial messaging right and get employees interested and engaged with their employee benefits scheme.
Getting it wrong risks propelling employees away from their voluntary benefits schemes during the deployment phase. There are some vital tenets to work with when getting ready to communicate new, or improved, benefit offerings to a workforce.
Metrics need to be integrated
Without an idea of exactly what they want to achieve with internal communication efforts businesses will struggle to understand whether they’re having the desired effect or just making themselves feel better about making an effort. It’s important to measure readers, listeners and engagement with communication alongside any increase in take-up of employee benefit schemes.
Benefits schemes need to be branded
Employees are more likely to be able to recognise and take up their benefits if they’re branded and presented as something more distinct than just the Employee Benefit Scheme. Companies should incorporate branding which reflects what they’re trying to achieve, and the positive outcomes they’re trying to generate for staff.
Information has to be useful
Share pertinent, handy information. Repeatedly driving home the existence of a benefit scheme someone isn’t taking part in yet doesn’t make an employee any more likely to do anything other than ignore future communication.
Communication has to address the challenges affecting the lives of employees, express empathy (distinctly different from sympathy) and offer useful information and avenues for relief.
Communication has to be in line with company culture
Every interaction leadership or human resources has with employees is an opportunity to reaffirm the values and ideals the company operates with, and vice versa.
It would be jarring, undermine the values of a company, and promote distrust, to break with what’s been presented as company values in the past just to relentlessly hound employees into taking up a voluntary benefit scheme.
Open dialogue is vital
No one likes to feel they’re being preached to, least of all employees when they’re reading internal communications. Be sure when releasing information to have open channels for employees to return feedback on their benefits, where they’d like to see changes made and how they could do more to improve the service.
It helps if these avenues appear to be anonymous. Staff are more likely to be honest if they feel they won’t be singled out for expressing negative sentiments.
Information needs to be accessible
Presenting information over a solitary medium, whether it’s an internal magazine or a digital newsletter emailed out, dismisses other avenues for staff to soak up information about their benefit schemes. There’s no reason to put hurdles in the way of staff getting to information which can benefit them.
Consider even going outside the traditional emails and printed newsletters and embracing SMS messages, apps or micro-sites.
Employees don’t need or want to be harassed
If employees are disengaged with their benefit scheme there’s no serious benefit to ceaselessly reminding them they haven’t taken the company up on childcare provisions, it’s just frustrating harassment.
Companies need to be honest
People are perceptive, it’s probably part of the reason you hire them in the first place, and they’ll be able to detect someone being disingenuous or trying to employ cheap manipulation.
Getting communications right with employees is at all times vital, but even more so when a business is rolling out a project they’ve spent a large amount of effort and energy creating. Businesses simply have to take the time and invest the resources into positioning the benefits properly when launching a scheme.