When introducing an employee benefits scheme
into the workplace, often the focus is entirely on the practicalities of implementation, with no plan regarding how to communicate these benefits to the employees. When creating a benefits scheme, it is important to consider how you will communicate these benefits to your employees and how you will engage them in your latest HR initiative. With this in mind, let’s discuss how to improve your benefits communication plan.
Go the Distance
Often companies are guilty of putting their all into an employee benefits scheme launch only to lose momentum further down the line. While creating a buzz around the launch of your new or improved benefits scheme is essential to get employees enthused about it, how are you going to keep employees interested once the initial excitement has worn off? This is where a comprehensive communication plan comes in.
Regular touchpoints throughout the year and communication material that is relevant and appealing to the individual is the key if you want employees to remember the true value of their total compensation package all year round.
Appeal to a Wider Audience
So, we know that regular communication is needed but how can you create a message that appeals to all of your employees? Employees of different demographics will have different interests when it comes to benefits, so you need to craft a message that doesn’t alienate a portion of your workforce. The words you use in emails, posters and promotional material can make or break the campaign so choose them wisely. When creating content to support your benefit scheme:
- Use action-orientated text that is direct, accurate and easy to understand.
- Consider segmenting your audience and producing messages tailored according to profile.
- Keep it short and to the point, no one likes to sift through endless blocks of text. Make sure you get straight to the point and answer ‘what’s in it for me?’
- Lastly, make sure that every email, poster and letter is branded to give your scheme a professional edge.
Choosing Optimum Communication Channels
Once you are happy with your core message, it is time to find the perfect communication channel. Email is a cost effective communication channel but you do run the risk of your content being lost in a busy inbox. Don’t undervalue good old fashioned face-to-face advice. Regular drop in sessions are a good way to ensure that employees understand the benefits scheme and the qualification criteria. These sessions not only ensure that you have your employees’ full attention but they provide each and every employee with the opportunity to ask any questions they might have and to provide feedback on the scheme. Two-way conversation is essential to gauge employees’ reactions to the scheme and this is one way you can gain vital insight into how to make improvements further down the line.
Appoint Champions for Your Employee Benefits
One way to fully involve employees in the communication plan is to appoint benefit scheme champions. Choose key employees to spread the word and keep the key principles of the scheme fresh in the minds of staff members. Seeing fellow employees being proactive and positive about the benefits scheme will encourage the workforce as a whole to get involved and participate.
Creating and delivering effective communication around employee benefits is just as important as the benefits themselves. Take the time to communicate the value of participating in the schemes you offer regularly and don’t let the initial buzz die down once the scheme is up and running. An engaged workforce is a productive workforce so make sure your staff members are aware how much you as a company value them. Without effective communication, an employee benefit scheme could get lost in the ether but proper planning can make it memorable and highly valued.