90% of employers find benefits communication ‘a challenge’

According to research conducted by the online employee benefits communication portal Mybenefitsatwork , a staggering 9 out of 10 HR leaders state they face challenges when communicating their benefits package to employees.

This backs up previous research carried out by group risk body GRiD and interviews with industry benefits professionals by Lemonade Reward, leading to David Pugh, managing partner commenting.

“Industry professionals are disillusioned with employee benefits communication; at best they rate it as mediocre and at worst terrible!”.

Whilst a large proportion of employers (52 per cent) offer a benefits package to their workforce because they want to look after them, failing to properly communicate can result in a reduced return on investment for employers.  GRiD believe that better communication is vital, both for staff wellbeing and talent attraction.

Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD said:

“When staff need practical support – if diagnosed with a critical illness, or are unable to work through ill-health or injury, for example – then these benefits come into their own. It is imperative that employers understand how best to use Group Risk benefits and the supporting services that come along with them so they can let their staff know how to access them when needed.

 

“Our research also shows that a third of employers (32%) use group risk benefits to attract and retain key personnel, so effective communication is vital in achieving that goal.”

 

How are we getting communication so wrong?

Mybenefitsatwork claims that part of the problem is that HR continues to use traditional methods of communicating the employee benefits package, with almost half (47 per cent) surveyed
utilising a staff handbook, 43 per cent continuing to communicate through employee inductions, 34 per cent via face-to face-presentations, and 15 per cent by email.

Ian Bird, founder and director of business development at Mybenefitsatwork (MBAW) comments:

“It is important to communicate face-to-face where possible, but for a variety of reasons it is not always feasible. And even when face-to-face communication is an option, employers should consider a multi-channel approach to reinforce the message. Using a variety of ways to communicate with employees will reach the widest audience possible.”

This sentiment is echoed by the respondents to the survey, with 95 per cent acknowledging that they need to communicate their employee benefits in additional ways.

Using technology platforms for benefits communication is on the rise.  Previous research MBAW conducted back in 2015 suggested that just 8 per cent of employers were using technology to enhance benefits communication and engagement. However, 18 months on, the latest research highlights that employers are now utilising technology platforms, in the form of using their
intranet (36 per cent), benefits portals (22 per cent) and apps (12 per cent).

“Technology has the ability to combat communication challenges,” adds Bird.  “It is streamlined so can take less time to complete tasks, and it uses less
resource. For many employers, it will also be one of the most cost-effective options.”

Mybenefitsatwork has produced an employee benefits research paper called ‘The Workplace Communication Challenge’ providing a comprehensive overview
of the survey findings. Please visit www.mybenefitsatwork.co.uk/workplace-communication-challenge to download your free copy.

 

Author: Editorial Team

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