New research highlights that UK companies need to do more to communicate the value of employee benefits with only a quarter of companies making a point of updating staff on a regular basis.
The research*, from Group Risk Development (GRiD), the industry body for the group risk protection sector, shows that only a quarter (25%) of employers make a point of issuing regular communication on their benefits package. 22% do so just once a year. Others use specific events as a prompt: for instance, 36% will communicate benefits when there’s a change in the terms and conditions, such as if pension contributions or terms of cover are set to change. 29% will do so at performance reviews.
GRiD, warns that this isn’t enough. Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD said: ‘It’s understandable that employers use key events to communicate their benefits, but what an employer sees as a key event may not coincide with what an employee sees as a key event.’
Illness, disability, injury, death, bereavement, are all largely unpredictable in nature so can affect an employee at any time. The support that can be offered by employee benefits, such as group risk, can be necessary any day of the year.”
“It’s crucial that benefits are communicated regularly so that when they are needed, they’re front of mind.”
Some benefits are more relevant to people depending on their life stage. Some benefits will resonate more depending on an employee’s financial situation or whether they have dependants. Employees whose eyes glazed over at the mention of retirement planning, health and wellbeing benefits or life assurance may suddenly be much more attentive when it’s relevant to their stage of life.
Further, some benefits can be utilised daily, at no extra cost, so it makes sense to communicate them regularly and encourage their use. For example, many group risk benefits come with an employee assistance programme, early intervention support for health and wellbeing, access to counselling, and legal support for issues such as neighbour disputes and parking fines. Frequent communication of such benefits encourages utilisation and gives more value to both employer and employee.
advo’s Commercial Director, Colin Boxall agrees “staff benefits play an essential part in the lives of employees from supporting health to safeguarding financial independence. If communicated correctly there is a greater appreciation of staff for their employer generating loyalty leading to better productivity and retention.”
Boxall continues “At advo we recognise that clients often need help with communication which is why we invest heavily in technology solutions backed by great people.”
If you would like to know more about how advo supports employers email Jamie Tiuffield, who heads up the employee benefits team on email@example.com.
Notes: *Research undertaken by Opinium on behalf of GRiD amongst 500 HR Decision makers between 4-18 March 2019.