Five tips ways to encourage your staff to explore their employee benefits more
By Sarah Robson, senior communications consultant, Aon
Creating the optimum benefits package for your organisation is only half the battle when it comes to encouraging employee engagement and take-up. To ensure they really connect with their benefits, an ongoing marketing and communications campaign is essential.
It’s an area where employers are keen to do more. Our Benefits and Trends Survey 2018 found that just 1% of employers thought it wasn’t important to increase employee understanding and engagement with their benefits. Unless you’re in that 1%, these six tips will help you get more from your employee benefits investment.
Tell a story
Whether it’s exam revision or learning a foreign language, using a story can transform a list of dry details into something that really sticks. Exactly the same’s true with employee benefits, where a compelling story can really bring them to life.
As an example, rather than explaining to employees that life insurance pays out a lump sum on death, appeal to their emotional side by telling them how, if they died prematurely, it could enable their families to maintain their lifestyle.
A benefits roadmap is another great storytelling tool. By showing different stages of the life journey, and what’s relevant around events such as starting a family, buying a home and retiring, employees are more likely to appreciate the benefits you offer and select the ones that suit their needs.
Employees are constantly exposed to new communications channels and media outside of the workplace so a benefits promotion involving a couple of posters and a dog-eared brochure can leave them cold. Bringing in new forms of technology such as a benefits app, augmented reality and personalised videos will mirror their experiences outside of the workplace.
While these can spice up your communications messages, an omni-channel delivery approach will then help to secure maximum reach. For example, a benefits fair is a great way to let employees find out more about new benefits. Use a range of communications including posters, desk-drops and emails to promote the fair. This can then be followed up by an email with a link to the website with video content of more information and benefits selection can be made on the go through the app.
Develop a communications habit
Rather than the old-fashioned, once-a-year marketing splurge, constantly promoting your benefits to employees is a far more effective way to drive engagement. Keeping it fresh can be a challenge but a bit of creativity and some strategic messaging can work wonders. As examples, push childcare benefits ahead of major school holidays and link with high profile health campaigns and awareness weeks for added oomph.
Creating an employee benefits brand will help too. By putting everything benefits-related under the same brand, rather than getting lost in the fog of company communications, employees recognise it instantly as something that’s just for them.
We all like to be treated as individuals so make sure any communications you send to employees are as relevant and personal as possible.
In the same way that online shopping services use your previous interactions to personalise recommendations, data can help you achieve this. By segmenting your workforce according to factors such as age and position you can ensure they receive communications about the benefits that may suit their needs.
Look to refine this approach as much as possible. These demographic details can be fairly blunt so use your own research to add in data relating to their family life, aspirations and even their interests and hobbies.
Keep it simple
Finally, don’t overlook the possibility that employees might be avoiding engaging with their benefits package because it’s just too complicated.
Keep your benefits information as simple and straightforward as possible, avoiding jargon and pages of terms and conditions. It can also help to categorise your benefits, grouping them under headers such as health, finance and family so employees can instantly see what’s relevant to them.
And, if you offer benefits through a platform, make sure this is easy to use too. No one wants to have to remember loads of passwords so consider a single sign-on function or an app to make it easy for employees to check out their benefits regularly.
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