Many companies invest in a fantastic benefits and rewards scheme, and leave it at that. After all, it’s job done, right?
Research from Sodexo Engage suggests that only 11% of employees are taking full advantage of their benefits and just 10% have received advice on how to make full use of those benefits!
This reveals just how important it is to introduce benefits to staff and ensure they understand fully how to use them. Otherwise, all the time, consideration and budget you’ve dedicated to establishing your benefits could end up achieving very little.
In this blog post, we delve deeper into what Sodexo Engage have discovered and offer practical tips for ensuring your employee benefits are used and appreciated by staff.
Need help setting up or reviewing your employee benefits and health insurance? Give our friendly award-winning brokers a call on 01273 222805 or use the chatbox for FREE advice and support .
- 1 Communication matters
- 2 SIX methods for improving communication
- 3 Can an employee benefits broker help?
Before getting into the practical solutions, let’s outline some of the key findings from Sodexo Engage’s survey. Sodexo’s report surveyed 500 HR professionals and 2,000 employees about their workplace benefits to explore how businesses can improve their offering and how they go about implementing it. A few of their stand-out findings include:
- 28% reported their organisation either did not offer any benefits or they weren’t sure if they did
- 37% of employees say they don’t use the benefits on offer to them due to them not aligning with their needs
- 27% of HR professionals said employees don’t know who to ask for information about their benefits and rewards
- 23% of employees said their top-most used benefits were retail discounts and cashback rewards
- 36% of organisations are offering retail discounts and cashback rewards
These stats show there’s a definite issue when it comes to businesses syncing up with their staff on employee benefits! So, are employee benefits even that important to begin with? If not, what’s all the fuss about?
Employee benefits are high in demand
More staff are taking a keen interest in a company’s benefits offering to help decide their next career move. Sodexo revealed that three-quarters (74%) of respondents said employee benefits are an important factor when deciding on a job offer, along with 71% saying it was key to their decision to stay at a company.
These findings chime with our own survey from 2021 where two-thirds of start-up employees said that employee benefits were an important factor in their choice of workplace.
SIX methods for improving communication
#1 Gather research and data from staff
This can be happening at any point of your employee benefits journey. If you are just starting off, finding out what staff want and need is an important first step towards finding the benefits you need. If benefits are already in place, then it’s great to keep on top of how your staff are responding – reviewing never stops!
Find out what staff want via:
- Email questionnaires
- Survey form-fills
- One-to-one meetings
- Group discussions
- HR data related to absences, staff turnover rates, and demographic factors
- Informal meet ups outside of the workspace
#2 Invest in an online benefits platform
An online benefits platform simplifies how benefits are managed and accessed. For the employer, it’s easier to make clear what benefits are available whilst providing insight into which benefits are being most valued.
Staff can sign up to the benefits they want, have access to guidance, make claims, use wellbeing tools and generally be in control of their own health and wellbeing. All the relevant information related to employee benefits are kept in one place.
Many benefits platforms also provide communication/feedback tools.
#3 Review current benefits
Constantly reviewing and maintaining a close eye on how your employee benefits are being received is always worth keeping on top of!
- Are the benefits being used?
- Do employees appreciate them?
- Are all employees being served? (needs can vary across different demographics)
- Are they providing tangible business results? (related to staff sickness and recruitment/retention, for example)
Using HR or a benefits platform to track data and responses from staff is an easy way to find correlations, but also simply asking your staff in an honest way will get you the responses you need! If that doesn’t work for, then turn to an employee benefits broker who will review any current health and protection schemes to understand if any changes need to be made.
FREE expert advice, FREE policy pricing and ZERO contracts. If your company needs help with employee benefits, contact our friendly team of award-winning brokers for the best and most straightforward advice. Call 01273 222805 or use the chatbox on the right.
#4 Offer choice
The ideal scenario is to provide a level of flexibility so that staff can choose their own benefits (from a pre-set list). This allows your employees to create a personalised package which will suit exactly what they individually need.
For example, you could allow them to choose from:
- Health Cash Plans
- Health insurance
- Discount schemes
- Gym memberships
- Employee Assistance Programmes
- Opt-in/opt-out voluntary arrangement: staff pay for the benefits themselves through the company, saving on tax and selecting exactly what they want to be involved in
#5 Develop an open and communicative environment
Whatever an individual’s problems or preferences, it’s important that they are taken on board. No perspective should be ignored, even if you’re unable to offer the benefit they’d like.
Creating an open and communicative workplace environment helps get rid of any disparities between what you are offering your staff and what it is your employees want or need!
Develop employee platforms and forums to open up a space for staff to leave their thoughts, review current benefits, and leave suggestions.
#6 Enlist a broker’s help
Enlisting the help of an independent benefits broker can alleviate some of the work involved in introducing employee benefits to your workforce. They can take the lead for you!
A broker like Hooray can offer company presentations once you have created your plan, going through step-by-step the different processes and services on offer and how to use them. They always remain contactable after the initial introduction of your employee benefits – so if you have any further questions, they’ll be happy to answer.
Can an employee benefits broker help?
“Different workforces will value different types of benefits. Developing a competitive employee compensation package cannot be an afterthought, nor should it be done in haste.”
Professor Amanda Kirby, CEO DO-IT Profiler
Navigating the world of employee benefits can be challenging. But it all begins with understanding the needs and desires of your workforce. Only then can you be confident of creating an attractive and much-loved benefits scheme!
After that, you need to ensure that lines of communication remain open and that, at least once a year, you actively seek out staff feedback and remind them of what they have. This ensures your staff make the most of your well-thought-out employee benefits scheme!
The more your staff take advantage of their benefits, the more motivated, healthier, and productive they will inevitably be.
At Hooray Health & Protection, we take the time to listen to your specific needs and answer any and every question on employee benefits and health insurance. As award-winning brokers, we bring you the best quotes and deals on the UK market, ensuring you achieve the best value and results.
Contact us at [email protected] or call 01273 222805 for FREE no-obligation advice and support.