Why Benefits Communications Matter
Benefits offered to employees in workplaces make a difference to employee engagement and morale. It stands to reason that many workers would be less likely to leave their jobs if they were more informed about their benefits. However, ensuring staff are aware and enrol for their benefits can be easier said than done.
Staff benefits are a significant cost of doing business. Communicating these benefits effectively can help your organization manage its costs. In fact, McKinsey researchshows that communicating staff benefits effectively can reduce the cost of these benefits by up to 20 per cent each year.
Communicating these benefits well can also help you retain good staff, increase their productivity and boost their engagement. Research shows that staff rate their benefits as more important to securing their loyalty than their employers do.
However, keeping your staff happy doesn’t have to mean increasing the benefits you offer them. It may be as simple as communicating the benefits you already offer in a better way, so staff understand them and use them actively. In other words, you may need to market staff benefits more effectively.
When it comes to staff benefits, different staff demographics have different needs. For example, a young staff member just out of university is likely to be relatively uninterested in retirement benefits and relatively interested in the training and development options available. Similarly, staff with young families are likely to be interested in family healthcare options.
Benefits are only valuable if they meet the wants, needs and expectations of individual staff. So survey your staff to understand what they value.
Some staff will take part in an email survey but many will not. A desktop pop-up survey is an effective way to make sure as many staff as possible take part in important surveys about benefits. The SnapComms Pop-up Survey tool is delivered directly to the desktop of staff your organization wants to hear from. It includes built-in recurrence options that continue to prompt the staff member until they reply.
Brand benefit packages to help capture your staff’s attention, encourage them to use the benefits and value the benefits you offer them.
Consider using Screensaver messages as a visual way to make staff aware of the benefits available. Interactive screensavers let staff ‘interact’ with visual messages that appeal to them. By clicking links, staff can navigate to more information on your intranet or your provider’s website.
Remember that staff are not experts in benefits. Use simple language and make communication meaningful. Help staff see what’s in it for them.
Use simple tools like tip sheets and checklists so people can choose information appropriate to their demographic and interests.
Interactive FAQ forums let staff ask questions and understand more about the benefits available to them. The SnapComms interactive tools let you send desktop alerts to moderators whom you’ve set up to review certain topics. This means staff receive answers to their questions quickly and the FAQ forum becomes a fast-evolving bank of benefits information. Tools like these can dramatically reduce calls to a benefit helpdesk and providers, and may reduce confusion. This will have a positive impact on productivity and encourage staff to take up the benefits available.
User Generated Internal Newsletter
You may be using a range of vendors to provide your benefits. Build your vendors’ communications into your own and make them easy for staff to find.
Articles in an internal newsletter can be a good way to communicate the benefits available to your staff and how they are using them. SnapMag lets staff submit their own articles and suggestions. This can make information more engaging and authentic. Different business units and even different vendors can submit articles into the SnapMag magazine. It’s easy to do: they choose the right category, set up by the administrator, and submit articles directly to the editor. The SnapMag editor then edits the articles (if needed) and approves them to be included automatically in the next edition of the magazine.
When you publish SnapMag, you can deliver it directly to the desktops of staff you want to reach. Delivering the newsletter this way means staff are significantly more likely to read it than they would a traditional internal newsletter sent by email.
Prompt and Remind Employees
The SnapComms Desktop Scrolling Ticker tool lets you display important headlines and updates about benefits on the computer screens of the staff you want to reach. If staff see a headline that interests them, they can click on it to navigate to more information.
Headlines on scrolling news tickers are another effective way to encourage staff to act on a message and remind them about important dates, like the deadlines for enrolling for a benefit.
Benefits Communication by Screensaver
Wellness programs are an important part of a employee benefit package. If they encourage staff to change their behavior (e.g. to stop smoking), they can dramatically reduce the healthcare, absenteeism and productivity costs your organization faces.
Benefits Communication resource: Effective Wellness Communication
Put it All Together
All internal communication programs need to use a range of different communication channels to reach staff, reinforce messages and engage with staff in the way they prefer. Communicating benefits is no exception. Some staff may prefer to visit the intranet and explore the options available in detail. Some staff who are too busy to check on benefits available to them or do not see these as a priority may respond to a screensaver message which reminds them to do something.
Remember to consider family members who may need to be involved in decisions about benefits. The best way to reach these family members may be to use traditional printed materials which the staff member can take home and discuss.