Tips for Sharing Your Employee Benefits Program
It can be challenging to find new employees whose experience fit a role perfectly, and who have the right attitude and are available for the position. However, the importance of finding the perfect fit for your job role is hugely important. The hiring process isn’t just time consuming, it’s expensive. This rings even more true if the wrong person is hired for the job and time is spent on training.
However, there are a few things you can do to help improve a new employee's attitude or help maintain their positive outlook. One of these ways is by implementing a benefits program. While a benefits program is hugely beneficial, it’s also very important that an employee knows exactly what the benefits program entails.
Many workers aren’t actually aware of their work benefits packages or what they are entitled to while working for the company. In fact, studies have found that almost half of the employees have no idea what the available benefits are at their place of work.
In this article, we will give 5 tips for communicating benefits materials so that the initiative can be utilized to its full potential.
Make it accessible
One of the largest reasons that employees aren’t unaware of their employee benefits program is that the benefits aren’t easily accessible.
While a simple fix, accessibility isn’t always the company's fault. Sometimes, the benefits information is available, but the employee isn’t paying attention to it.
Below are some ways that a benefits strategy can be highlighted for an employee,
Social media is a great tool for sharing information. There are a number of different platforms available, and many of these can be used to share information with employees to encourage employees to join work-related groups. For example, your work could create a Facebook group specifically related to your work, and updates - like benefits programs - can be posted on the group for employees to see.
These platforms work well to engage staff to find out more about company culture due to its high levels of interaction, and the popular nature of social media.
When it comes to hiring, platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn are also a great way to recruit employees, and these potential hires can access information about benefits programs while researching the position.
Putting benefits communications information on payslips is a great way of informing employees of their benefits. After all, salary is one of the biggest driving forces behind working for many employees. Most employees will look at their payslip to see how much they got paid and to see where their money goes such as taxes etc.
You can capitalize on this by simply putting employee benefits communications at the bottom of the payslip. For example, you can list things like dental, maternity leave and health benefits in an effort to catch an employee's eye and educate them on what’s available.
Put out an employee bulletin
Adding an employee bulletin is an effective and simple way to inform employees of their benefits. A bulletin can take on many forms, from a simple notice that is hung on the wall or fridge in the break room, to a whiteboard in a common area that reminds employees of their benefits.
These simple yet effective tools can be a quick reminder to employees that they are entitled to more than just a paycheck when working for the company. This will make the employees feel more respected, lower turnover rates and improve the overall employee experience.
When making an employee bulletin it is recommended to use an easy to read font that’s large enough size and bold lettering to make the information stand out. Bright, coloured paper or lettering can also help to capture employees' attention.
The position of the bulletin is important, and it’s a good idea to place it next to an area that already attracts a lot of attention. For example, you could put it next to a schedule that employees need to check for the coming weeks. This will ensure that even employees who choose to have their breaks away from, the break room will probably still visit the area to check the schedule, and then see the benefits bulletin.
In recent years digital newsletters have become a hugely popular way to convey information. Most workplaces already have digital newsletters implemented, as a way to update employees about what’s happening within the workplace, and share any important upcoming events and information.
Employers can optimize this by including a section that lists the benefits that employees are entitled to, as well as some extra information about each.
Involve your managers and HR teams
Pretty much every workplace with have some form of leadership - and this is usually called a manager. As well as ensuring that everything runs smoothly, managers also usually implement rules and regulations. Furthermore, part of their role should be to motivate and help staff and keep morale high.
A good manager should be respected by the team they’re in charge of. Usually, they will have trained most of the staff and be the point of contact for employees to turn to if they have a question or need help with an issue.
Because of these reasons, a manager can be the perfect person to relay information about company benefits to their team.
It’s recommended to train your managers about what each staff member is entitled to while working for the company and ask them to share the information with their team. There is a number of ways for this information to be shared, it could be done at a staff meeting when they can address a large group or in individual meetings.
Many managers have a daily dialogue with their teams, and sometimes these discussions can cover personal matters. So, if a manager hears of something that connects to the company’s benefits, the manager can share this with the employee.
For example, if a manager hears an employee saying they have a toothache, and the company has dental benefits, the manager can share these with the employee. This same strategy can be used in a variety of other instances such as maternity leave or gym memberships for employees.
Additionally, if your business has a human resources team, ensuring that employer-provided benefits are communicated properly is a large part of their role.
Use the onboarding process
The onboarding process is a critical time for any company. It is the process of hiring a new employee and acclimating them to your company.
Most jobs require extensive training that can last long periods of time. This training time can be a great opportunity for a manager to share with their employees what benefits they are entitled to. Plus, new employees can sometimes be intimidated, and won’t feel comfortable asking directly about their associated benefits. Sharing this information during training, it can motivate the new hire by boosting their employee engagement and making them feel respected and happy in the role and with the business.
Set regular reminders
Sharing information about employee benefits should not be a once-off task. It’s essential to regularly remind your employees what benefits are viable to them.
Most employees are very busy, and have many head deadlines and targets to reach, so this can take priority and an employee may forget about benefits. It's very important that your employees understand what benefits are available.
For example, when the end of the financial year is fast approaching an employee might have annual reports due on top of their average workload. Because this duty dominates their thoughts at work, certain benefits may slip their mind.
A simple reminder that working for the company is more than just a paycheck and that there are benefits available to give support in other areas can change an employee’s outlook on their role and help to alleviate stress.
Tips to communicate employee benefits properly
Gather employee feedback
Implementing employee benefits is a great way to show that you care about your staff. It covers that you care for their well being and respect each employee and are willing to help.
If your company has already implemented efforts to help your employees a higher quality of life, it is important that the benefits are relevant and that they actually support employees.
A good way to find out if the benefits you offered are actually utilized is to simply ask employees what they would want in their benefits package. This can be done by sending out a quick email survey.
Benefits communication should be done often
Having an open line of communication is a great way to find out which benefits are most needed by staff and to keep them up to date on new ideas and benefits they are entitled to. Plus, there may be new benefits that arise over time. Poor communication will affect an employees ability to know what is available.
While the responsibility of good communication, and making sure it's done ofte can fall on a manager's shoulders, HR professionals should also ensure that they are approachable and available to help whenever an employee requires it.
Explain the benefits programs clearly
When informing employees of their benefits it’s important that you explain what each benefit is. Try to make the explanation for each benefit as simple as possible when explaining it. Summary and CTA
A great benefits program is directly linked to business success and increased productivity among employees. However, a benefits program will likely go underutilised if it's not communicated properly with employees. To ensure that you approach this correctly, try to adapt the above tips into your strategy and always remember to make sure those in leadership are easily approachable to all employees.
Our team can help implement a benefits communication strategy to communicate with employees, give specific tips where needed, improve benefits communication and/or make suggestions for software programs that can help do this. If you're interested in finding out more, you can contact us here