16 Oct 2019
The Benefits of Communicating with Employees
Founded in 1998, Group Risk Development (GRiD) aims to promote and enhance the status and uptake of corporate group protection benefits on behalf of its members within the UK insurance, reinsurance and adviser markets.
GRiD has conducted regular employer research since 2009 and the purpose of the 2019 survey is to drill down and ask employers what they are thinking and doing in relation to looking after their staff, especially since this is what Government is now expecting from them. In this survey, GRiD surveyed 500 HR decision makers in 500 UK businesses, including 100 in companies with more than 250 employees.
Benefits of Communication in the Workplace
Rewarding and motivating staff through ways such as celebrations and training are very visible, can give immediate gratification, and will be appreciated by certain sections of the workforce.
However, many employers realise that longer-term benefits, can have an even wider appeal and longer lasting effect. It’s particularly important to show how different benefits can address specific needs that staff may have according to their age, life-stage and lifestyle.
Employers monetary spend across all benefits including things such as Pension, Medical Insurance and Group Risk Insurances to name a few, is not usually insignificant and therefore employers need to ensure that staff understand and more importantly appreciate what they have.
For example, group risk benefits often provide access to an employee assistance programme as standard that can provide advice that the whole workforce can benefit from, such as on moving to a new house, probate, flooding, parking tickets and disputes with neighbours. This kind of support can be greatly valued by staff and it helps to improve productivity by alleviating distractions.
However, how does an employer get this message out to staff?
Communication Survey Results
HR decision makers told GRiD’s survey that they use a variety of means to communicate their employee benefits package. Based on the results of GRiD’s recent survey, the communication methods most used are:
• Staff welcome pack – 31%
• Email – 28%
• Staff handbook – 25%
• Employment offer letter – 22%
• Total Reward Statements – 11%
• Benefit platforms/apps – 10%
Worryingly, ONLY 25% of employers issue regular communications (at least quarterly) about their benefits.
Communication is key to getting good value out of any benefit spend but what is the best way to communicate to a workforce? Unfortunately, there is no magic spell that will work for all employers therefore using a mix of methods is most effective and more importantly, communication must be on a regular basis. This is especially true of group risk benefits when they are not needed until something changes for an employee and then they are needed.
It is also vital that employees, HR and line managers are aware of all the embedded help that comes with a group risk product and how to use it to best effect.
Wingate Benefit Solutions work with employers of all different shapes and sizes to help with the design and implementation of the most optimum communication strategy. This could include such methods as face to face staff presentations, easy to read benefit guides, total reward statements and the ever-growing popularity of online benefit platforms. Should the topic of communications be something that you wish discuss, please feel free to contact Wingate.