Opinion: Why over complicating benefits makes it harder to engage staff | incentive&motivation

Opinion: Why over complicating benefits makes it harder to engage staff | incentive&motivation

Employee Benefits News: Opinion: Why over complicating benefits makes it harder to engage staff What do you think about employee benefits today? Are

Employee Benefits News: Opinion: Why over complicating benefits makes it harder to engage staff

What do you think about employee benefits today? Are they too complicated for people outside of the sector?

According to a recent survey by Michael Page, 80% of UK employees think that their workplace benefits are complicated or too hard to understand. It is no wonder that staff are feeling disengaged at work. If they don’t understand what their employer is doing to reward them, and why they are doing it, then it is likely that they will be less motivated and may not work as hard! But what can you do as you draw up an employee benefits proposal or plan for your organisation and what key learnings are there? To answer, we caught up with Wendy Melville, Head of Marketing at Personal Group, a leading employee benefits provider to see her perspective on pitching employee benefits at the right level and to get her 3 top tips to simplify your benefits programme in order to drive up usage and get those engagement levels soaring.

Wendy Melville Personal Group | Incentive&Motivation

Wendy Melville, head of Marketing – Personal Group

I am often asked how can you keep your benefits simple but engaging, easy to understand but still personalised enough to resonate with each employee and easy to access while encouraging participation? A simple and easy to use benefits programme that shows you care about your staff.

 

Keep it simple

I am often asked how can you keep your benefits simple but engaging, easy to understand but still personalised enough to resonate with each employee and easy to access while encouraging participation? A simple and easy to use benefits programme that shows you care about your staff. It can be very tempting to keep adding benefits to your programme in the hope that it will drive up engagement, but what about those stagnant benefits that have been on your platform for years but no one uses? You may think adding more benefits will drive usage but all you end up doing is creating more buttons for staff to click on until they get to the benefit the actually want. Why not sit down with your team and take stock of which benefits are being used and those that aren’t doing so well? If you have access to them, dig into the usage statistics to get a handle on what is doing well, and you may be surprised! It could be that you end up with only a handful of benefits, but at least you know that they are the ones that matter to your staff.

 

Give access anytime, anywhere

Staff may find your existing benefits platform or intranet hard to navigate because they only have 5 minutes to jump on to it on their lunch break, or when they do try and access it on their mobile phone, it takes so long to load they switch off. Allowing staff to have access to a simple platform at a time that suits them, gives them the opportunity to explore and digest information at their leisure. Convenience is key, if staff don’t have access to a computer at work or home how can you get them to think about and browse their benefits? The average person checks their smartphone over 80 times per day – so make use of the hours spent on Candy Crush, Instagram or Snapchat – introduce a Benefits App that sits on their own device so they can access their benefits alongside their other apps at home or during a break. Keeping it simple by providing a platform and an app will help you reach every member of staff, even the 4million plus staff who work away from the office.

 

Shout about your Benefits!

If you don’t believe that your benefits programme is the best of the best, how can you expect to get staff on board? You don’t have to barrage staff with an onslaught of emails every week to remind them what is on offer – that may just turn them off even more!

A simple push notification or monthly round up of the most used benefits may be enough to reignite interest and drive participation.

As well as how you communicate, what you say is just as important. Try to de-mystify any benefits that may have previously been thought of as over complicated. Bring staff on as ‘Benefits Champions’ to answer any questions employees may have, introduce some ‘Lunch and Learn sessions’ with experts to help staff understand how the programme could benefit them or just share staff stories of the difference the benefits have made to them. Creating advocates amongst your staff to talk about the value of your benefits can have dramatic effects on usage and participation levels.

It may sound simple, and that’s the way it should be. Lots of benefits are great, but if your staff don’t understand what is available to them, they won’t use them. These small changes can revamp your existing benefits, make them easier to access and raise awareness. All are a step in the right direction to implementing an uncomplicated but very effective benefits programme. If you’d like to talk about how Personal Group have helped other companies revamp their benefits schemes, get in touch.

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