Do you want more engagement with your benefits package? We caught up with Personal Group to get their take on how you can understand what you want your benefits package to achieve. From the wider company values, using your benefits to encourage employees to partake in leisure activities to help them lead healthier lifestyles, or if you want to encourage teamwork and collaboration, by following thinking about these three simple aspects of your benefits programme, it’s quick and easy to ensure continued usage of your benefits offering.

1. Who do you think you’re talking to?

In business, a lot of our time is spent meeting our customer’s needs, but our employee’s needs are just as important when it comes to reducing turnover and ultimately improving the bottom line.

It’s important to keep your benefits announcements and reminders clear, correct, and consistent across all channels. Line managers, group heads and communications staff should all be given access to the same information and present it to staff accurately and effectively.

A personal approach to understanding what works best for individual employees is key for effective and clear communication. The only way of truly understanding how your employees want to be communicated with is by approaching them directly and asking how they would like their company to communicate with them.

It tends to be that older members of the workforce, Baby Boomers and Generation X, often prefer talking by telephone or email, while Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to respond to mobile channels, such as instant messaging, texting or push notifications. One communications that scores highly across all generations is face to face. In a multigenerational workforce, focusing too heavily on one channel can present a risk of alienating a large number of employees, so a multi-channel strategy based on employee preferences is the way to effectively communicate your benefits offering to staff.

2. Creating a benefits base camp

Make sure all of your benefits can be found in one place. If the offering is dispersed across various sites it can often be difficult for employees to locate the benefit they are looking for. If it’s not possible to host all of your benefits in place, it can be useful to create a single point of access and incorporate the use of single sign on to allow employees to seamlessly transition from one site to another without re-entering a password.

Why not include access to e-payslips and your employee newsletters as an added incentive to drive usage? It’s hard to forget about your benefits if you see them at least once a month as you check your payslip.

Just bringing everything together in one place may make it easier but will not necessarily mean staff are more likely to embrace using their benefits outside of the workplace. So the company intranet might not be the answer, as to effectively drive benefits usage, employees need access anytime, anywhere. To drive usage outside of office hours staff must be able to easily access information through their mobile. Why not consider using a benefits app that sits on the employee’s own phone, alongside their social media apps and banking app? Providing useful benefits that make a difference to their day to day life as well as making easy to access any time anywhere, is key to driving usage.

3. Do it yourself

It’s always advisable to practise what you preach and normalising the use of benefits and discussing ways in which they can be used will help keep them at the forefront of employee’s minds. Communicating with employees about their benefits will also help uncover any confusion surrounding the benefits offering. This allows you to tailor your communication to combat these issues.

Here at Personal Group, we have designated Benefits Champions to help ingrain the usage of benefits into the workplace culture. The Champions are made up of employees from all departments and levels of the business and they meet to discuss the employee benefits on offer. Not only do they champion our platform to staff and come up with ways of communicating the launch of new services, we rely on them for feedback on which benefits are most useful to our frontline staff. Before we launch any benefit, the Champions are able to road test them to ensure that the offering is useful and effective.

Knowing that these benefits have been chosen by a variety of staff, and not just the directors, makes staff feel more engaged knowing that they are at the heart of the choice of benefits we offer.

Employee benefits are key when it comes to employee engagement, they allow employers to show their staff that they really do care. Therefore, it’s critical to make sure that each cog in the benefits machine is working effectively, and the only way to improve engagement with the benefits offered to staff is to drive usage, and this in turn should boost the overall productivity of your workforce.