Seven steps to building engagement with employee benefits

David Walker, Chief Commercial Officer explains Personal Group’s uniquely personal approach to employee benefits

Over the last 18 months, I’ve been talking to professionals about employee benefits. They have all said that one of the hardest things to deliver on is overall employee engagement.
Previously, businesses were able to boost employee engagement through traditional routes, such as pay rises, career progression and secondments. However, these routes may now be limited or unavailable and, instead, attention has turned to offering appealing employee benefits packages – the ‘hidden pay packet’.
HRDs tell me that benefits packages haven’t been as effective as they’d hoped in raising engagement levels. This is because there is a lack of employee involvement. For me, employee benefits break down into two key areas – the ‘what’ and the ‘how’. The what is what the package or programme is and what it comprises. There isn’t a vast amount of difference in what providers offer, but the real opportunity comes in the how – the delivery and approach to benefits.
Personal Group’s approach considers communication around employee benefits and commits to communicating with clients face to face.
Why? We believe that the critical measure of a successful programme is not the awareness raised, but the participation that is generated.
Our one to ones with clients’ staff enable us to talk them through the benefits and get them engaged with what’s available. It’s not an easy approach, but it pays dividends, as take-up levels are always high.Here are Personal Group’s Seven Steps to building engagement:

Consider your comms choices.
How do you communicate with staff? If you have a system in place that works well, stick with it. Ask your benefits provider what has worked well for other clients as they may have insight into up-and-coming initiatives.

Find out what your employees want.
Talk to your staff. Find out their preferred method of communication. This is a great time to find out upfront what your best approach is.

Schedule your benefits launch.
Timing is everything and if your industry has peak times when everyone is working hard, then perhaps it’s not the time to launch your programme.

Use the expertise of your provider.
Your benefits provider will have a wealth of knowledge regarding how to communicate. This is what they do all the time and do best. Often they will offer a package, which incorporates all the collateral you require.

Make the most of the available technology.
Technology is a great way to communicate. However, if your staff don’t have access to it, or aren’t interested in using it, then it could be a false economy.

Utilise a blend of communication channels and tactics.
One form of communication isn’t going to reach everyone. A combined approached using on and offline methods will achieve wider reach and broader appeal.

Review progress and performance.
Regular reviews will help you monitor progress and gauge levels of understanding. It will help you to identify what is working for you and what isn’t. Increased take-up and employee awareness of the benefit offers is what you are aiming for.

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