All large sized companies will have a range of employee benefits on offer, from the usual dental, medical and paid leave, to more unique benefits such as on-site gyms, family benefits, meal services and perks and discounts. The big advantage that larger companies have over their smaller counterparts is access to a bigger budget.
However, no matter how many benefits you have on offer to attract and retain talent, if your employees aren’t using these benefits to the max, you’re essentially throwing money away.
So how do you mobilise your employees to use the employee benefits on offer? Here are some things to consider:
It’s all very well to have a range of benefits on offer, but without your employees having a clear understanding of what they all mean, they won’t take advantage. According to Career Builder, a recent survey showed that only 19% of employees had a high level of understanding of their benefits, whilst 49% of respondents didn’t understand the employee benefits materials, with almost a third not seeing the perceived value in the benefits.
Lack of understanding can be a huge barrier, so make your employee benefits materials easy to understand and host regular webinars to keep your employees educated on what is on offer and how they can benefit.
Telling your employees about potential benefits during the onboarding process or an annual re-enrollment is not enough. You need to remind your employees regularly what is on offer, be it through spotlight emails, seminars or quarterly updates. Forbes recommends that you keep these communications visually appealing, using simple, straightforward and approachable language, with testimonials, infographics and bite-sized communications.
The communication process should also allow for regular feedback, be it face-to-face or through surveys, to find out how benefits are perceived, which are being used, and what should be ditched. Remind your employees about benefits that they may not have used before as their lifestyles change - for example, young employees now considering a family may have different needs to someone closer to retirement age.
Staff Treats’ Customer Service Manager Elise Pickard reiterates the importance of communication: “It's really important as a Customer Success Manager to have an excellent understanding of what our clients’ employees' needs are, and to establish the best ways in which to communicate with them.’
‘We can offer employees interactive webinars which are an efficient way to guide them through the sign up process, ensure they have downloaded our app and chrome extension, and provide an update on all the awesome discounts their employer is providing for them. It's also a great time to gather feedback to make sure we are doing everything we can to make their experience the best it can be. These webinars can be held at any point during the customer journey, whether that's just after launch, or mid-way through as a refresher.’
‘Additionally, we can offer branded marketing material which clients can send via email or make into posters for staff rooms and offices. We also encourage our clients to include Staff Treats in the agenda as part of their company-wide monthly meetings, events and newsletters. It helps to get staff talking about what they've saved on recently and spreads the word!’
Enrolling into company benefits schemes can be overwhelming for both employees and HR. If the process is too complicated or time consuming, or employees don’t feel like they have enough information, they may end up finding their own benefits somewhere else.
Entrepreneur.com recommends that you streamline the process by enabling online self sign-up, as well as providing employees with digital guides to walk them through the sign-up process. Using technology to help your employees understand and manage their own benefits, as well as giving feedback, also allows them a sense of control, whilst removing some of the admin from your HR department.
Having a diverse workforce is key for large sized companies to increase productivity and innovation, but being diverse also means that you can’t have a one size fits all approach to your company benefits. Your employees will be more loyal if they feel like their benefits can be customised to suit their current situation and the associated needs.
Having a diverse and customisable portfolio of benefits also allows your employees - particularly those who are feeling the pinch - to cut out what they don’t need - benefits which could be costing them unnecessarily - as well as making sure that they are covered for what they absolutely need.
Ensuring that your employees understand the employee benefits that your company offers as well as communicating to them regularly and allowing for feedback as well as customisable options will go a long way to making sure that your benefits are used to their full capacity. As an added bonus consider adding discounts and treats to your benefits portfolio - to find out more.