Many of the most successful companies offer employee benefits because they understand the importance of attracting the most talented workers, boosting employee productivity, and ensuring a healthy workforce. However, simply offering benefits packages to employees is not enough. Many companies could improve upon how they are communicating employee benefits to their employees to ensure that they are not left in the dark about the perks of their employment and benefits. The experienced business consultants and strategists at Wisterm help businesses build stronger connections with their employees through effective communication to drive higher engagement, performance, and boost employee morale.
What Are Employee Benefits?
Employee benefits are an indirect form of compensation provided to employees in addition to their normal pay or income. While some employee benefits are legally required, others are provided at the discretion of the employer. Common types of employee benefits include but are not limited to:
- Paid time off
- Statutory sick pay
- Maternity and paternity leave
- Family leave
- Holiday pay
- Pension plans
- Health coverage
- Employee wellness plans
- Company transport
- Gym memberships
Employees are often granted access to the employer’s services, products, or other perks. Providing employee benefits helps employers improve their recruitment efforts and gain a competitive edge. These benefits can help employees feel more valued by their employer , increase job satisfaction, as well as boost their motivation to be more productive in their work and stay loyal to the company. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has even found that 80 percent of American workers prefer a job with a more robust benefits package over a simple pay increase.
Why Is It Important To Communicate Employee Benefits?
Employee benefits can be a valuable tool for businesses in their recruitment and retention strategy. However, providing employee benefits will not suffice if employers do not properly communicate the value of the benefit offerings to their employees. Communicating employee benefits is critical for the following reasons:
- Boosting recruitment and retention. Employers benefit from providing employee benefits just as much as employees do, if not more. Job applicants often consider employee benefits to be one of the most crucial factors when choosing a job. Having a clearly articulated benefits package can make the position more appealing in the job seeker’s eyes, which can improve the employer’s recruitment efforts. Offering employee benefits and being transparent about those benefits with existing employees can also lead to higher employee retention rates.
- Supporting employees’ well-being. Many employers offer wellness benefits, such as regular health screenings and gym memberships, as part of their benefits package. However, employees may not be aware of those added perks due to a lack of communication and education on the employer’s end. Employees who use wellness benefits may be more likely to maintain a better work-life balance and stay healthy, which may increase their overall job satisfaction and productivity while reducing burnout.
- Improving company culture. Some employee benefits may require employees to spend time together, allowing them to feel more engaged and more connected to their colleagues. This has the potential to improve company culture, which would benefit both the employer and employees. However, the employer must have excellent organizational skills and be able to properly communicate employee benefits to entice employee participation.
- Helping employees realize the value of these benefits. While an employee may be aware of a particular benefit offered by their employer, they may not fully understand how to utilize this benefit to aid in improving their physical, emotional, and/or financial well-being. Effective communication can solve this problem and help employees feel the full impact of the employer’s benefits package.
Effective Communication Requires Participation from Both Sides
Effective communication of employee benefits can play a pivotal role in promoting positive work enforcement, enhancing morale, boosting productivity, and fostering a sense of loyalty and commitment among employees. Unfortunately, employers do not always understand the needs of their employees. According to a 2022 survey by British researchers with Edenred, only 18% of employees said they believed that their employer actually understood their needs when providing the benefits.
These findings harmonize with recommendations from the Society for Human Resource Management that encourage employers to think more broadly about how they are defining benefits and what employees will find attractive in a comprehensive benefits package. Employees feel more understood when their benefits packages correspond to their needs. When the employer’s ongoing interest to provide a supportive and responsive workplace and when all the available benefits options are communicated effectively it leads to employee’s feeling more recognized by their workplace. The experienced consultants at Wisterm may be able to help you craft a comprehensive and effective employee benefits communication strategy to ensure that your workers are not missing out on critical information.
The Best Practices for Communicating Employee Benefits
Even if an employer offers the most generous and valuable benefits package, job applicants and existing employees may not fully appreciate the value of those benefits without effective communication regarding the benefits.. Below are some of the best practices for communicating employee benefits:
- Customizing the message. Many employers choose a one-size-fits-all approach when communicating employee benefits. However, it is important to understand that every employee is different. When the employer can explain and promote those benefits in a way that is customized based on the employee’s needs and preferences, their message is more likely to resonate with that employee on a personal level.
- Using multiple communication channels. Some organizations do not fully use technological advances to their advantage when it comes to communicating employee benefits. Many employees may not read employment contracts and may not be aware of the benefits available to them unless this information reaches them through other mediums such as email newsletters, the company’s website or social media account, employee booklets, among others.
- Simplifying complex information. Explaining employee benefits may often involve technical or complicated terms, which may alienate employees. By simplifying the information and using clear, concise language, the employer can make it more understandable for employees. In this regard, it may be helpful to use infographics, charts, short videos, or other visually appealing forms of communication.
- Highlighting the value. Just because an employee knows about a particular benefit offered by their employer, they may not fully understand its value and how to take full advantage of the available options. For this reason, putting more effort into highlighting the value of employee benefits by using real-life examples to illustrate the impact of those benefits on employees’ lives.
Employers cannot unlock the maximum potential of employee benefits if they are being communicated ineffectively.. When employees do not fully understand the scope and potential of the benefits available to them, they may not value them, When employees do not understand the benefits being offered to them it can diminish even the most comprehensive benefits package’s contribution to the company’s overall success.
Develop a Personalized Employee Benefits Communication Strategy
Every business is unique, which is why the strategies for communicating employee benefits may vary from one company to another. The business development and employee benefits consultants at Wisterm can help you develop a personalized communications strategy to boost awareness and increase employee engagement, which can strengthen your recruitment and retention efforts. Email [email protected] to schedule your initial consultation.