Most employers don't communicate employee benefits frequently enough, research shows

02 Dec 2019

How familiar are your employees with the benefits available to them?

From group life, group income protection and group critical illness, to financial education and health and wellbeing initiatives, it's important to make sure staff understand and make use of the benefits on offer.

Regular communication is key -- but research by industry body GRiD has found that only a quarter (25%) of UK employers make a point of issuing regular communications on their benefits package, while 22% do so just once a year.

Others use specific events as a prompt: for instance, 36% communicate benefits when there's a change in the terms and conditions, such as if pension contributions or terms of cover are set to change. Another 29% do so at performance reviews.

However, GRiD argues that this isn't enough.

"It's understandable that employers use key events to communicate their benefits, but what an employer sees as a key event may not coincide with what an employee sees as a key event," said Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD.

Illness, disability, injury, death and bereavement are all largely unpredictable in nature so can affect an employee at any time, the organisation explains. This means that the support available through employee benefits such as group risk can be necessary any day of the year -- and it's easy for someone to forget about any available support if it wasn't relevant at the time they were told about it. It's crucial that such benefits are communicated regularly so that when they are needed, they're front of mind.

Regular communication is just as important for other benefits, however.

Some benefits are more relevant to people depending on their life stage, their financial situation or whether they have dependants. And some benefits can be utilised daily, at no extra cost, so it makes sense to encourage their use. For example, many group risk policies come with an employee assistance programme, early intervention support for health and wellbeing, access to counselling, and legal support for issues such as neighbour disputes and parking fines. Frequent communication of such benefits encourages utilisation and gives more value to both employer and employee.

Moxham added: "Few employee benefits can be utilised every day, even if a claim is never made, at no extra cost to the employer or employee. To capture employees' attention at a time when they can make use of them, it's important that they're communicated regularly. Once a few employees get value they soon start telling colleagues, engagement then snowballs, as does the value."

At Fidelius, we create employee benefits solutions that are tailored to your precise needs and help you deliver your strategic HR and business objectives. We'll help you make sure that your employees understand and value their employee benefits by improving engagement through effective communication. Contact us today to learn more!