Employee benefits are an excellent resource for businesses looking to give staff that extra boost in morale and engagement. Implementing benefits shows employees your appreciation whilst providing wellbeing support, whether that be through cost-saving schemes or healthcare plans.
Offering employee benefits to your workplace not only benefits employees personally but also improves the organisation's overall culture. As valued employees are more engaged and motivated in their work, improving overall performance and productivity.
Despite this, most employees are unaware and confused about the benefits they have access to, partly due to employers poorly communicating benefits to employees. So, the advantages of benefit schemes often go unnoticed and unappreciated.
Employee benefits are clearly significant for both employers and employees, so how can organisations get employees to use them?
Why don't employees use their benefits?
There are several reasons why employees don't take full advantage of or even use their benefits. And suppose you want your benefits solution to succeed in your organisation. In that case, you need to understand why they're not using them!.
Assuming your organisation has a benefits program, here are a few reasons why your employees don't engage with their benefits program.
Lack of Communication
Employee benefits communication is often ineffective for most businesses. Whether it be the wrong channels or the wrong message, many employees are completely unaware of what they can access.
Over 50% of employers confess their employees are unaware of the provided benefits, and those who are aware are often confused. Some schemes, such as salary sacrifice schemes, may be daunting and confusing for some staff. Without proper employee benefits communication, they won't engage with their benefits.
Around 60% of employees are dissatisfied with their current benefit schemes offered by employers. Offering the wrong benefits that aren't important for your employees can have a negative effect on morale and organisational culture. Not to mention the financial burden of paying for a scheme that isn't being used.
Employees are usually swamped with work; especially as Christmas creeps closer, workload often increases dramatically. This often leaves little time for employees to log on to their benefits hub and explore their benefits. Offering an over-complicated collection of benefits can discourage busy staff from even looking at what they can access.
What type of benefits are important for employees
One of the biggest challenges for businesses is providing a benefit package that employees actually want. Many companies, therefore, rely on general and less specific benefits that bring little motivation and poor engagement.
As the economic climate changes and the talk about a recession gets louder, employees' needs are shifting. Staff are looking towards benefits that support their financial wellbeing over other popular benefits.
Employees are demanding saving benefits, salary sacrifice schemes and other financial wellbeing benefits to help spread the cost over this challenging period.
Employees will always need the traditional healthcare, life insurance and pension contributions that are often provided. However, to ensure employees are satisfied, adapting your benefits solution to meet their current benefit needs is essential.
Why it's important to for staff to use their benefits
The assumption that an employer's job is done once they have provided a benefits platform couldn't be more wrong.
Employee benefits communication is essential for maintaining a successful benefits program, building a positive culture and improving employee morale.
Employee benefits significantly influence the employee experience, which plays a crucial role in employee retention and job satisfaction. Underutilised, poorly communicated, and irrelevant benefits have a negative effect on the overall employee experience.
A continued negative experience can lead employees to question their future and wonder if there are better opportunities further afield.
Employee benefits also help improve the overall organisational culture. Creating a better working experience can boost workplace motivation, meaning happier employees and better performance.
Effective benefit solutions are worth their weight in gold when they become part of the culture. But how can you encourage your employees to adopt and engage with your benefits packages?
How to encourage employees to use their employee benefits
Give your employee something they need
We've outlined why it's a bad idea to offer benefits that no one really wants. So, to keep everyone happy, find out what employees want from their benefits program.
The best way to find out what your team needs is by communicating with employees about their desired benefits. Surveys, focus groups and suggestion boxes are all good ways to determine what benefits your employees need. Then it's up to you to listen and give your employees what they need.
Giving employees the right benefits can massively affect your organisation's ability to attract and retain top talent. As the cost of living rises, employee benefits are becoming ever more important as the influence of salary lowers. Providing valuable benefits can be the difference between you losing and keeping some of your best employees.
Assess and Reassess
Employers must assess and reassess their benefits solution to ensure your benefits platform remains relevant and up-to-date with employees' benefit needs. Quarterly or annual reviews of your current benefits program help to identify if the system is working and where it can be improved.
If you look back, your benefits solution today will most likely look completely different compared to how it was 3 years ago. Over the past three years, the UK has undergone dramatic changes, and so have employee benefits needs have changed. Employees have gone from wanting more healthcare benefits during covid-19 to demanding cost-saving benefits to help with the rising cost of living. Evaluating your benefits platform lets you stay on top of your employees' needs and helps keep employee satisfaction high.
Lead by Example
The best way to communicate benefits to employees is by employing a supportive and positive working culture to encourage employees to get the most out of their benefit solution.
Some employees may be apprehensive about using benefit platforms if their peers aren't using them. Showing your support in taking up employee benefits can encourage your staff to take the benefits on board.
Offer Easy Access
Many employees are overwhelmed by most of the benefits they are provided, and many are unaware of how they access them.
Offering a clear and user-friendly platform to house your benefits is an effective way for employees to access everything they have been provided. A one-stop employee benefits hub is the best option to display all your benefits in one place. A benefits hub removes the frustration and makes accessing your benefits a straightforward task.
Digital benefit hubs are also a great way to increase the accessibility of employee benefits. Implementing an app or SSO can help employees access all their benefits wherever they are.
Make Benefits Easy to Understand
As an employer, you may already know about salary sacrifice schemes and their meaning. Still, to an employee, salary sacrifice may sound daunting. Often employee benefit platforms are filled with detailed and complicated information about each benefit's ins and outs, which can throw off many employees. Ensuring you effectively communicate your benefits and what they mean is equally important.
Communicate through the proper channels
Employee benefits communication can be difficult, especially with remote and hybrid employees.
Most employers will only communicate an employee's benefits during recruitment, and are rarely spoken about again. Some employees will share updates and changes to employees benefits via email. However, most employees will merely take a glance before carrying on with their work.
To ensure employees are genuinely aware of their benefits, employers must frequently communicate with employees the right way, through the right channels.
Employee benefits communication can be more effective when it's done in person through a meeting or a demonstration. An interactive walkthrough of employee benefits can allow employees to understand what they have and how they can access them. In-person demonstration also allows employees to ask questions and hear how their benefits can support them.
This method can be repeated via online conference software for remote and hybrid employees. Ensuring your whole team is up to date on their employee benefits knowledge.
Organisations should also continue to use digital, print and face to face communication to share benefit information across the team to maximise engagement.
Not Happy With Your Current Benefits?
Employees are generally happier, more productive, and more motivated when they engage with their benefits. This means better performances, more sales, better service and more success. So, it's crucial that your employees are happy with the benefits that you are providing.
Providing a one-stop accessible hub for all your employee benefits can massively encourage your employees to take up and engage with your benefits solution.