Of the employers who offer menopause support, one in five (18%) only communicate on the subject on a quarterly or less frequent basis, according to new research from Peppy. More positively, 40% do communicate on a weekly basis but nevertheless, the digital health platform suggests that many menopausal employees may not receive the support they need because they are unaware of its availability.
Kathy Abernethy, Director of Menopause Services, Peppy said: “The communication of employee benefits serves several purposes – from alerting staff of its availability to encouraging usage. For it to be really effective it’s important that a range of communication methods are used, and that a range of messages are delivered.”
Types of menopause communication
Of the employers who offer menopause support, the preferred method of communication on the subject is a dedicated benefits platform (54%); however, while this can be effective, Peppy warns that this alone may not be enough to engage all employees. A company intranet site is the next most popular (47%) followed by physical posters and flyers (35%). Email is only used as a communication channel for menopause support by 13% of employers; and 13% also offer talks, seminars, presentations and video online.
Kathy Abernethy continued: “It’s great that menopause is becoming less of a taboo subject in the workplace, but employers may be missing an opportunity by not being more creative in how they communicate the support they offer. Presentations, seminars and talks can really bring it to life, and we’d encourage more employers to explore different ways to communicate the support they offer if they want to improve employee engagement.”
Peppy believes that the communication of specific areas of support is vital when it comes to the menopause, for instance, the support available for specific symptoms. Despite this stage in life increasing in profile, stereotypically it is associated with hot flushes and night sweats. However, it is perfectly possible for an employee to have other symptoms, which they may not be aware are associated with the menopause. By not communicating specific messages about this, such as the wide array of symptoms, employers may not be supporting their staff as effectively as they could.
Kathy Abernethy comments: “Communication is often more effective when it’s specific, for instance, it can really help for messaging to include information on the signs and symptoms of menopause and of peri menopause – this can help raise awareness and broaden employees’ knowledge.”
The transition into menopause can take over a decade for some, and the symptoms can fluctuate in type and severity during this time. As well as well-documented symptoms, such as hot flushes, employees can experience a number of lesser-known issues from hair loss to insomnia.
For many people, symptoms can appear quite gradually, and it is often when the number or severity of these symptoms starts to impede on the individual’s quality of life and can affect work, that they start to investigate or address the cause. By having dedicated workplace support which clearly explains symptoms and issues, employees will be better able to identify if they are experiencing menopause and be able to make good use of the support available whilst remaining productive and committed to their employer.