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Employees are uninformed about benefits

Sean McSweeney

Research by Chase de Vere, the independent financial and corporate advisers, in conjunction with Lightbulb, an independent research company, shows that many employers aren’t reviewing or effectively communicating their employee benefits packages. Comment from Sean McSweeney, Corporate Advice Manager, Chase de Vere.

The Research consisted of making around 10,000 phone calls to employers which are representative of the UK company population and then conducting in-depth interviews with senior HR decision makers in 300 randomly selected businesses to capture their attitude and current perspective on benefit provision. The research took place from the end of 2016 until mid March 2017.

There is not one over-riding reason why employers provide employee benefits. Many of the reasons are supportive of recruiting and retaining staff while the others are more focused on business goals. They are all perfectly sensible reasons. It is understandable that popularity with staff is the main reason why employers offer their current employee benefits packages. After all, these packages are often used as a mechanism to help recruit and retain good quality employees. It is concerning that nearly one in four employers provide their current benefits range simply because it is their historical offering and these benefits aren’t analysed or reviewed. This is more likely to mean that employers aren’t getting good value for the money they’re spending.

Does your organisation have regular updates on employee benefits?
57 percent of employers said that their organisation did give regular updates on employee benefits. 43 percent said employers said they did not. This is likely to mean that many employees aren’t engaged with their benefits package. How do you communicate with staff about pensions and employee benefits? It is positive that employers are using a wide range of methods to communicate to their staff about pensions and employee benefits. However, the most common methods used don’t allow the employee to confirm their understanding, provide feedback or even acknowledge that they’ve seen the information.

Sean McSweeney, Corporate Advice Manager, Chase de Vere, says: “Employee benefits packages have become a key way for employers to recruit and retain good quality employees. It is therefore important that they offer the right benefits, which are reviewed regularly and communicated effectively. “However, what we’ve found is that nearly a quarter of employers have their benefits package in place for historical reasons, when it probably. isn’t the most appropriate, more than four in ten employers don’t communicate regularly on their employee benefits and the most common communication methods used are not interactive and so there are no guarantees that the core messages are being received and understood. “The result is likely to be that many employers are spending large sums of money on their benefits packages and are getting very little value in return.”

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