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It’s the time of year when many companies are reviewing and assessing the success of their employee benefits programme and deciding whether to renew for another year or add in some new benefits or products. But if the programme isn’t getting as much engagement as it should be, then there are five key steps to take to help change that.

Here are some simple steps to take to support an employee benefits package:

Consult with employees
If it is time to renew, don’t just do it automatically, or based on cost, talk to the employees first to find out whether they use or value the benefits which they have access to. It might be that they would much prefer a completely different benefit that could save the business money, but the company won’t know unless it asks the question.

Communicate clearly
Once a benefits package has been renewed or bought, don’t bombard the employees with long policy documents and technical jargon and hope they read it. They won’t. Create a communications plan which breaks down the information into easy to read chunks and drip feed it gradually.

It’s not enough to communicate once at launch or renewal, the business needs to communicate throughout the year, perhaps linking health and wellbeing benefits to health and wellbeing campaigns like Stoptober, or Men’s Health Week.

Personalise benefits where possible
Don’t just assume that one type of benefit will suit all staff. With varied workforces it’s important to offer benefits that are going to be relevant and accessible for a variety of people of different age groups and life positions.

It can be easy to assume older workers only want pension information and younger people want extra holiday but that is not necessarily the case. Understanding the company’s demographic and talking to  team members will help the business provide benefits that are relevant and useful.

Make use of healthcare technology
A lot of health and wellbeing benefits now come with platforms, apps and technology to make them easier to access 24/7. Employees with smart watches can link them up to health programmes to benefit from rewards while they exercise.

Crisis mental health apps offering online chat messaging and phone counselling for staff can provide a vital outlet for staff when they need it most.

Providing benefits which have these types of services and connections not only help people to engage more, they are expected in this day and age, to complement the more straightforward benefits.

Employee benefits can help the company to attract and retain the best talent, but it’s important to make sure the programme is working effectively.

By following these steps, listening to what employees say about benefits, communicating effectively and ensuring programmes are interactive and offer easy access through good use of technology, HR teams will see improved engagement and better value for the business.

Brett Hill, Distribution Director – Towergate Health & Protection

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