44% of employers have increased benefits communication during Covid-19

Just over two in five (44%) of employers have increased employee benefits communications, according to research by Wills Towers Watson.

Its 2020 Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pulse report, which surveyed 996 employers in April 2020, also found that 14% of respondents are planning to increase their benefits communications, while 16% are considering doing so.

Just under one in three (29%) are increasing benefit communication to its employees about pay, with a further one in six (14%) actively planning to do so, and one in five (19%) considering increasing communications.

Additionally, almost one in five (19%) of respondents are holding focus groups with employees, while one in six (15%) are introducing surveys for employees to fill out.

Further findings revealed that the majority (81%) of employers are using social communications like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Whatsapp to communicate with its employees.

To support working parents, just under half (48%) are offering shift flexibility to support those with children. However, 34% are not offering any new changes, while just over one-quarter (24%) are offering other support options.

In terms of pay, nearly one in five (18%) are moving salary review dates as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, while 64% are making adjustments to performance targets during this time. Three in five employers are not reducing base salaries, while 47% of executives and 46% of broader employees’ bonus plans have been directly impacted by the pandemic.

The vast majority of employers (86%) have put measures in place to ensure that their employees feel supported during this time. Additionally, 87% have said that their people have been provided with the right resources to work productively for an extended period of time.

Hazel Reese, GB leader, rewards line of business at Willis Towers Watson, said: “It has been an incredibly challenging time for many businesses as we navigate unchartered waters and take part in what has become the world’s largest work-from-home experiment.

“The Coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on how work gets done and the longer-term implications for employers and employees are far-reaching.”

“This is a defining leadership moment for many organisations. The employers that take strong action to put people first will be the best positioned to enhance employee engagement, restore stability and achieve future business success.”