Jo Moffatt: Benefits packages must be properly communicated to engage employees

Jo Moffatt

A true story.

A boardroom north of Milton Keynes.

“Right guys. We’ve just signed off on a brilliant new benefits package, helping improve our people key performance indicators, as well as saving us money.”

“Great. How are we launching it?”

“Luckily, we don’t really have to do anything. The benefits provider has thrown in a communications package. I’m going to write our organisation’s name in the space provided and pop some posters up. Oh, and I’ll bash out an email with a link to the website.”

Six months later.

“We’ve only had a 1% take-up.”

“We don’t understand, how can this be? The benefits package was so compelling?”

All that time, not to mention expense, setting up a fantastic benefits package. Big tick. Then the employer does not communicate it properly. Epic fail. All that effort, only to promote it with generic ‘any name goes here’ communication. Organisations would not dream of doing this for their customers… would they?

Time and time again, organisations make the mistake of treating employees like paupers and customers like princes with the quality of communication. Then they wonder why messages do not get through, scratch their heads at why they’re having to send the same information out again and lament why people have got the wrong end of the stick.

Good communications need care and expertise. As an employer, it invested in the benefits package, so why not the communications to go with it? They need to be developed based on what the employer knows about its employee audience, what motivates them. They should align them with the brand, in the right tone of voice so they feel part of the organisation, driving trust. They need to lead on the benefits (of the benefits), using the right channels and media. Engaging line managers is key. Consider employee champions too. Then the message will really resonate.

There is a cost to getting it wrong. But get it right and employers and employees will reap the rewards.

Jo Moffatt is a core team member and radio show co-host at Engage for Success