65% believe UK staff have low understanding of benefits


Around two-thirds (65%) of UK employers and 43% in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region believe that their employees’ understanding of workplace benefits is low or very low, according to research by Aon Employee Benefits.

Its 2015 EMEA Employee benefits communication survey, which surveyed 1,149 organisations across 28 countries within the EMEA region, 276 of which were in the UK, found that 86% of organisations currently handle benefits communications internally.

The research also found:

  • 72% of UK respondents and 73% of EMEA respondents communicate their compensation and benefits packages to employees (excluding payslips).
  • 65% of UK respondents are unhappy with the impact benefits communications have on staff.
  • 51% are planning to utilise online benefits communication via benefits portals within the next 12 months.
  • 64% view segmenting their audience and providing targeted information as essential for improving the impact of their communications in the future.
  • 86% of UK and 90% of EMEA respondents handle benefit communications internally, while 14% of UK and 10% of EMEA respondents use one or more external providers.
  • 53% of UK and 33% of EMEA respondents plan to use total reward statements in future. 30% in the UK and 24% in EMEA already do so.
  • 51% of UK and 36% of EMEA respondents plan to use an online benefits portal. 40% in the UK and 29% in EMEA already do so.
  • 48% of UK and 46% of EMEA respondents plan to make more of an impact by segmenting their staff, providing targeted information and developing personalised communications.

Jon Bryant, head of online and communication at Aon Employee Benefits, said: “UK organisations that are satisfied with the impact of their benefit communications have certain things in common. They communicate frequently; 53% do it several times a year, and they use a range of media to do so.

“The survey shows a similar picture in the EMEA region, [because] organisations that are satisfied with the impact of their benefits communication, communicate frequently.

“Technology is progressing rapidly, supporting both employer communication needs and those of employees, so they can better understand their benefits and entire financial situation.

“In one secure portal, an employee can now see all their company-funded benefits along with their own finances.

“By providing employees with full financial awareness like this, employee engagement and understanding of benefits increases. For instance, when an employee can see where he or she could save money, perhaps through shopping discounts, they can put more savings towards their retirement.”