Hitachi Data Systems takes broad approach to flex communications

Hitachi Data Systems has run its flexible benefits scheme, Benefits Direct, for three years.

It uses a variety of methods to communicate with employees about their flex choices about four weeks ahead of the enrolment window.

The strategy involves Hitachi putting posters up around its offices to tell employees the flex system is due to open soon. Then, on the day the flex window opens, a desk drop of information is carried out.

Carol Baylis, Europe, Middle East and Africa total rewards director, says: “Last year, on everyone’s desk we put a drinking bottle with our Benefits Direct logo on it, a drinks mat and a leaflet in the shape of the drinks bottle, telling them about their benefits and that they can make their elections. This year we did the same, but we offered a mouse mat and a little pack of Post-it notes with information.”

During the flex enrolment period, Hitachi emails employees telling them of the time they have left to make their benefits choices, and hosts a benefits fair in its two largest offices, where staff can meet the benefits providers.

The organisation also has some benefits that are available for employees to take up throughout the year, such as childcare vouchers, bikes for work and AA car membership.

“Once a month we send out an email saying, ‘how to make the best of the benefits available to you’, and we’ll pick one of the benefits and give [employees] more information around that,” says Baylis.

A mix of communication methods works best to relay the flex offering to employees, she says. “You get to employees in different ways. The most effective thing is the desk drop because it’s tangible; it’s there when staff come into the office.”  

Carol Baylis is speaking on the role of flex technology in employee benefits management at Employee Benefits Live on 26 September 2013

Read the full version of the Flexible Benefits supplement.