Many employers offer a wealth of benefits to staff, but too often employees do not take them up.
Classic benefits packages often miss a trick by not being placed alongside broader wellbeing benefits, such as flexible working arrangements. By thinking in terms of ‘bits of people’, rather than looking at the whole person, benefits can be one-dimensional and unappealing. However, packaging benefits together in a holistic framework makes them more ‘human’ and enables staff to cherry-pick those relevant to them.
Too often, information about benefits is only communicated once, making it hard for staff to find out what is actually available. Positioning benefits under a recognisable internal brand and promoting it regularly will boost visibility and recognition while keeping the offer relevant.
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Moreover, if just one person is responsible for communicating benefits, it is unlikely they will cover everything. By engaging with HR and occupational health teams, benefits are likely to become more integrated into organisational practices.
And do not forget line managers; having a one-page document outlining benefits for them to discuss with staff during one-to-ones or annual reviews can help signpost staff to under-utilised benefits.
Good communication of benefits can boost employee engagement and improve staff survey scores, and by having an open, transparent and accessible employee benefits offer, organisations can position themselves as an employer of choice.
Louise Aston is wellbeing at work director at Business in the Community