Assurant uses employee forums for face-to-face benefits communication

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Mobile and electronics protection organisation Assurant uses quarterly update meetings with employee forum representatives to cascade information about its voluntary benefits scheme to its 1,000 employees across three UK sites.

A member of the HR team attends each quarterly meeting with representatives from the organisation’s two employee forums in order to share benefits updates and collect staff feedback. The meetings enable employee forum representatives to engage in face-to-face communications with employees. The idea for the organisation’s introduction of a voluntary benefits package in September 2016 originated from one such meeting.

Annie Guest, HR business partner at Assurant, said: “A lot of our benefits [communication] goes face-to-face through our forums. I think face-to-face [communications are] really powerful.”

Digital signage around the UK office sites further promotes benefits, and delivers specific benefits messaging every 15 minutes. Employees that have registered for the organisation’s online shopping portal receive tailored, automated emails, and staff are sent a digital benefits statement every quarter. Assurant’s recruitment proposition is based around its employee benefits package, so it issues targeted communications for potential employees and new starters. This includes discussing benefits during the induction process.

To compete against online discount sites, Assurant has implemented a personalised communications approach, publishes in-house case studies and shares anonymised data about what benefits are being used. “We’re trying to get the point across that it’s easier if it comes through us,” adds Guest.

These form part of a wider annual communications strategy, which aims to drip feed information to staff on a little-and-often basis. “We will identify which messages are going to which segmented group and by what channel,” says Guest.

Assurant is currently looking at how to deliver targeted childcare voucher messages to maternity leavers.

At September 2017, 807 of the organisation’s 1,000 employees, as well as 204 family members, were registered to use its benefits portal.

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