In a recent study conducted by Towergate Health & Protection, it was revealed that only 31 percent of employers believe that their employees have a good understanding of the full scope of workplace benefits offered by their companies.
The research, which encompassed businesses of all sizes and industries across the UK, indicates a widespread need for improved communication regarding employee benefits.
With the ever-changing needs of employees and the evolving landscape of support options, it becomes imperative that all workers are well-informed and regularly updated about the complete range of benefits available to them.
Debra Clark, the head of wellbeing at Towergate Health & Protection, highlighted the consequences of inadequate awareness among employees. She stressed that although employees may be aware of certain benefits relevant to their current circumstances, a lack of awareness regarding other available support systems could prove problematic in the future.
For instance, employees might overlook mental health support if they feel it is not immediately applicable to them. But in the event of a sudden mental health crisis, they may struggle to access the necessary help due to their limited knowledge of available resources.
How can you successfully communicate information about the available workplace benefits?
While the research unveiled a concerning lack of awareness among employees, it also brought some positive news. Approximately 68 percent of employers stated that their workers have a good understanding of at least some of the benefits provided by the company. This implies that certain messages are successfully reaching the employees, raising questions as to why this level of understanding is not consistent across the board.
According to experts, employers should carefully examine their communication strategies to address this issue comprehensively. Putting too much emphasis on specific areas of support or relying solely on a couple of communication methods might hinder the dissemination of crucial information. Employees have diverse preferences when it comes to assimilating information, with some favoring face-to-face interactions while others prefer written or online communication. Consequently, it is crucial for employers to implement a wide array of communication methods and ensure that messages are consistently conveyed to keep employees well-informed.
Communication is key
The responsibility of effective benefits communication does not solely fall on the employers; benefits providers, suppliers, and intermediaries can also play a role in improving understanding. Additionally, when selecting which benefits to offer, companies must consider how the support will be communicated. Modern platforms are available that streamline access to various health and wellbeing support options, making it easier for employees to find the resources they need. These platforms often include built-in communication methods that facilitate regular and widespread interactions and engagement.
Debra Clark emphasised the importance of investing in communication alongside health and wellbeing support. Even if a company offers top-tier benefits, without proper awareness, both the employees and the business will fail to reap the rewards. Thus, considering how support will be communicated should be an integral part of the benefits selection process.
In conclusion, the research underscores the need for improved communication strategies to enhance employee understanding of workplace benefits. Employers must adopt a diverse range of communication methods, utilise modern platforms, and ensure regular and widespread interactions to keep employees informed and empowered to make use of the support available to them.
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.