One third of employees unclear about workplace benefits

Employers are not doing enough to communicate workplace benefits to staff, according to new research*. A third (34 per cent) of employees – equivalent to 11.2 million people – wish their employer would communicate more about the workplace benefits available to them.

One in five (20 per cent) received information about the benefits available to them when they first joined but never again, while one in ten (9 per cent) have no idea which benefits, if any, are available to them. The lack of communication represents a real problem for employers because when implemented properly, workplace benefits improve employee wellbeing and create a happier, healthier workplace environment.

Table 1: Lack of communication of workplace benefits to employees

Despite the distinct absence of clear communication, most employees believe that their employer adopts a positive approach towards their wellbeing. Three quarters (75 per cent) of employees think that their wellbeing is important to their employer, rising to 83 per cent for employees aged 18-34.

However, employers can do more to improve the perception that they take employee wellbeing seriously. Two fifths (40 per cent) of employees feel more positive about their employer if they offer an annual bonus, or would if they don’t already offer one, and a third (33 per cent) said the same for private medical insurance.

In terms of protection products, across all age groups employees would feel more positive about their employer if they offered them income protection (31 per cent), life insurance (26 per cent) or critical illness cover (25 per cent) over a gym membership (20 per cent). Only 18-34-year-olds would feel more positive about their employer if they were offered a gym membership over critical illness cover (23 per cent vs. 17 per cent) and would still prefer to be offered life insurance (24 per cent) or income protection (29 per cent). Overall, the proportion of employees who would feel more positive about their employer if they were offered protection products increases with age.

In an effort to communicate workplace benefits clearly to employees, or advertise perks already in place, employers should regularly re-evaluate their communication channels. Over half (56 per cent) of employees would prefer to receive information on workplace benefits via email, followed by face-to-face interactions (29 per cent) and an intranet hub (26 per cent).

Commenting on the research, Paul Avis, Marketing Director at Canada Life Group Insurance, said,

Employers should re-evaluate their communication methods and learn what works for their employees. Our research suggests a renewed focus on email updates, face-to-face communication or an internal intranet system is a good place to start to fully articulate the availability of workplace benefits and give regular updates. This will ensure that all staff members understand which perks are available to them and will ultimately improve their perception of their employer.

*from Canada Life Group Insurance


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Aphrodite is a creative writer and editor specialising in publishing and communications. She is passionate about undertaking projects in diverse sectors. She has written and edited copy for media as varied as social enterprise, art, fashion and education. She is at her most happy owning a project from its very conception, focusing on the client and project research in the first instance, and working closely with CEOs and Directors throughout the consultation process. Much of her work has focused on rebranding; messaging and tone of voice is one of her expertise, as is a distinctively unique writing style in my most of her creative projects. Her work is always driven by the versatility of language to galvanise image and to change perception, as it is by inspiring and being inspired by the wondrous diversity of people with whom paths she crosses cross!

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