The REED Reward Team were proud winners of the ‘Most Strategic Communications for Large Organisations’ award at the Reward Gateway 2018 Engagement Excellence Awards after a year spent improving the reward culture here at REED. Our Head of Reward, Marianne Ginis, gives her top tips on improving employee benefits engagement
1. Find out what’s being used, and what employees want
Before you begin setting any plans in place, it’s important to assess the current situation. Begin by running uptake reports on your current benefits to find out which are being used most and which are underutilised. You should then follow this up with employee surveys to help understand what is important to your workforce and what improvements they would like to see.
2. Build an attractive benefits package
The next step is to use the information you have gathered to build a more appealing benefits offering. Add new benefits based on what your employees have said they want in the survey and consider removing existing ones that are not valued, especially if they are costly. Some of the most valued benefits, like gym discounts or other wellbeing schemes, can be very cost effective and have a big impact on employees.
3. Make benefits easy to find and easy to use
Next, focus on accessibility and ease of use. Make sure information on benefits is easily accessible and written clearly, signposting points of contact and detailing all relevant information in one place. Make use of your benefits platform and use new features as they become available. Benefit providers are always improving their products, so take advantage of any upgrades they offer.
4. Create an annual communications plan
Once the infrastructure is in place, it’s time to make sure employees know about the new benefits offering. Look beyond the launch, it’s easy to forget about promoting something after the big reveal, but continuous communication is key to keeping engagement levels up. Create a communications plan for the year and put reminders in your diary. Consider employee retention levels – if your organisation suffers from high employee turnover then communicate more frequently. Another great tactic is to get employees involved in the promotion of benefits. Running competitions is a good way to get employees to look at their benefits package.
5. Review, learn, improve
Monitoring usage and adapting your benefits is essential to keeping employee engagement levels up. Track uptake of new benefits and review annually to assess whether your approach is effective. Learn from what works well, improve the plan for next year and keep at it. Employees’ needs will change so make sure you are adapting your benefits strategy accordingly.