COVID-19 changed our lives in many ways, with many of the services we were used to accessing becoming unavailable due to lockdown measures across the UK.
Whilst there is light at the end of the tunnel for restrictions being lifted, after they are removed, COVID-19 will have changed the way many businesses operate and the way people work.
It will be important to take a fresh look at your employee benefits engagement strategy to ensure it is relevant and will achieve your HR and business goals.
Make sure your benefits are fit for purpose
Before thinking about ways to engage your people with their benefits, it’s important to review your current benefits offering to ensure it is still fit for purpose. With more and more people working from home, this is likely to have affected the value some of the benefits offer to your people. If your current offering doesn’t support people in a remote environment, it is likely that they are no longer as valuable.
It is important to consider how your benefits support people with their wellbeing from home. If you have an EAP, for example, does it offer virtual counselling sessions or online resources? Or does your Private Medical Insurance offer a virtual GP? It’s important to analyse this to see if value could be added elsewhere.
With many teams working remotely, there is also going to be a lack of the usual support networks they get working together in the office. It’s important here to look at what benefits might help to replace this? Do your wellness benefits, for example, offer competitive challenges to promote keeping fit and healthy at home? It’s these things that are likely to add value for your team and keep your benefits relevant.
Make your benefits more accessible
The next thing to consider is where do your people go to access their benefits? How easy is it for your people to access their rewards? With a large proportion of people working from home, it’s now even more crucial to ensure your benefits are easy to access outside of the workplace.
Mobile integration is now even more vital as many of your people won’t want to log on to their computer to access their benefits and use mobile technology as their primary source of engagement. Using mobile centric engagement and messaging is a powerful tool in 2021 and is likely to help cut through the email chatter many now experience in the remote working environment so it is essential your people can access your benefits this way.
Help your people better understand their benefits
Many people do not know what benefits they have and if they do then they often do not understand them. It is key to a successful benefit programme that you ensure you showcase your offering in a way that is relevant and helps to better understand the value they offer.
As an example: Do your younger population truly value your income protection policy? Have a look at how you are providing this information. Is providing a document setting out the terms going to communicate the value it offers them?
It’s important here to focus on what your rewards package offers the individual as your benefits will be valuable in different ways for each member of your team so find ways to explain how they support an individual’s circumstances. This may mean different messages accessed in different ways to get your message across effectively.
Having a good benefits package doesn’t mean your people will automatically engage with it. It is vital to ensure you are promoting in a way that makes them relevant and interesting to your team. Try to avoid using too much text, simply showcase the benefits in a short, concise way and that looks in line with your benefits brand to build a sense of familiarity.
Personalisation methods help to make your benefits relevant to the individual in order for them to better understand why they matter to them, meaning your people will be better informed not just what the benefit is, but of it’s relevance to them. This was they are much more likely to engage with them.
Think about the media you are using. Is another email really going to have the desired impact?
Technology can really help you to drive engagement and relieve the pressure on your HR team, allowing you to focus on the things that make the most difference.
You hold a wealth of information (data) about your employees so use technology to interrogate this and issue communications which are both timely and specific to the individual.
For example, your HR data will tell you when someone in your business has recently had a child. The technology can use this data to send them a ’nudge’, prompting them to take relevant action, whether that is to add the new addition to the family to their Private Medical Insurance policy or to do what many do at times of big change like this and think long term about their big financial goals.
By doing this, you can ensure you are communicating with your people on events that are important to them and helping them see how their benefits are relevant to them at key life moments. This can increase engagement and be a powerful way to help your people make better, more informed decisions on their benefits and ultimately increasing the value they place on the benefits you provide.
Download our new guide
Engaging your people with their employee benefits can be challenging, but with the right strategy it can increase value for your people and ensure you get the most from your investment. Our latest guide dives deeper into the four factors that are crucial for employee benefits engagement success and explores how data can take your strategy to the next level.