Published: 31st January 2023
HOW TO INCREASE THE UPTAKE OF YOUR EMPLOYEE BENEFIT OFFERING
When engagement is high, employee benefits are an investment, and you can measure the ROI in various ways.
However, when your employees don't engage with the benefits you offer, they don’t experience the wellbeing improvements that follow. The knock-on effect is that the business then doesn't benefit from a healthier and more motivated workforce. Unfortunately, what should be an investment in your employees' financial, physical, and mental health becomes an expense that may be difficult to justify.
Employees want help making their salaries stretch further, especially during the current cost of living crisis. So why could you be experiencing poor uptake?
Causes of Low Engagement
There are several reasons your employees may not be engaging with your employee benefits package, and we’ll highlight a few.
The Benefits aren’t Right for your People
To assess whether your benefits are the best choice for your employees, you’ll need to start from the very beginning and review why you chose to offer them in the first place. If the answer isn’t ‘because they’re what our people told us they wanted,’ then you’ve identified one of the potential causes of low engagement.
When deciding what benefits you’ll offer your people, it’s best to start with them, collecting feedback and data on their wants and needs.
Many things will impact the responses, including the age range of your workforce. This is especially true when considering what physical wellbeing benefits to offer.
Research undertaken in 2019 on private medical insurance (PMI) usage suggested that the highest rate of people dropping their PMI was among those in the 25 to 34 age range.
This doesn’t mean that health isn’t important to that group because statistics show that Millennials, ranging from age 25 to 40, are most likely to have a gym membership, with Generation X, ranging from age 42 to 57, not too far behind.
Insights like this, alongside data gathered from your people, will help you decide what health benefits will be most well received by your workforce. Some may appreciate a corporate gym membership, others may want access to an Online GP but don’t feel the need for PMI, and of course, there will be those that would make great use of all three options.
The Systems aren’t User-Friendly
When you have a variety of benefits, it’s essential to have everything accessible from one location, such as an employee benefits platform.
Having a selection of benefits that offer an inclusive and personalised wellbeing strategy is essential, but if your employees need to search for them in different places, it impacts their experience.
People love convenience, and if accessing their benefits takes too many steps or too much time, they won’t engage with it.
If you offer money-saving discounts as part of your EVP, they need to be accessible via an employee benefits app so that your people can access their discounts when they’re on the go.
The Available Benefits aren’t Effectively Communicated
When new employees join a business, they’ll be made aware of all the benefits available to them. However, lots of information is shared as part of the induction process. During the first few days and weeks, your new recruit is trying to retain the information they need to get going in their new role. There’s a lot to take in, and the employee benefits and systems used to access them could easily be forgotten.
Keep the communication continuous.
Here at Sodexo Engage, we have a team dedicated to communicating the offers available to your people. As well as sending special offers and updates, they provide your business with content you can adapt to your business needs.
Complement this by ensuring your internal communications team regularly share details on the employee benefits available to your workforce.
Increasing the Uptake
Having highlighted the need to ensure that the benefits you offer are suitable for your people, they’re easily accessible and regularly communicated, let’s look at how you can increase uptake.
We know that employees need support in stretching their wages further to cover the rising cost of their household bills. You can provide this support via an employee discount platform or an employee cashback card that allows your people to earn up to 15% cashback at participating retailers.
These financial wellbeing benefits can make a real difference to your employees’ entire household, and yet, you may find that not everyone takes advantage. This is because we’re creatures of habit and often need encouragement to change – even if the change is for the better.
Before rolling out the new money-saving benefits, provide employees with financial education and access to money management apps. This step is incredibly beneficial for planting the seed for your financial wellbeing strategy.
Launch a Kick-Off Event
Once you’re ready to roll out your new employee benefits, launch a kick-off event to ensure everyone knows about it. Whether this is held as a company-wide presentation or team-specific, it’s an opportunity to show your people how and where they can use their new benefits, whether they’re financial, physical or mental wellbeing packages.
You can also use events to reinforce the financial education piece because you can provide tangible examples of how much money your people could save on everyday essentials. When you paint a picture of how they can use these savings to help pay for the cost of rising bills, contribute to the expense on Christmas, or even fuel their car, you’re emphasising that the power to save is in their hands – they just need to make the most of it.
This process is even more essential when introducing an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) because there is so much information available. Whilst access to BCAP-accredited counsellors 24/7 and the My Best Possible Self app are stand-out features, the more your people get out of their EAP, the more positive the impact on their mental wellbeing.
Embed the Employee Benefits your People Want & Need with Sodexo Engage
Sodexo Engage has been proudly supporting HR professionals in boosting the wellbeing of their people for over 60 years. We understand that no business operates in the same way and that every workforce has a diverse range of needs.
Chat with an employee engagement and wellbeing expert today. They’ll talk you through our award-winning employee benefits and how to select the best options for your business and people.