85% more likely to work for firms with clearly labelled benefits
(Cover Magazine – 15th December 2017)
Some 85% of employees are more likely to work for employers offering clearly labelled benefits, research from Canada Life has found.
This figure was even higher for employees aged 25 to 34, with 94% agreeing better labelling would help their decision. Nearly a third (31%), however, said they wished their employer would provide more information about their benefits.
The survey also found employer communication regarding benefits was often sporadic, with just over a third (37%) of respondents stating their employer was very transparent and helpful when it came to workplace benefits.
A fifth of employees (19%) said they received information about their benefits when they first joined, but never again after that while more than one in 10 (13%) said they would have no idea who to ask for further information.
The provider said this suggested workers value benefits when choosing a new job position yet often struggle to understand what they are being offered, indicating clearer employee benefit information was needed to successfully recruit and retain staff.
Given the ever-increasing competition to attract the best new talent, employers should be clear what benefits are available in their company and the value they bring to staff, said Canada Life marketing director Paul Avis.
“Our research has shown employees do consider what benefits are available to them when deciding which employer to work for, and rightly so, but is enough being done to communicate their value?” he continued. “In a period of low wage inflation, so much more can be done to clearly communicate the value of what an organisation has already paid for.
“It is very encouraging to see younger employees in particular are taking such an interest in workplace benefits. There does, however, seem to be a worrying lack of clarity about what is available and who employees should direct their enquiries to. Proactive, ongoing messaging with clear internal ownership is needed.”
The research also indicated a third (32%) of respondents believed it was the responsibility of the employer to ensure benefits were clearly understood by staff.
A fifth (20%), however, pinned responsibility on both employers and product providers or insurers, while a similar proportion said they felt responsible as an individual (19%) – peaking at a third (33%) of respondents aged 25 to 34. Canada Life said this sense of responsibility implied a higher level of engagement with non-salary benefits from younger workers.
Avis added: “Insurers and advisers have a role to play in providing information and materials to help give employers the tools to drive positive conversations around their benefit packages. With a raft of superb communications in many different formats available to them, employers should actively engage with all their benefits providers to see what they can provide.”
Pensions, benefits and actuarial firm Quantum Advisory has meanwhile argued providing workplace benefits that suited and supported employees’ lifestyles were the key to true engagement.
The firm’s principal risk and benefits consultant, Pauline Iles said: “Employee benefits mean far more than the odd ‘work perk’ in today’s job market, and employers are waking up to the fact an attractive salary alone is not sufficient to entice new talent and ensure continuous engagement.
“Organisations must get inside the heads of their employees and put a selection of benefits on the table that really make sense to them.”
Thanks to the increasing sophistication of flexible benefit platforms, Ies said, it had never been so easy to implement a high-calibre programme to allow employees to add “what they want when they want”.
“There is little point in investing in providing a benefit if people do not know it is available, so a clear and consistent communications strategy should underpin any benefits programme,” she added.