A quick summary:
Do you have good workplace employee benefits that your employees just aren’t using?
If so, you’re in the right place.
It’s a frequent challenge faced by HR teams of all sizes. You want your employees to be happy and healthy but the employee perks and benefits aren’t being used much. There’s countless reasons why but most often we hear that employees just aren’t aware of the employee benefits available to them.
So how do you spread the word?
Here’s 5 suggestions to help.
1. Educate your employees about workplace benefits during onboarding
It all starts at the beginning. And new starters should be made aware of what benefits are available and how the whole process works.
Are the benefits available right from day 1 or after passing a probation period? How do employees make use of these benefits?
These are questions you should look to be answering during the onboarding process.
But there’s something else important to remember here. New employees often have a lot of information thrown at them during their first few weeks. And so you can run the risk of workplace benefits getting lost in the noise.
After all, most employees are likely going to prioritise learning and development for their role. If you can find a way to implement getting employees set up with your workplace benefits solution into the onboarding process then you’re off to a good start.
But keep in mind that reminders are going to be needed.
2. Help employees to feel comfortable about using workplace benefits
I know when I’ve started new employment, I’m hesitant to get stuck in making the most of any workplace benefits. And your employees are likely thinking the same.
They might be thinking:
“I don’t want to be a hassle”
“I want to prove myself first”
“I don’t want to look like I’m just here for the benefits”
“I’m worried about my new employer tracking what benefits I am using”
All of this is understandable. And as a HR leader, it often falls to you to alleviate these concerns.
Reach out to employees and help them get set up, reassure them it’s fine and address concerns they might be hesitant to share.
One solution we’ve seen is a “benefits pack” - a detailed guide covering what benefits you offer, how it works and any other information the employee needs to know (including who to contact to ask more questions!).
This means they can read through in their own time without the pressure of deadlines, proving good performance, or a looming probation review.
3. Frequent reminders about employee benefits
Things change, especially at faced paced businesses. Employees who were told about the new “employee benefits package” back when it was introduced might have left, replaced by new employees. Perhaps the benefits package itself has changed over time.
The point is, continuous updates and reminders are needed if you really want employees to make the most of their employee benefits. As a HR leader, it’s easy to get tunnel vision when it comes to what employees actually know. After all, you know what benefits are available and how they work, but it doesn’t mean that your employees do.
Monthly internal newsletters are a common solution to this, keeping employees up to date every single month.
But just like those external newsletters you signed up to three years ago and still receive emails from - a lot of people just don’t read them.
Our suggestion? Have a Plan B.
One of the best options we’ve seen is to get team leaders on board. If they can see the value for themselves and their teams, then you’re on to a winner.
4. You need of better employee benefits
Sometimes, the simple answer is the right one. If employees aren’t using workplace benefits then maybe the benefits available just aren’t good.
It’s a tough pill to swallow. And if you’re hesitant you’ve got a few options to find out for sure:
Option 1 - Employee Survey
If you’re not sure what your employees think of the workplace benefits available, then ask them! A simple anonymous survey asking employees if they have utilised benefits, if they like them, and what they dislike can give you all the data you need to start making improvements.
Option 2 - New Employee Benefits Solution
Sometimes, the benefits available just might sound better on paper than they are in practice. We see this all the time with Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) where the occasional high-street store discount just feels lazy. If you’ve fallen into this trap, then maybe it’s time to find a new benefits platform or solution. Check out our article on why EAPs are rubbish if you’re on the fence.
When it comes to looking after your employees, we’ve grown beyond benefits including office parking and a Christmas party. Sometimes existing is exhausting and so supporting your employees mental, physical and financial wellbeing is a big desire for employees.
Managing these as individual and unique employee benefits can be a tough ask. That’s why we’d always recommend using a workplace benefits platform or solution that can manage all this for you.
Not sure what you should be getting from an employee benefits platform? Here’s a free checklist you can use to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
5. Promoting employee benefits shouldn’t be your job!
We get it, if employees aren’t using the benefits you have in place then of course it makes sense to be proactive and drive more employee engagement.
But if you have a good employee benefits platform or provider then they should be doing this for you.
We speak to so many HR pros and business owners that struggle to get employees engaging with their benefits. And that’s why at Heka, we do it all for our customers. We help your employees feel comfortable to use their benefits. We send them consistent email reminders. We send them monthly newsletters to keep up engagement.
And you shouldn’t expect any less from an employee benefits platform.
If you want to take your employee benefits to the next level, book a demo to see what Heka is all about.