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How to communicate your employee benefits effectively

uploaded on 24 July 2023

Effective communication of employee benefits is the key to driving uptake of your programme and attracting and retaining talent. Read our top ten tips for getting your employee benefit communications right.

By Melissa Gannaway and Courtney Dobson, Edenred Client Communications team

                       

Effective communication of employee benefits is essential if you want your scheme to deliver full value and have maximum uptake.

Developing a strategy to communicate your launch and sustain your employee benefits is not as straightforward as it might seem though. From how you time your communications, to the channels and tactics you use, your success depends on many different nuances that help make sure your efforts have the right impact.

Based on our experience of working with our clients, here are our top 10 tips for driving awareness and action.  

Top 10 tips for getting your employee benefits communication right

 

  1. Be timely
    In the run up to launch, build excitement by giving employees a heads up about what’s to come. However, any ‘teaser’ needs to be timely and transparent. Being vague about what you are going to be offering (and when) is only likely to create a sense of mistrust. When you’re sure of your launch date, we suggest you go live with your teaser communications one to two weeks in advance.
    You should also be thinking about the other communications coming out of the organisation too. People don’t distinguish between communications received from HR vs IT, or other departments, so make sure you complement what they are saying, and avoid clashing with any big announcements.
  2. Be clear
    Provide clarity about the benefits of your benefits! Here’s an example of the key messages we would use when launching a benefits and discount scheme:
    We’re launching a new benefits and discounts scheme with your physical, financial and mental wellbeing in mind
    We’ve chosen benefits that will complement and support your lifestyle
    We’re aware of the pressure on the cost of living: we have 100s of discounts that can help make your money go further
    You can download the savings app to access discounts on the go
    Here’s what you need to do
    This is when we’re launching
  3. Cover all touch points
    Create your supporting communications – this should include posters, demo videos, emails, how-to guides, and FAQs to name a few.

    If you are an Edenred customer, we provide these for you. Don’t forget to check in regularly, because we’re constantly adding new evergreen content!

    Next, map out the internal communications channels you can use to get your message across. For example, if your organisation uses Teams or Slack, set up a channel where you can share the latest news and discounts. This is a great way get the conversation going among employees.
    You know best what channels and tactics work for your organisation, so make use of these. Also, don’t be afraid of doing something different now and again to really catch peoples’ attention. Don’t forget about those who are offline – how will you best reach them? Utilise heavy footfall areas such as coffee and lunch areas, locker rooms, bathrooms
  4. Be accessible
    Around 18% of people in the UK have a disability, so you must make sure all your materials are accessible. Carry out a WCAG AA accessibility audit. Add subtitles, label docs and images with alt-text, and avoid ‘click here’ on links to help people who use screen readers. Also, avoid text in imagery. It’s not accessible for people with sight loss – there's only so much you can say in alt-text (the text you add to explain what an image is for those with screen readers).
  5. Engage line managers
    Line managers are a critical channel for getting your message across, but they are not always used as well as they can be. Line managers are your benefits champions, so ensure they have all the information they need before launch. Ask them to play demo videos at team meetings, share how-to guides and add wellbeing benefits to 1-2-1 meeting agendas.
    Managers should also give their team time to explore what’s on offer. Let them know what’s in it for them. Explain how improving take up of benefits will boost the financial and physical wellbeing (and hence performance) of their team.

    If you’re an Edenred customer, you have a handy engagement dashboard too that you can show managers to explain why their support is needed and how it’s helping – the proofs in the numbers.

  6. Target new starters
    Engage new employees at the start of their journey with you. It’s the time when people are most receptive to learning about benefits. Make sure benefits are a key part of your new starter induction process – whether you do welcome emails, face-to-face induction days or new starter packs – there’s plenty of opportunity to share.  
  7. Engage face-to-face
    Typically, we see a 60+% increase in engagement compared to the previous month following face-to-face events. Webinars are useful too, indeed essential if most of your people work from home. Pick your timing well. Consider what else is going on in the business and when people are likely to be in the office. Wednesday and Thursday, around lunchtime, are usually the best times to hold a webinar or roadshow events. 
  8. Repeat and repeat again (…but keep the message fresh)
    People need to hear a message seven times before they are able to retain it. Repeat messaging in different ways to drive awareness and get people to act.  Be creative too. One of our customers recently created TikTok style videos starring senior leaders and the impact in awareness and take up was huge.
    Create a calendar of awareness days, events, and seasonal promotions to tie in messaging about your benefits. Example: If you have a Cycle2Work scheme, talk about it when it’s National Bike Week, Cycle to Work Day or when there are environment focused days. Think about Black Friday and Christmas too – the best times to get your message about discounts across.
  9. Keep up the momentum
    Showcase your benefits and the best savings available in weekly internal newsletters (if you have one) to keep benefits front of mind.

    If you’re an Edenred customer, we can help you maintain momentum with a weekly email programme that promotes the best deals, webinars and benefit campaigns. This can help take the pressure off you and keep employees engaged. You can opt your employees in to receive the emails from us at any time throughout your scheme. In our experience, this will increase long-term engagement by 50% - so it’s definitely worth doing if possible.

  10. Make benefits a two-way conversation
    Finally, send out regular pulse surveys to check in with employees. Are they using the benefits? Do they know what’s on offer? You may need to rethink your tactics if they don’t.
    Just as importantly, ask your people if they have a story to share. Give your people a voice! Ask them to share their tips on getting the most from their benefits, how much they’ve saved and how much better they feel. Create case studies. Spread the word through social channels like your Teams Channel and Yammer. When all is said and done, there’s nothing quite like word of mouth to help you get the message through.

Communicate employee benefits effectively using Edenred's benefits platform

At Edenred we provide employee benefits and discounts that make a difference to your people’s physical, mental and financial wellbeing. Book a free demo to learn more about how you can communicate the value of your benefits and get maximum return for your investment.

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