Blog

How to create a stellar employee communication plan

uploaded on 3 January 2024

Whether you are promoting a reward and recognition scheme, employee benefits, a savings scheme, or another initiative to drive performance, the evidence is clear, an effective communication plan will boost the impact of these initiatives on your people goals.

 

Research shows that three quarters of employees are more likely to stay with their employer thanks to a competitive benefits package which supports all aspects of their wellbeing. A strong benefits offering is also a key consideration for job hunters too, but people need to be aware of and understand the benefits scheme to engage with it. This is where communication comes in. A client saw the number of their people log on to check their employee benefits scheme leap from 41% to 71% following a new approach to comms. Conversely, studies show that where employee schemes have poor awareness or are poorly understood due to a lack of effective communications, the take up can drop well below 50% of the workforce.

While the business case for having an effective comms plan is clear, devising one can feel daunting for anyone who isn’t a comms-trained professional. If you are a reward or engagement specialist tasked with writing a new comms plan or wish to review the effectiveness of an existing plan, here are our guiding principles to communicate it.

 

7-point communication plan

 

  1. Think audience first
    Know your audience is the first commandment of effective comms. To achieve this, group or segment staff into demographics, such as age and stage of life, work patterns, geographical location, preferred communication channel etc., and tailor your comms approach to each group. Of course, don't tailor comms to the extend that people are cut out of certain benefits - just because someone is in their early 20s, doesn't mean they shouldn't be thinking about their pension. Across all groups make sure you use a tone of voice that is consistent with that of your organisation and appeals to each demographic.
  2. Cut through the noise
    Your teams need to be aware of a scheme and understand how it benefits them or they won’t engage with it. In a world where people are bombarded with information in and outside of work, ensuring your message is heard above the noise can be a challenge. What other communications are coming out of the organisation? People don’t distinguish between messages received from HR, IT or other departments, so make sure you complement what they are saying, and avoid clashing with any big announcements. Devise a comms plan based around the promotion lifecycle of your products and optimum dates and times to send comms in your organisation.
  3. Cover all touch points
    You can increase the likelihood that your message will be seen or heard by mixing up comms channels. Generational preferences make it more likely that a young person will engage with video over written content. Equally, there may be a point when they require a more detailed understanding which is better achieved reading longer form content. Map out your communication requirements in terms of purpose, frequency, audience and time to produce. This will help you decide the best mix for each message or campaign. 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. Leverage line managers
    It’s a win-win situation. The more you support line managers to encourage staff to use engagement tools the greater the impact on team wellbeing, performance, and retention. Ensure they have all the information they need before launch and keep the conversation going afterwards. Ask them to play demo videos at team meetings, share how-to guides and add occassional check-ins with regards to taking up wellbeing benefits. Managers can also provide space for their team to explore what’s on offer. Let them know what’s in it for them, and make it as clear as possible for managers who are time-poor.
  5. Be accessible
    Around 18% of people in the UK have a disability, so ensure that all your materials are accessible. Conduct 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).
  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 employee benefits.
  7. Make it a two-way conversation
    Finally, ensure you gather data and staff feedback on comms to evaluate their effectiveness and where appropriate adjust your messaging and content to strengthen your approach.

 

By Melissa Gannaway and Courtney Dobson, Edenred Client Communications team

Latest Resources

Guide

Edenred in the public sector

At Edenred we’ve been supporting the UK public sector for over 20 years. Our new guide - available to download now – will help you to understand all our services and solutions you can use to facilitate your own public social programmes.

Read more
23/05/2024
Case Study

How AECOM increased end of year gift voucher redemption to 92%

Discover why AECOM chose Select from Reward Gateway | Edenred to transform its end of year gift process.

Read more
22/05/2024
Blog

Guest Blog: Tusker talks affordable salary sacrifice car schemes in a costly world

In this guest blog, Tusker explains how you can provide this sought-after benefit and make savings with a car scheme.

Read more
21/05/2024