Canadian organizations invest millions in benefits for their employees, yet employees often seem to take their benefits for granted, not realizing the scale of their employer’s investment. While benefits are important to employees, and competitive benefit programs aid in attracting and retaining talent, many employers find their benefit investment does not generate a commensurate return in employee engagement.
So how do employers get more value from all the money they spend on employee benefits? In a recent Aon survey of Canadian human resources (HR) leaders, a large majority of respondents noted that improving communication is a priority — and doing so can be the path forward in improving awareness and perceptions of benefits programs, thus increasing the return on investment without necessarily spending more on benefits themselves. Employees tend to engage with their benefits infrequently or only when in need, which doesn’t match the time and resources that employers are investing in making them competitive and valuable to the employee. In particular, many employers have recently devoted significant resources to making their plans work better for a diverse workforce, increasing personalization and choice, and tailoring plans to support employees’ physical, mental and financial wellness. Communicating these new features to employees more effectively can vastly improve engagement.
There are several principles employers can follow as they seek to improve communication and maximize the value of their benefits programs.