Why Employee Benefits Programmes Fail

In Business, Employee Benefits, Protection by Raina Dhillon

Earlier this year, we wrote about some of the considerations employers need to recognise when managing an increasingly age-diverse workforce. Failure to do so – especially when it comes to employee benefits – can result in organisations missing out on opportunities to engage and motivate their workforce, as well as struggle to retain the best talent.

But why do employee benefits programmes ultimately fail? After all, benefits by their very nature, regardless of employee demographic, should be considered positive, right? The answer is it’s not always that straightforward. 

Here are some of the reasons why employee benefits programmes fail:

1. Employees feel out of the loop

Neglecting to engage employees ahead of time and secure their buy-in for any employee benefits programmes you are considering offering is a recipe for failure. Not only will you not have your employees’ valuable input in terms of what benefits they would really like to see included, but you’ll also risk the programme you do implement not being utilised because your staff will feel as though their contribution isn’t valuable.

2. Communications aren’t regular enough

Some businesses adopt a big bang approach when it comes to communicating their employee benefits packages, but this can be overwhelming and deliver less than satisfying uptake levels. A better strategy is to drip-feed benefits information throughout the year to keep employees interested in the benefits programme(s) you have on offer.

[Related reading: Out Of Touch Health Support: Why Employers Risk Damaging Retention & Productivity]

3. Don’t make age-based assumptions

Another common mistake employers make is assuming they know what benefits certain groups of employees want. So, for example, some companies assume that older staff are more interested in financial benefits, such as Private Medical Insurance, or that younger individuals want fresh fruit in the office each day.

The reality, however, is that these assumptions can actually alienate some employees and lead to benefits programmes experiencing lower levels of adoption. Again, this highlights why it’s so important to get input from all of your employees before you start devising a benefits programme.

4. Keep it simple

Keep any information about your benefits programme concise and easy to understand. The majority of your employees will not want to spend hours reading through accompanying literature, and for those that do you can provide more in-depth documentation as necessary.

5. Take advantage of technology

There are various technologies that can enhance employee benefits. And while employers do not need to take advantage of the latest and greatest gadgets, some platforms can greatly enhance adoption.

From enabling employees to check their health and improve their wellbeing 24/7 through apps, to tracking exercise and offering rewards accordingly, employers can make their benefits programmes much more interactive and enjoy greater engagement as a result.

Review your 2020 employee benefits strategy and contact us for advice on how to communicate it effectively to your employees.

I have over 15 years client facing experience in the Employee Benefits industry having worked for Mercer HR Consulting and The Willis Group in London. Bringing my expertise to mid and large corporate clients, I joined Premier Choice Healthcare in December 2015, with the aim of advising and developing a varied Corporate client portfolio.