Reward communication: four steps to maximising your benefits spend

Communicating benefits

Reward has a key role to play in employee engagement, but many employees underestimate the full value of their reward package. Employers could therefore be losing out on the full benefit of the investment in their employees.

In many cases, a communication exercise could ensure that employees are fully briefed on what pay and benefits are available to them, and what those benefits are worth.

Below, we have highlighted a number of issues that you should think about when putting together a reward communications plan.

1. Set aside a budget

This is often overlooked, but is likely to represent only a small proportion of the overall spend on pay and benefits. For only a small investment, employers may be able to make a big difference to how employees perceive the value of their pay and benefits.

2. Identify your audience

Employees will be the key audience for pay and benefits communications, but employers should also bear in mind anyone who may have a role in delivering the communication, such as line managers and HR.

It may also be beneficial for the employer to segment its audience, in order to tailor the communication to suit different groups. There are several ways of doing this, for example by level of interest in the subject, or by attitudes and behaviours.

3. Choose your communication media

There are numerous different ways to communicate with employees, but employers should consider what they are trying to achieve when choosing the most appropriate method – posters are good for generating general awareness, for example, but leaflets are better for passing on more detailed information. Organisations will also need to decide how creative they want their communication campaign to look – and maybe draft in help from a consultancy with this.

4. Plan your communications

The communication plan will need to fit in with other key pay and benefits milestones throughout the year, such as the annual pay review, flexible benefits enrolment window and the bonus date. Employers should put these dates into a calendar, along with the messages they want to communicate and how they will go about it.

This list is based on a detailed XpertHR guide on How to communicate with employees on pay and benefits.

One Response to Reward communication: four steps to maximising your benefits spend

  1. Avatar
    Alex ThurleyRatcliff 1 May 2014 at 9:44 am #

    An honest start – but you need to be talking about the following if you are to act with strategic effect to impact employee behaviour and address business critical issues. Here’s a few thoughts which will dramatically change the way you think about communications:

    1. What are the business drivers which need to be addressed? How will the communications integrate with, for instance, talent management, health and wellness, upskilling, motivation, wider culture and competitiveness?

    2. What engagement issues can be addressed? Are specific areas of the business lagging behind or driving ahead? Why – and how can you capture the power of he individual’s groups, peers and managers to enhance the message and reflect back into the type of business you are building?

    3. It’s not tactical and simply calendar driven. What about building communications systems which are reactive, pro-active and highly targeted to the individual’s changing life and career path? “Once a year” is a dead concept… it’s all the time, 24/7 for many now.

    4. Information output does not equal “communication.” Do you measure your effectiveness with actual changes in behaviour, take-up of benefits, employee engagement?

    Have a great day!