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Employers not doing enough to communicate benefits

  • One third (34%) of employees – equivalent to 11.2 million individuals – wish their employer would communicate more about the workplace benefits available to them
  • One in ten (9%) have no idea which benefits, if any, they can access
  • Two fifths (40%) feel more positive about their employer if they offer an annual bonus, or would if they don’t already, while a third (31%) said the same for income protection

 

Employers are not doing enough to communicate workplace benefits to staff, according to our latest research. A third (34%) of employees – equivalent to 11.2 million people – wish their employer would communicate more about the workplace benefits available to them. 

 

One in five (20%) received information about the benefits available to them when they first joined but never again, while one in ten (9%) have no idea which benefits, if any, are available to them.

 

The lack of communication represents a real problem for employers because when implemented properly, workplace benefits improve employee wellbeing and create a happier, healthier workplace environment.

 

Table 1: Lack of communication of workplace benefits to employees

 

 Response

Total*

I wish my employer would communicate more about the benefits and perks available

34%

My employer clearly communicates the benefits and perks available

34%

I received information about the benefits and perks available when I first joined but never again after that

20%

I wouldn’t know who to ask about the benefits and perks available

16%

None of the above

14%

I have no idea which, if any, benefits and perks are available to me

9%

*Responses do not add up to 100% as respondents could select more than one answer

 

Employers can improve their standing with employees by offering benefits

 

Despite the distinct absence of clear communication, most employees believe that their employer adopts a positive approach towards their wellbeing. Three quarters (75%) of employees think that their wellbeing is important to their employer, rising to 83% for employees aged 18-34.

 

However, employers can do more to improve the perception that they take employee wellbeing seriously. Two fifths (40%) of employees feel more positive about their employer if they offer an annual bonus, or would if they don’t already offer one, and a third (33%) said the same for private medical insurance.

 

In terms of protection products, across all age groups employees would feel more positive about their employer if they offered them income protection (31%), life insurance (26%) or critical illness cover (25%) over a gym membership (20%). Only 18-34-year-olds would feel more positive about their employer if they were offered a gym membership over critical illness cover (23% vs. 17%) and would still prefer to be offered life insurance (24%) or income protection (29%).

 

Overall, the proportion of employees who would feel more positive about their employer if they were offered protection products increases with age.

 

Table 2: Workplace benefits that would make employees feel more positive about their employer

 

 Benefit

Total

18-34

35-54

55+

Annual bonus

40%

25%

42%

53%

More than 20 days’ holiday (excluding bank holidays)

36%

30%

37%

43%

Private medical insurance

33%

25%

35%

37%

Insurance that covers you in case you get ill/injured and can't work

31%

29%

31%

35%

Death in service payment / life insurance

26%

24%

26%

28%

A policy which pays out a lump sum should you become critically ill

25%

17%

26%

31%

Gym membership

20%

23%

22%

10%

 

In an effort to communicate workplace benefits clearly to employees, or advertise perks already in place, employers should regularly re-evaluate their communication channels.

 

Over half (56%) of employees would prefer to receive information on workplace benefits via email, followed by face-to-face interactions (29%) and an intranet hub (26%).

 

Commenting on the research, Paul Avis, Marketing Director at Canada Life Group Insurance, said: “Workplace benefits should be a top priority for employers. Not only do they improve employee wellbeing, they are useful tools to attract and retain top talent which will become increasingly important as the war for talent intensifies. Worryingly, many employers who have made the positive step of putting an effective benefits package in place are not reaping the rewards because they are failing to communicate their availability properly. Although this is a significant problem, there is a simple solution.

 

“Employers should re-evaluate their communication methods and learn what works for their employees. Our research suggests a renewed focus on email updates, face-to-face communication or an internal intranet system is a good place to start to fully articulate the availability of workplace benefits and give regular updates. This will ensure that all staff members understand which perks are available to them and will ultimately improve their perception of their employer.

 

“Advisers also have a role to play in arming employers with the information and tools necessary to effectively promote benefits within the workplace, ideally working in close partnership with the insurance provider.”

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Canada Life Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Canada Life International Limited and CLI Institutional Limited are Isle of Man registered companies authorised and regulated by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority.

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Stonehaven UK Limited and MGM Advantage Life Limited, trading as Canada Life, are subsidiaries of The Canada Life Group (U.K.) Limited. Stonehaven UK Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. MGM Advantage Life Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.