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Employee Benefits communication best practices

Pieter Holbrouck - Employee Benefits Consultant

Properly communicating Employee Benefits is equally as important as choosing what benefits you will be offering. While it’s a necessity to talk about the benefits themselves, at Concordia, we also focus on communicating these benefits in layman terms, so people don’t get lost in the sea of information. A survey conducted by both AG Insurance and Vlerick Business School shows that 1 in 2 employees has insufficient knowledge about the Employee Benefits package.

Here are some tips for effective Employee Benefits communication:
 

1. Keep it simple

Although it is essential Employee Benefits are well-understood by all employees, it is a very complicated matter. Terminology is very industry specific and is often miscomprehended. When it is highly common that the human resources department has difficulties fully understanding Employee Benefits, this is especially the case for the workforce.

If you want to convince your staff of the advantages of your Employee Benefits, regardless of whether your underlying goal is recruitment or retention, you need to be able to communicate in layman terms. Especially in the insurance context, which is often perceived as "negative", it is crucial that the workforce understands the offered benefits, or else there is no point in offering them. Prejudices such as "the insurance company never pays out" will be the ones that remain stuck in the minds of your employees.

Today, employees pick up more and more information through the web. As their employer, your role is to help the employee find the correct information with the aim of avoiding misunderstandings and achieving an optimal understanding of the salary package.
 

2. Give examples that fit specific life scenarios

When explaining actual benefits in detail, for example how a disability annuity works, don't blabber endlessly about technical information. Present it visually. It is sufficient to create one slide using a simple timeline or a graph that fits a real-life example. As the disability annuity often depends on salary, add some cases based on low, average and high pay. Employees will automatically focus on the situation they are closest to and comprehend what this means to them. 

Don't throw in too many numbers and if you do, make sure they can be understood in a matter of seconds by visualising them in the best way.

As an insurance broker, Concordia hosts Employee Benefits presentations for many of our clients regularly. Sometimes once a year, sometimes twice a year depending on the clients’ wishes or needs. We clearly see the added value. Apart from having their salary package explained to them, employees have the opportunity to ask questions immediately and interact with experts on the matter.
 

3. Focus the communication around trust

At Concordia, we insure and manage by first looking at the "WHY". Why do employees need additional insurances? Answering this question and going back to the need for insurance is very helpful in understanding the benefits. Since many of the insured Employee Benefits are complementary to the statutory (legal) benefits, one cannot be understood without the other. Giving presentations or a brochure to your employees, and hereby explaining how the social security system works, for example, is often perceived as caretaking of your employees which enhances their trust.

Your people will value an explanation of the four pillar system or retirement-related topics, such as the difference between the statutory pension and the complementary pension, or the difference between a legal reimbursement in case of disability and extra-legal reimbursement (annuity), accompanied by applicable fiscality/taxation. There's no point in offering an excellent Employee Benefits salary package which is not fully understood by the employees. Even today, most of the employers underestimate the communication around these benefits and continue to provide Employee Benefits the employees themselves are not even aware of. At Concordia, we make sure you're not one of them. Our Employee Benefits team is here to help you deal with today's and tomorrow's talent challenges not only by helping you offer, implement and manage an attractive package, but also by making sure it is understood and valued by your team.

We insure and manage, so you can perform.

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