Vebnet has revealed that for the third year running, over half of HR directors and rewards chiefs (56%) say lack of employee understanding or appreciation of benefits is their number one concern, yet the potential for better communication and greater financial education is still to be exploited by many.
This is one of the main conclusions to be drawn from the Annual HR Reward Survey*, conducted in partnership with employee benefits and solutions provider Vebnet and leading long term savings and investment company Standard Life.
Other findings of the annual survey were:
– Less than a third (31%) of employers say they conduct frequent employee research to help them understand their employee’s views and concerns around rewards and benefits.
– Just over a third (34%) of employers confirm their reward and benefit communications are personalised for each employee.
– Over half of employers (52%) don’t currently offer their employees any financial education and have no plans to do so.
Richard Morgan, director of consultancy at Vebnet, commented: “Many people are seeing an erosion of their income in real terms, thanks to pay freezes and inflation. So a drive for greater employee understanding and engagement has never been timelier. Benefits are typically worth 20-25% of salary and demonstrating this is an important message that is likely to be very well received in the current environment. More than ever, employees are likely to want to gain a much better understanding of how to plan for the future and to be extremely receptive to support in this area.
“But it appears that many employers are deferring addressing this issue. Clearly HR directors and benefit chiefs have many things to contend with just now, such as headcount reductions and budgets being squeezed. But they also need to tackle the issue of engagement and understanding head on. I believe the spotlight is about to turn towards engagement and that financial education is set to become as important as “wellbeing” in the workplace.
Ann Flynn, Head of Corporate Marketing at Standard Life added: “There is no doubt that the right communication is vital when it comes to employee engagement and with the introduction of auto-enrolment it can only gain in importance. We’ve already carried out additional research into auto-enrolment, which shows that when people are presented with the right information in the right way, they engage more and are likely to understand the value of their company pension scheme and stay opted in. That’s why Standard Life and Vebnet are working closely with employers to ensure the right communications are used to help drive engagement so that employees have a full appreciation of the benefits their employers are providing.”