UBP blog

09/21/2009

When it comes to communicating employee benefits, no news is the worst news you can give

Filed under: employee benefit communication — ubpblogger @ 9:15 am
Tags: , ,

In spite of this, many employers are currently giving employees no news on their benefits. Data from the report Watson Wyatt 2009/2010 Communication ROI reveals that just 28% of companies plan to increase communication on employee benefits.

The report’s findings paint an even bleaker picture from the employee end of the spectrum. Case in point, 54% of employees nationwide (that’s more than half of all working Americans) have not received any communications this past year from their employers about their company’s current benefits or future plans regarding their benefit programs.

Two possible reasons for this are as follows:

  • Many company leaders feel it’s not their responsibility to communicate employee benefits
  • Many other leaders within companies are opting to simply communicate the negative effects of the current economic recession to employees, and nothing further.

What should be done?

As the economy remains weak, companies should reassure employees of the positive offerings still available to them. For example, if money at your company is tight yet you’re still able to offer employees a robust benefits package, why, then should you not communicate this to them?

Also, we all know that in difficult economic times, change (whether positive or negative) is inevitable and no company is completely immune to it.  Employers can reduce or possibly eliminate fear and confusion in the minds of employees caused by major changes if they do the following:

  • Sufficiently prepare employees for changes they’ve anticipated
  • Let employees know what will stay the same
  • Make sure employees know what is expected of them

Why is this employer-employee communication necessary? 

If employers fail to communicate vital benefits and company information to their employees, they risk losing their trust, making them feel undervalued or even leading them to search for other employment.

Providing employees with information about their benefits and keeping them in the loop regarding company developments, good or bad, gives them a sense of understanding and aids in their overall motivation. With no news at all, employers create a void between themselves and their employees that will ultimately hurt their organization.

So, when it comes to discussing employee benefits, it’s best for HR professionals to keep the lines of communication wide open.

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