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Companies’ benefits communications spend ‘too low’

70% spend less than £5,000 annually

The amount of money companies allocate to support benefits communication and behaviour change is too low, research by Aon suggests.

The professional services firm’s survey of 200 employers found 98% said engagement and understanding benefits is important, making it the most important reason for increasing understanding of total reward.

Despite this, 70% of respondents spend less than £5,000 on communications annually.

A further 13% spend between £5,001 and £10,000, 12% spend between £10,001 and £20,000, while only 5% spend between £20,001 and £30,000.

The survey showed the second most important reason for increasing understanding of total reward is retention, while the third is to support recruitment and being an employer of choice.

Sarah Robson, senior communication consultant of Aon, said if firms are putting money, time and resource into benefits and wellbeing it is important to make sure that employees know about them.

“Just like marke/ting a consumer product, the audience needs to be clearly understood so the right communication approaches can be used,” she explained.

The survey found 46% of companies said they are willing to increase expenditure to improve communications.

Currently, employers largely use emails and posters for communications, at 97% and 62% respectively.

Face to face (56%) and webinars (32%) are both becoming more popular, and there is also an emergence of digital marketing, such as app push notifications and personalised videos.

In total, 44% of communications is digitally focused, while 30% think augmented and virtual reality technologies have a part to play in communicating benefits.