Employee Benefits: Do You Have an Internal Communications Strategy?
Do you have an internal business marketing strategy? The fact of the matter is, you cannot achieve sustainable business growth if you are only looking outwards. In order to recruit and retain talent, it is crucial to think from the perspective of your employees and prospective employees as you craft your firm’s structure and marketing strategy. One key aspect of this, as discussed by Elena Viera of Wood Gutmann & Bogart in the Business Growth Café, is employee benefits. Elena explained that employee benefits is such a high-ticket item for any employer, it often becomes second to payroll on the list of business expenses. Employee benefits, however, are essential to your company’s growth. You can’t run your business without customers. And, you can’t run your business without employees! Therefore, how can you manage the expectations of your current and prospective employees when it comes to benefits? It is a complex, emotional problem to solve, one that often hits a significant pain point with employees. It is no longer just about compensation, but the overall value your employees feel you are providing them. Just as any other form of communications plan, addressing employee benefits with your team is about developing tactics and strategies as an employer, in order to achieve acceptance and utilization among employees. In doing so, it is important to be specific. What is your strategic goal? What are you trying to achieve? How will you sell these benefits to the employees and ensure that the employees are getting what they need? In looking at your overarching strategy, it will eventually be clear as to what tactics to implement. It is very similar to the process of integrated marketing, except in this case, it is internal (employers marketing to employees), and your tactic is whatever the employee benefit packages happen to be. Like any marketing strategy, it is crucial to consider demographics, especially when considering a multi-generational and multi-cultural workforce. The idea of the “best” employee benefit plan isn’t necessarily one-size-fits all. Your strategy must be aligned to who your employees are, and their characteristics. Boomers and Gen Xers are likely to feel very differently about employee benefit packages than millennials; take this into account as you strategize, look at trends, etc.
Approach your benefits and health care packages strategically, just as you do with any other aspect of your business, such as marketing or sales. When it comes to recruitment and retention, the role of the employee benefits package should be at the forefront of your thinking, and should be handled with (strategic) care. For more insight on this topic and much more, listen to my recent interview with Elena Viera on my radio show, Business Growth Cafe, here:
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