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Employees unclear about workplace benefits

People are far more likely to apply for jobs where the employee benefits are made clear, research has shown

As many as 85% of employees said that they were more inclined to work for organisations who clearly labelled the perks of a job. The figure is even higher for workers aged 25 to 34, with 94% saying that details about benefits help to inform their decision over an application.

The survey by Canada Life revealed that a third (31%) wished their employers provided more details about benefits. Meanwhile a fifth (19%) said that although they received information about the benefits on offer when starting, they haven't been updated since.

“It is very encouraging to see younger employees in particular are taking such an interest in workplace benefits. However, there does seem to be a worrying lack of clarity about what is available and who employees should direct their enquiries to. Proactive, ongoing messaging with clear internal ownership is needed,” said Paul Davies, marketing director at Canada Life Group.

The research suggested that communication surrounding rewards is often sporadic, with less than two in five (37%) stating that their employers were helpful and transparent when providing information.

Giles Phillips, senior reward manager at retirement housing and care home provider Anchor (shortlisted for the ‘Most effective benefits programme’ HR Excellence Award in 2016), said that employers should be more inventive in how they communicate with employees. “Being clear about rewards and benefits is essential for attracting and retaining talent,” he told HR magazine.

“We use internal communications to let employees know what’s available to them, and we make sure it’s easy to find out. We know that everyone has a smartphone these days, so we set up a private Facebook page where they can check rewards and benefits easily.”

Phillips added that both staff and employers should be responsible for keeping abreast of employee benefits. "It shouldn't all be down to the employer. While there's a lot they can do to be clear about benefits, it's up to employees to find out what they're entitled to as well," he said.

However, while 32% of respondents to the Canada Life survey said that it was the employers’ duty to let people know about incentives, only 12% said this was down to all parties.