Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Making Flexible Benefit Schemes Work Through Effective Communication

Flexible benefit schemes if used correctly could spell great rewards for both employees and employers. Employees can choose from the different flexible benefit schemes available that would best suit their needs and cater to their necessities. Employers for their part, can use the benefit schemes to help retain experienced workers and attract new talented staffs while reducing health care costs. However, recent studies have shown that reception of the flexible scheme differs from one country to another. Although it might be popular in one country, it does not necessarily mean it will become popular in another country. One of the major causes of its failure to take off is due to the ineffective dissemination of information due to weak and unprepared internal communication system.

Having an effective internal communication is important because this will help properly disseminate the information from the head down to the rank and file staff. Furthermore, it will also be responsible for sustaining and promoting the scheme in the company in the long run. The HR department should create an effective communication strategy that would address how the flexible scheme would be introduced to the entire company's employees and how employees can choose what suits them and how they will benefit from it.

There are several ways on how to effectively communicate with employees.

· Online communication - Through online postings, emails and even company websites, HR can easily create forums that tackle everything that has to do with the flexible benefit schemes. They can continuously update and add more information for easy communication. However, they should not only depend on this as a means of doing their part. There should be proactive involvement, ensuring that employees can get a better understanding of the plan. Through active online communities that feature video presentations, podcasts and tutorials the benefits of these flexible schemes will be fully analyzed and discussed to the employees.

· Seminars and Group discussions - Different people have different needs. There are a lot of variables to be considered such as age, gender and lifestyle. By conducting surveys, interviews and poll rankings, HR department could get an idea of how to group them for discussions, meetings and presentations based on the surveys. This way, they can have active participation and discussions while coming from a similar standpoint.

· One-on-one meetings - There is still no better way than to personally meet and discuss about the benefit flexible scheme individually. HR can delegate a team to personally handle and assess the situation and to assign line leaders to talk with their units and brief them about the plan.

Flexible schemes are made to provide more choices and options for employees with regards to their benefits, while employers for their part can also reduce costs and retain talented staffs. However, for it to be successful and effective, a well conceived and strategically devised communication plan should be implemented.