Cooper Parry adapts benefits communications to reach a remote workforce

Accountancy firm Cooper Parry has around 400 employees, most of whom have worked from home for at least some of the time since the start of the pandemic. With the office now reopened, the firm has implemented a ‘work from anywhere forever’ policy, so communicating with a remote workforce will be a long-term strategy.

Partner and chief people officer April Bembridge says: “Discussion boards on [Microsoft] Teams are a useful platform for communicating our benefits offering. Another is our monthly Holla meeting, normally hosted by our leadership team, with discussions about business updates, wellbeing and other subjects. With an 80% turnout, they are a great way to engage employees with the benefits on offer.”

Benefits communication is not simply a one-way flow of information from HR to the team, and input is encouraged from everyone. A weekly happiness survey provides a snapshot of how people are feeling that week. This reveals peaks and troughs of happiness that can be analysed to identify trends throughout the year, enabling the company to tailor which benefits are promoted accordingly.

The organisation has also found ways of ensuring that their benefits communications stand out and get noticed.

Bembridge says: “Using the Teams board to share information about benefits allows employees to read the post in their own time without the details getting lost before being read, as sending out email updates would. Communicating benefits as part of the wider monthly Holla meeting also helps to cut through the noise as employees are engaged with the meetings.

“These strategies are not entirely new, but the pandemic made us adapt the way we were communicating and allowed us to experiment with communicating with a remote workforce. We now have an effective strategy in place to cope with a modern, more remote way of working.”