Employers see group risk benefits as an important recruitment, retention and reputational tool, as well as helping to control costs, says Jennifer Paterson
For the most part, employers’ top objectives in providing group risk benefits are the same, whether they offer group risk benefits alone or in conjunction with their healthcare package. Being seen as providing a duty of care, improving recruitment by keeping up with the benefits offered by their competitors, being seen as an employer of choice, and improving staff retention are among the top aims listed by respondents. These all indicate the importance employers place on such perks when it comes to staff recruitment and retention.
Group risk benefits such as group life assurance, income protection and critical illness insurance, protect and insure employees in the event of serious injury or death. These perks are also instrumental in rehabilitating employees in cases of long-term sickness absence. So it is perhaps not surprising that when asked what their group risk benefits have been successful in achieving, respondents cited controlling costs and getting employees back to work as soon as possible as the top two results.
When looking at their combined group risk and healthcare benefits package, however, respondents feel their offering has been successful in helping to demonstrate a duty of care and positioning them as a caring employer. All this will help to support their recruitment and retention strategies.
It is encouraging that employers appear to be aware of the importance of communicating benefits to staff to get the
best value from their perks offering. Most respondents communicate their group risk benefits and healthcare perks
together rather than keeping them separate.
This enables employers to communicate how the benefits can be used in conjunction with one another and build up a holistic understanding of the package among employees. The most frequent method of communication
is written details on an organisation’s intranet or internet site (82%) or using an offer letter/starter pack for new
joiners (81%). These results suggest employers are first focusing on a dynamic introductory communications campaign to new staff, but are then following it up with continual information that can be accessed online.
Using technology to communicate healthcare and group risk perks is also popular with employers. Nearly half
(44%) of respondents use an online benefits portal and 56% use email alerts. However, only 9% use newer forms of communication, such as podcasts, online videos or webcasts.
Read more Group Risk Research 2011