73% of EMEA employers communicate benefits to staff

Just under three-quarters (73%) of respondents in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) actively communicate with staff about their compensation and benefits packages, according to research by Aon Hewitt.


Its 2014 EMEA Employee benefits communication survey, which questioned 590 organisations across 19 countries in EMEA, including 146 UK employers, found that 86% of respondents currently rely on printed materials to communicate with staff, while just 13% are considering the use of social media or online portals in the future.

Nearly one-third of EMEA respondents communicate with employees using total reward statements, while 27% are considering communicating this way.

Among UK respondents, 42% currently use total reward statements to communicate employee benefits to staff.

More than half (52%) of UK respondents communicate with employees several times a year, and 54% have a budget dedicated to benefits communication.

The research also found:

  • 52% of EMEA respondents have no budget for compensation and benefits communications.
  • 81% of EMEA respondents spend more time on implementation than communication when there is a change in the benefits package.
  • 45% of EMEA respondents spend 20% or less of their time on communicating benefits packages to employees.
  • 42% of EMEA respondents engage in benefits communication several times a year, up from 37% in the 2013 survey.

Anne Oliver, head of communications at Aon Hewitt, said: “73% of UK employers surveyed actively communicate with staff around compensation and benefits packages, so they are clearly aware of the importance of employee engagement on this issue.

“Encouragingly, employers also recognise that effective communication requires investment. However, at present, organisations are struggling to see a real return on investment from existing communications’ efforts on employee compensation and, as such, are not getting the most from their benefits packages.

“Despite the recognition of its importance and the commitment to regular employee engagement on pay and benefits, only 20% of UK employers perceive communications as having a high level of impact. This highlights the importance of employers fully understanding their communication needs and tailoring their activity accordingly.”  

Joyce Nehaïssi, consultant in Aon Hewitt’s Paris office, added: “Across EMEA, the key restriction to improving communication with employees around compensation and benefits has not been a lack of understanding of the value in doing so or insufficient appetite to take action. It has simply been a shortage of available budget.

“Reassuringly, organisations are increasing the frequency of communication with their staff, but the lion’s share of their time in this area remains spent on implementing, rather than explaining, benefits packages.”