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Only a fifth of employees have a very good understanding of all the health and wellbeing benefits they’re offered.

Press release 31 October 2023.

  • Employers over-estimate staff awareness and understanding
  • Improved communication vital to bridge the gap

Only a fifth (21%) of employees say they have a very good understanding of all the health and wellbeing benefits they’re offered. Yet employee understanding is vastly over-estimated by employers – where 57% of employers believe their staff are fully aware of, and fully understand, all the employee benefits they are offered, according to research commissioned by GRiD, the industry body for the group risk sector.

Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, said: ‘There is a clear disconnect between how well employees understand their benefits in practice, and what employers believe. The answer probably lies in communication: good communication is likely to lead to better awareness, understanding and engagement.’

One in four (27%) employers say they increased the communication about the benefits they offer over the preceding 12 months, but only 16% of employees believe their employer had increased communications in practice.

Moxham continued: ‘The communication of benefits is not a once and done, it is a rolling activity that needs constant consideration and energy to achieve results, otherwise the risk is that employees stop listening. Employers who struggle to invigorate the communication of their employee benefits would do well to discuss possible strategies with their benefits providers and advisers: they will have experience about which approach is most effective in different workplace environments and for different cohorts of staff.’

Popular methods of employee benefits communications

The most popular method used by employers to communicate employee benefits is via email (39%), followed by staff welcome packs (31%) and staff handbooks (28%). However, GRiD suggests that employers would benefit from making use of a broader range of channels and mediums to increase engagement. Only 12% of employers said they communicate benefits at promotional fairs or drop-in sessions, just 14% do so by Total Reward Statements and 16% via post to a home address.

Katharine Moxham added: ‘Employers should be loud and proud of the benefits they offer their staff. They need to communicate in a way that works, utilise a mix of channels, and to communicate regularly as not all employees will be receptive at the same time, on the same day or via the same method.

‘Creating a buzz around the support available means staff will be much more aware of what is on offer and allows staff to get a deeper understanding, really value the benefits they receive and engage with them. Judging by our research, this would merit greater consideration by employers.’

  • Ends –
  1. The research was undertaken by Opinium from 9-22 January 2023 among 503 HR decision-makers at UK businesses and from 10-13 January 2023 among 1,212 workers.

For further information please contact:

Sharon Mason 
SMUK Marketing and PR 
Mob: 07747 611773
Land: 01252 843350


Katharine Moxham
Spokesperson for GRiD
Mob: 07887 512508

Notes for editors

About GRiD

Group Risk Development (GRiD) is the industry body for the group risk sector, promoting the value to UK businesses of providing financial protection for their staff, enhancing their well-being and improving employee engagement. Our membership includes insurers, reinsurers, intermediaries and those operating in (or with other interests in) the UK group risk market. Together this forms a collective wealth of experience built over many years. Under the chairmanship of Paul White (head of technical, Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing) GRiD aims to promote group risk through a collective voice to Government, policymakers, stakeholders and employers.

GRiD works with government departments and regulators involved in legislation and regulation affecting group risk benefits, and with other organisations involved in the benefits and financial protection arenas. GRiD also seeks to enhance the industry's standing by encouraging best practice and by participating in industry-wide initiatives such as the professional qualification in group risk managed jointly with the Chartered Insurance Institute.

GRiD’s media activity aims to generate a wider awareness and understanding of group risk products and their benefits for employers and employees.

GRiD's dedicated spokesperson, Katharine Moxham, provides expert media comment on a full range of group risk issues.

Follow Katharine Moxham on Twitter @KMoxham



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