Branding your Employee Benefits

Creating a brand for your employee benefits has many advantages for your company and employees, but how do you make sure it’s not just a ‘flash in the pan’.

An employee benefits brand is a lot more than a logo and pretty colours to splash all over your employee benefits communications.  Your benefits brand should run a lot deeper than the superficial and really resonate with your employees.

You want to make your employees feel part of something special which can be achieved with strong, targeted branding that taps into their emotions.  Branding is all about emotion, experience and story telling!  

Creating a brand for your benefits allows you to have a more personal approach with your employees.  People buy into brands that ‘get them’!  

There are many important elements to consider when creating a benefits brand and we have covered a few below. 


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YOUR CORPORATE BRAND
Depending on your company, your corporate brand may not be appropriate for your employee benefits.  You may have a very serious corporate brand but want to take a softer and more relaxed approach when communicating benefits to your employees.


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BRAND PERSONALITY

All brands have a personality which is chosen for a specific reason.  This is a key way to relate to your audience and sets the tone of voice for your communications.

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BRAND COLOURS

Colours evoke different emotions for us i.e. red for danger. But what about the other colours, what do they mean and what might you chose for your benefits brand? 

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MISSION STATEMENT

A strong mission statement will help you clarify precisely what you're trying to accomplish for your employees and align your efforts around that goal. Your benefits mission statement should be clear and concise, but also unique to your organisation.  


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KEY MESSAGES

Setting key messages for your benefits brand is a great way to ensure the most important messages always flow through all of your communications.  Whenever you undertake a new campaign for your employee benefits your key messages are the perfect starting point.


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TONE OF VOICE

‘Tone of voice’ is about how your brand comes across in terms of written and spoken words.  It’s not about what you say, but how you say it and the impression it makes on your employees.


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LAUNCH

The best way to get your new benefits brand out to your employees is with a ‘big bang’ launch!  This maximises the exposure for the new brand and gives you ample opportunity to showcase your benefits offering within the company.  


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ONGOING AWARENESS

This isn’t a one trick pony… you have to keep the momentum going and consistently communicate your employee benefits throughout each year.  

The best way to make sure this happens is to create a communications plan.  We recently created a guide to creating your employee benefits communications plan which you can download here!


BENEFITS BRAND SERIES

We have developed a Benefits Brand email series where you can access a much more detailed guide to creating an employee benefits brand.

REGISTER FOR OUR FULL BENEFITS BRAND SERIES BELOW:

The series covers:

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Communicate the workplace pension contribution increase this April

Workplace pension contributions are increasing! Why this is the perfect time to communicate the value of your pension


Minimum contributions to workplace pensions are increasing from April 2019.  For some workers, this means their pension contribution could increase by 66%. 

The table below shows how the new minimum contribution changes could affect workers:

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As this April is the month that your employees will see the drop in their pay packet, it is the perfect time to remind them of the value of their pension, so they feel more positive about this change.


Here are a few of the benefits you could cover:


A comfortable retirement

Roughly one third** of UK adults aren’t saving at all for their retirement. Of those that are saving into a pension, many aren’t saving nearly enough to give them the standard of living they hope for when they retire.

The State Pension is great for basic living expenses, but not something to solely rely on in retirement.  Get your employees to ask themselves how much income they would want each month to enjoy their retirement?  

The State Pension is likely to only pay out around £730 per month, assuming they qualify for the full State Pension.  

Get your employees motivated about their future savings so they are positively engaged in this change.  Help them to understand that saving more into their workplace pension now will mean they have a more comfortable retirement in the future.

**Money Advice Service


More money from your company

With the minimum employee contribution going up, the company will also be putting more money into each employee’s pension (unless already paying at or above the new minimum rates).  This means that the total contribution per month will be increased.  

The higher the monthly contribution, the higher the total pension pot at retirement. And more money from the company, means more money for your employees in retirement!


Tax savings

Your employees will also benefit from additional tax savings by putting in a higher contribution each month, getting more bang for their buck!


Tax free lump sum

Don’t forget to mention that they can take a 25% tax free lump sum when they retire too!

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*assuming salary sacrifice, standard tax code and minimum contributions (contributions based on basic pay not qualifying earnings).

This example shows that an employee who earns £25k per annum will see a £28.33 per month drop in their ‘take home’ pay, but they will be saving an extra £62.50 in total per month into their pension.

Get communicating!


There are so many positives to communicate to your employees about increasing contributions to their company pension, whether it be through choice or not (in this case)!  

The worst case scenario is that they panic about their monthly salary going down a bit and opt out!  As a company who cares about their employees’ future wellbeing, you do not want this to happen!  

If you haven’t done so already, communicate to your employees now to remind them about this change to their pension contribution and emphasise the positive impact this will have on them when they reach retirement.

Help your workforce manage debt

With a pattern of low savings rates and rising debt levels - what can employers do to help employees struggling with their personal finances?


In the UK, average household debt currently stands at £58,948*.  There has also been an increase in average total debt per adult of £898.71* in the year to November 2018.  

It looks like things are forecast to get worse, as according to the Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecast, household debt is predicted to reach £2.258* trillion in Q1 2022.  

There isn’t much better news for savers either, as the average cash ISA rate in November 2018 stood at just 0.88*%, in contrast to the average credit card interest rate which is 18.69*%. 

Debt isn’t just a finance issue as it feeds into all elements of a person’s life. Most people will be embarrassed by their debt problems and will tend to hide it from their employer and colleagues.

You may wrongly assume that it is just people on benefits or low incomes that struggle with debt. Research carried out by Neyber** found that 50% of workers in the UK are borrowing money regularly to make ends meet. 

Debt problems often lead to metal health issues, stress and depression which could have a detrimental affect on your workforce (especially if you do have 50% with money issues)! 

It’s not all doom and gloom though as there are things you, as an employer, can do to help:

Financial education

Financial education is a great way of helping all of your employees with their personal finances.  The way we do it at Lemonade is by segmenting your workforce by life stage, as they have different needs and priorities - find out more.

Promote EAP

Don’t forget to promote your Employee Assistance Programme! It’s there to help counsel your employees with practical advice on issues such as debt that may impact their performance at work.

Workplace loans

If you don’t already, you could look into offering workplace loans which allows employees to pay back the loan from their salary.  There are a number of providers offering a ready made solution such as; Neyber, Workplace Finance and Salary Finance for loans as low as 4.9%***. 

This helps simplify monthly budgeting for your employees, with the loan repaid from net salary**** before they receive it. This could prevent employees using payday loans, other high interest borrowing vehicles or act as a means of them repaying high interest debt. 

***On loans between £300-£5,000 over 1-5 years

****Net salary deduction, therefore no income tax or NI saving

Reducing travel expenses

You can help your employees to reduce their travel expenses by offering season ticket loans or cycle to work schemes.  It’s also a good idea to encourage a car sharing scheme - not only is this good for money saving, it is also environmentally friendly!

Retail / eating out discounts

There are many discount card schemes available through employee benefits to save money on eating out and shopping.  Encourage your employees to sign up to these cards so they can reap the rewards.

Promote childcare savings

For many, their childcare bill is almost the same size as their rent or mortgage! Make sure your employees are aware of the tax free childcare scheme from the Government which gives parents £2 for every £8 they put into their childcare account - up to £2,000 per year.  

Review their existing spending

Encourage your employees to complete a budget planner, like this one - Budget Planner.  

You could do a internal campaign to get your employees thinking about little switches they could make that would save them money such as:

  • Utility Bills / insurances - using comparison sites to get the best deal

  • Mortgage rate - when was this last reviewed? Fixed/Variable? Compare the market 

  • Supermarkets - could they save money by switching to Aldi or Lidl? 

Communication 

It’s great to have a good benefits package which includes help and advice for money worries, but if you aren’t telling your employees about it on a regular basis then it isn’t doing its job.  

Make sure you put a communications strategy in place to ensure your employees are engaged with their benefits package.  We have just launched a handy guide to creating your Employee Benefits Communications Strategy which you can download here.  

* https://themoneycharity.org.uk/money-statistics/

**DNA of financial wellbeing research - Neyber

Six steps to create your EB comms strategy

Six steps to create your employee benefits communication strategy

A recent study* found a third of employees want their employer to communicate more about the benefits available to them.

It is important to get the balance right when communicating to employees.  You don’t want to over / under communicate, bore or confuse them! 

We have created an easy to follow ‘Communication Guide’ to help you create your ‘Benefits Communications Strategy’ in six steps.  Download the guide here!

 
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The guide includes top tips, examples and a draft implementation timeline to get you started.  

Some of our top tips for engaging your employees include:

  • Use a multi-channel approach when planning your benefits communications strategy to achieve good engagement levels - variety is the spice of life!

  • Keep your communications timely, relevant and simple.  Don’t bombard your audience at one particular time of the year.  Make sure you are engaging them in a consistent and targeted way

  • Encourage communication from Senior Leaders as this nearly always achieves higher engagement.  Staff are much more likely to read something from their Senior Leaders over a faceless email from a department  

  • Don’t just communicate to new starters about your great benefits package!  Make sure you regularly communicate benefits to all employees on a regular basis.  You could send monthly alerts with quick, snappy headlines, as well as a quarterly newsletter

  • Make it fun!  You could plan a launch party for a new benefits initiative or run a quirky campaign to really grab your employees’ attention.  Then there is the good old desk drop option!  Employees will nearly always take notice of a packet of sweets with a note on their desk when they arrive to work in the morning.  


These are just some ideas to get your creative juices flowing!

To get started with your Employee Benefits Communication Strategy download your guide here!


*Study carried out by Canada Life Group Insurance



Our new Informed Pensions brand

Lemonade launches DB member options service for schemes

In the news! Our new Informed Pensions brand has been featured by Professional Pensions! You can see the article HERE.

We have just launched a new brand, Informed Pensions, to focus on the bulk DB member options market.

Informed Pensions aims to make retirement better through a unique combination of technology, advisers and great communications.  This provides a range of tools to help DB pension members fully understand the options available to them.

Our ethos of ‘simplicity and clarity’ runs through the work that Informed Pensions carries out, ensuring members understand the bigger picture when making important decisions about their retirement. 

Lemonade listened to market feedback in order to shape the look and feel of the new Informed Pensions brand to ensure it resonates with members of retirement age.

Working with employers and trustees to help DB members through their options at retirement, Informed Pensions offers impartial advice through a simple 3-step process. This ensures members get the appropriate advice as well as reducing risk for the sponsor.

David Pugh, Managing Partner, Informed Pensions said: 

“Our new brand has already helped deliver a number of significant new projects. Working with most of the big pension consultancies has given us the opportunity to create this new approach and better engage the target audience.”

You can contact Informed Pensions through their new website > www.informedpensions.co.uk

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