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WINNING OUTLOOK

Communication key to organisational success

By Hemant Khera

Effective communication is the cornerstone for businesses to achieve organisational goals. Right from product development to client management as well as winning employee loyalty, communication plays a crucial role in every aspect of business operations. Lack of communications will hamper both co-ordination and co-operation between departments and this can have serious implications on the way organisations function. Employees are the key audience as they represent the organisation and often act as its advocates. Well-informed and engaged employees are likely to create a positive network of supporters.

Various studies show that there is a gap between the loyalty level perceived by employers and their employees own sentiments. Effective communication can bridge this gap and enable employees realise the value of the employer’s commitment towards their well-being. PNB Metlife recently conducted a global study that was aimed at understanding how employers and employees perceive employee benefits as a part of the overall organisational experience. The report titled Employee Benefits Trends Study highlights that effective communication helps in improving the perceived value of benefits which positively impact business outcomes. It is therefore important that organisations clearly articulate employee benefits so that they can make the most of the same.

Financial Security Acts as a Safety Net

Employee allegiance is a combination of work culture, recognition, remuneration, and financial security in the form of perks and incentives, employee well-being and various intangible elements. It has been observed that financial worries are a major cause of distraction at workplace. This is even more pronounced when it comes to financial security of the family in case of an unfortunate event, with 65 perecnt of the workforce expressing concern about the same. Employees who are confident about their family’s security are happier, more productive and committed to their workplace. Employees are even willing to voluntarily bear the cost of key benefits like insurance and health cover making it evident that stability helps them overcome financial stress.

Bridging the perception gap

Very often employees are either unaware about the available benefits or sometimes they do not understand the nature of the products and how to utilise them. It is best to simplify the usage of industry terms and acronyms and have them clearly defined.Employees tend to seek advice and show strong interest in protection products such as life insurance, mediclaim and accidental benefits. In most geographies, less than half of the employees surveyed agreed that their benefits communications effectively educates them. India came in higher (50%) than the United States (42%), the UK (30%)and Australia (15%).There is a clear message for employers here that there is an immediate need to bridge this perception gap through proactive interactions.

Using the Right communication channels

For communication to be effective, it is important to use the right channels. An integrated approach that includes financial planning workshops, HR manuals, personal meetings and the use of intranet portals can do the trick. Among these, personal meetings score the highest with 89 percent employees sharing that a personal dialogue is more effective than any other channel. The study also points out that employees who have participated in these workshops show significantly higher level of understanding of their company’s benefit communication as compared to those who have not participated in financial workshops.

Technology is seen as a big enabler for delivering highly customised content about employee benefits plan. However, this communication exercise must be a year-round effort and not be restricted to blurbs of information being shared only during the initial enrolment period.A sustained effort at healthy communication assures employees that they are valued and strengthens their bond with the organisation.

 

The Writer is Deputy Director, Employee Benefits, PNB MetLife.


 


 


 

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