How To Get Take-Up With Your Employee Incentive Schemes

Smiling female employee working on laptop

A common thread shared through online HR forums is why employee incentive schemes fail. The problem is often insufficient take-up with not enough employees using the scheme for it to deliver any tangible benefits to the employer. But delve a little deeper and the problem isn’t a lack of interest in the scheme, it’s more likely to be that nobody knows about it.

Even though most employee incentive schemes involve zero-cost to the employer (the aim after all is to save money both in recruitment and employee churn costs, and make savings on National Insurance contributions); what is the point of running a scheme designed to benefit your staff if no one knows about it?

Employee benefit schemes actually offer benefits to the employer right from the get go: before any staff member signs up. Provided it is properly marketed. Just showing that the organisation is a caring employer by offering a well-designed scheme can improve retention and recruitment. Already your staff will feel more valued just by knowing that benefit schemes are available for them.

However to really get the maximum benefit of running an employee incentive scheme, and any savings on NI contributions, you want your staff to use it. Unfortunately this is where many HR teams struggle, they find it difficult to get take-up because marketing the scheme is not prioritised.

Marketing Strategies For Employee Benefit Schemes

What you need is a marketing strategy, to promote the scheme and its benefits to staff. You could rope in the marketing department or an internal comms team to do this, although generally this is left to HR. That’s why we offer our clients a free marketing strategy, and materials, targeted at their employees to help promote the scheme and maximise the potential.

We recommend using a combination of different activities to raise awareness of your employee incentive schemes, and increase take up. These include:

Digital and print materials – posters and flyers, desktop wallpaper, table toppers, E-magazines, payslip inserts, web banners (Intranet) etc.

On-site promo events – for example for our Bikes for Staff scheme we’ve supported clients by inviting bike retailers into their workplace to host a roadshow and promote the scheme.

Social media campaigns – driving awareness around subjects related to the scheme is an effective way of putting it at the forefront of employees’ minds. Use national and seasonal events, such as the Tour de France or Valentine’s Day, to promote your scheme.

Promotions and competitions – many employee benefits providers run promotions and competitions promoting their schemes throughout the year. Take advantage of these, and supporting marketing material, to encourage take-up.

If this all seems like a lot of work, remember the benefits your organisation stands to gain by properly marketing your scheme. Employee churn is a significant cost both in terms of recruitment and productivity, so any scheme that increases retention is saving you money. Factor in savings on NI contributions and there is a case to argue for some resource to promote schemes sufficiently.

On the other hand the cost of marketing an employee benefit scheme is low. Many scheme providers, like Vivup will provide marketing material and promotional support free of charge, and also provide a step-by-step marketing plan that is easy to follow.

In our experience employee incentive schemes don’t fail because of insufficient take up, they fail because of insufficient marketing that results in a lack of take-up. We hope that the ideas above will help you address this problem, and make your schemes a success.

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