Research from Unum confirms value of face-to-face communications

Face-to-face benefit communication strategies are one of the hallmarks of highly engaged companies, according to research from Unum.

The research shows that 91 per cent of companies with the highest recorded levels of employee engagement, above 80 per cent, communicate details of their employee benefits packages via a face-to-face meeting.

The research also shows only 36 per cent of companies with levels of employee engagement over 80 per cent have been financially impacted by long-term sickness absence, compared with 78 per cent of companies with engagement levels of less than 60 per cent. While face-to-face interaction is the method of choice for highly engaged companies, printed handouts come in second with 64 per cent of these companies choosing this method.

An organisation is only half as likely to have a high employee engagement level if the business opts to communicate information electronically, rather than via face-to-face meetings.

The benefits of a high level of employee engagement, where workers demonstrate a real commitment to their organisation and its values and show a willingness to help out colleagues, can be significant to a company’s bottom line.

Just over a third (36 per cent) of companies with levels of employee engagement over 80 per cent have been financially impacted by long-term absence, compared with 78 per cent of companies with engagement levels of less than 60 per cent.

Marco Forato, chief marketing officer at Unum says: “The importance of taking time out to meet with employees to explain the benefits of employee benefits packages should not be underestimated.

“Our findings indicate that there is a strong association between face-to-face contact employees have with the HR department and overall employee engagement levels.

“By not taking this time out to speak to employees in person and address any queries or concerns, companies are not only doing a disservice to their staff, but may also potentially be affecting the financial performance of their business. This is underlined by our findings that show a correlation between companies who have poor engagement and those taking a financial hit due to long-term absence.”