The importance of identity
‘The characteristics determining who or what a person or thing is’
Your benefits brand should go hand in hand with your workplace identity to help your benefits seem like something your employees can relate to.
Creating a brand for your employee benefits can help your employees become accustomed to seeing your communications and feel like they’re part of a stronger workplace community.
Here are 5 tips that will help you build your employee benefits brand
1. Work out your goal
A great brand will clearly establish its mission and values, so before you can begin creating your brand, you need to establish precisely what it is you want to achieve. Your goal will vary depending on your company - think about your corporate goals and any internal values you promote.
For example, at NFP we believe in three pillars that determine the success of everything we do: being nimble, focusing on results and being personal. Our internal employee benefits brand focuses around personalising the workplace experience for our people, so this was a natural starting point of our internal benefits brand. This leads us perfectly onto our second top tip.
2. Involve your employees from the start
Your internal brand should be about your people, designed by your people and driven by your people.
There’s nothing worse than implementing an idea only to find out that nobody values it or feels included. It’s crucial to get your employees’ buy-in and opinions right from the outset.
By organising a focus group with people from all aspects of your business you’ll be able to build a clear picture of what your benefits brand should encompass.
Here are a few questions you could ask your focus group:
- How do you imagine your benefits brand?
- Where do you want to see your employee benefits?
- Should our brand be fun or serious?
- What definitely won’t work?
By letting your people steer your benefits brand, they will naturally start to feel motivated and engaged before it’s even launched. The brand is something that you all created together and it should be starting to reflect your business ethos.
3. Construct your brand
By this point you should have an idea of what your employees want to see and how they want to see it. So now you can start getting creative and get to work on your brand identity. Keep in mind though, that your benefits brand needs to be in-line with your corporate identity and reflect your philosophy and personality.
4 areas that will bring your brand to life:
- Logo: This will be the centrepiece to your brand. This mark will be the main element that sticks in employees’ minds when they think of your benefits.
- Tagline: Will you have any catchy, memorable phrases that represent your goals and culture?
- Colour: This will affect the tone of your message and the feelings evoked in your employees about their brand.
- Images: Whether you choose photography, illustration, or a minimal approach to imagery, think about how this will reflect on the personality of your brand. Remember that you want to be seen as human, caring and responsible above all else.
Remember: a strong identity demonstrates that your benefits scheme is significant and something that your business is invested in.
4. Get your brand ambassadors on board
By conducting your focus group you will already be creating a team of benefit brand ambassadors. With a little extra training, these individuals will be pivotal to embedding your brand and benefits within your workforce. The more they know about your benefits, the more they can help everyone around them, further reinforcing your employee benefits within your workforce.
Remember, though, employees need to recognise that your brand ambassadors truly believe in the brand and are sincerely invested in championing it. Not just that they’re doing it because they have to.
This means that you must keep your ambassadors motivated and fully committed with your benefits brand. Regularly meeting with them to catch up on any concerns or queries is fundamental.
5. Embed your brand
You now need to put your benefits brand out there for your employees to see and engage with. The logistics of your workplace will of course have an impact on how your employees come across this.
- Your workplace environment: This could be permanent artwork, posters, colour coordinated interiors, welcome messages on computers etc.
- Launch party: You could have a launch dinner, a party, or a team building exercise.
- Launch workshop: To introduce your employees to their benefits brand and the benefits that you offer, and introduce your brand ambassadors to the rest of the team.
It’s often too easy to overlook the importance of your benefits brand and getting your employees engaged with their employee benefits. If they don’t understand what’s available to them, then engagement and value will be low, resulting in a poor return on your company’s investment.
Changing people’s mentalities towards retirement, protection or wellbeing products will always be tough, but as an employer, it’s possible to plan your communications smartly and show your employees just how useful their employee benefits really are.
If you'd like to discuss ways to improve recruitment and retention in your business, contact Colm Power, Consultant, at firstname.lastname@example.org