Among the key findings within Ragan’s 2022 Communications Benchmark Report is organizations increasingly prioritizing employee assistance programs (EAPs), expanded wellness benefits and more attention to work/life balance. The report, which asked nearly 1,000 communicators across industries how they’re handling the biggest opportunities and changes, identifies distinctions between responses from members of the Communications Leadership Council and other communicators.
An area seeing growth is around providing employees well-being support. While many organizations increased their support in 2021, nearly three-quarters of Council Members (74%) indicate they have expanded employee well-being, which is nearly 10 points higher than Non-Council Members.
Leading the list for how organizations supported employees in 2021 is employee assistance programs, with a selection by Council Members at 79% vs. 72% by Non-Council Members. Mental health resources, flex hours and expanded wellness benefits also ranked highly among respondents, though flex hours had a 10-point differential with Council Members being less in favor.
This heightened interest in employee wellness support is set against the backdrop of many organizations navigating a hybrid workforce, which survey respondents placed as their biggest culture challenge in 2022. Sixty-nine percent of respondents expect their return-to-office plans to be a hybrid arrangement, either by mandate or personal choice. This is higher among Council Members, with 77% indicating hybrid work arrangements will likely be in the mix.
While it seems hybrid is here to stay, uncertainty lingers over how to maintain engagement with employees who are working remotely. In fact, 49% of communicators say that communicating with remote or non-desk workers will likely impact their role over the next three years. And one topic area that could be impacted is the way employee benefits are communicated, especially to keep all team members informed.
Continued change and evolution to how and where work happens as well as increasing employee wellness support means, as the report says, “It may fall on communicators to, well, ‘communicate’ such benefits.”
To learn more about what communication approaches continue to be effective, read the exclusive Benchmark Executive Summary. A full copy of Ragan’s fourth annual Communications Benchmark Report is only available to members of the Communications Leadership Council. Details on membership or joining are available.