Elaine Hwang is the director of benefits for Willis Towers Watson in Hong Kong.
Managers who help their staff understand company policies and benefits can be more effective
The modern workforce is diverse in terms of culture, location and age. In this context, being able to communicate clearly, at speed, is essential, and social media can make this process more efficient.
It can also be a management tool, used to explain company policy and values, and articulate company benefits.
Traditionally, benefits programmes are managed by HR staff. Now, leaders play a role in attracting and retaining staff, and managers who help colleagues understand company policies and benefits tend to be most effective.
Hong Kong employers have introduced more benefits over the last five years than in the previous twenty. Around 70 per cent view benefits as an important tool for attracting and retaining employees, and some spend as much as 20 per cent of their payroll costs on benefits.
Despite this, there is a significant gap between benefit spending and employee appreciation. For the effective manager, failure to close that gap leads to a poor return on company investment.
For a generation glued to smartphones, instant messaging and social platforms often replace email. These apps enable relaxed and transparent communication between people at different levels.
Social media platforms are useful for managers who aim to add a human face to the business’ online presence and thereby communicate more effectively. When managers understand what employees are looking for, they are better placed to tailor benefits to suit individual needs.
Social media won’t solve all issues with internal communications, but it offers increasingly sophisticated tools to assist in attracting and retaining talent.
This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as Apps with benefits.