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Uber’s benefits expert shares how to communicate your wellness benefits

October 27, 2021 / US

The importance of holistic benefits has become increasingly relevant for businesses since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. To support employees, many organizations have added benefits such as caregiving assistance, mental health support, and professional development. 

If you’ve added new benefits recently, you may be searching for the best way to let employees know what these offerings are. It’s not always easy to share all of the information about wellness benefits that exists: there’s a lot that can get lost. Almost 80% of employers think their organization can do a better job communicating about their wellness programs. 

Employee wellness is paramount, so ensuring that employees know what’s offered to them, and how to use it, is top of mind. We spoke with Ron Drayton, Senior Director of Global Benefits at Uber, to discuss how he’s working to make sure employees understand and take advantage of offerings to stay healthy, safe, and engaged. 

Drayton’s recent internal campaign is a yearlong holistic program that works to educate and inspire employees about their wellness benefits. The 4-part program was created with 4 areas of focus: connection to the mind, body, finances, and community. Each connection lasts for a quarter and includes live and virtual events to engage employees worldwide. Below are 7 key tips from Drayton to help you share your wellness offerings within your own organization:

Begin with feedback

Before you get started sharing information about wellness offerings, consider asking employees what they’d like to learn more about. Are they curious about mindfulness offerings, or are they interested in more financial education? This can help guide your work broadly. Then iterate as needed. 

At Uber, we’re enriching ongoing programming based on feedback. “As time goes on, we will refine the program to include other requested topics, such as spirituality and family,” Drayton says. 

Spread the word

Whatever you choose to do, be sure to get the word out about your program in a number of ways. Beyond events, one-on-one manager conversations, and onboarding training, “we’re using multifaceted ways to highlight what we’re doing, from email and hashtags to Slack channels dedicated to wellness and the campaign,” Drayton says. 

Set up regular communication

Voya Financial reported in early 2021 that two-thirds of employed individuals are looking for their employers to help them better understand their wellness benefits throughout the year, not just during open enrollment. At Uber, educational campaigns occur year-round and throughout an employee’s experience with the company. “To keep interest going,” says Drayton, “we’re focusing on moments that matter, like onboarding and during feedback cycles.”

Engage managers 

Your program should also include manager-specific education. Since managers often have regular contact with employees and a deeper understanding of their performance, their assistance is key to making sure benefits are shared and used. 

Try creating a manager-specific session to help them understand how wellness offerings can benefit their teams and when to suggest specific benefits. This training could also include guidance for wellness suggestions during the feedback cycle, to ensure that team members feel supported throughout the year. 

Use experts 

Many benefits vendors will happily provide a representative or expert to speak to your organization or engage with your group in some way. This might be a doctor, wellness expert, therapist, or someone else. Take advantage of this to further educate employees on topics they might be interested in learning more about, while providing the representative an opportunity to share what their product does. 

Mix things up

Get creative and try new ways of engaging with employees. This could include a panel or wellness webinar, but it could also be an in-person cooking class for a local team or a global meditation session. 

Be culturally sensitive 

“When you talk about well-being, it’s different to different people,” Drayton says. If your team is global, be sensitive to what their definition of wellness means and what they’re looking for when it comes to benefits. What might be a great perk in Canada may not translate to Brazil, and so on.  

Employees will be grateful for the opportunity to understand their benefits and will see how the organization cares for them. “‘Love’ is an action word,” Drayton says. “By walking the walk, it makes me carry my head up high.”