5 tips for communicating fertility benefits – and keeping talent
One in five people in the UK experiencing fertility issues have considered leaving their job, according to the CIPD.
Fewer than half of employee respondents to its Workplace support for employees experiencing fertility challenges, investigations or treatment report did not tell their manager or HR about their challenges or treatment, 19% of them saying because they were concerned they would not be offered support.
Fertility benefits can help employees feel more supported and stay at their company — but only if they’re aware of the resources they have.
If your company offers fertility benefits, providing clear communication and showing support from leadership can help employees feel comfortable asking about and using these valuable resources.
1. Borrow marketing techniques
Traditional benefits booklets can be dense and confusing — and probably end up unread. Borrowing a few tips and tricks from your marketing team can help diversify your approach and reach employees wherever they are.
For example, consider the marketing principle the rule of seven, which says that people typically need to see something seven times before they take action. A multi-channel communications plan for remote workers could include email, a mention in a newsletter, a few messages on a platform such as Slack, inclusion on your intranet, a video presentation, and a home mailer — a useful option for a personal topic like fertility and family forming.
An in-person programme could include flyers in your breakroom or office kitchen and a benefits fair as well as digital communications.
But ensure you make your communications simple and easy to understand. If you’re curious about how difficult your materials read, try the Hemingway App. It analyses your content’s reading level and suggests how to simplify your language. Often, benefits vendors can help with these materials.
2. Clarify what your fertility benefits cover
Employees may have preconceived notions about what is — and is not — included in your fertility benefits. Even the term ‘fertility’ may lead employees to assume that services like adoption aren’t covered.
But inclusive fertility benefits offer several options beyond in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and egg freezing. Resources may include fertility testing, education, preservation, IVF, donor-assisted reproduction, adoption, pregnancy, and even menopause.
In benefits communications, bullet point the high-level services your programme includes.
3. Ensure employees know who can access fertility benefits
Another common misconception is that fertility benefits are primarily for women. It’s important to make it known that an inclusive programme is open to all employees regardless of sex, gender, or relationship status.
If your fertility benefit does not have restrictions related to how long someone has been trying to get pregnant before exploring fertility treatment options, consider highlighting this.
4. Get employee resource groups involved
Employee resource groups (ERGs) are another helpful resource for spreading the word about your fertility and family-forming benefits. Provide ERG leaders with slides or other information about your fertility benefits and get feedback and any questions they receive from their members.
If the request for fertility and family-forming benefits started with an ERG, make sure those in the group know about the new benefit — it can help show employees that you’re listening.
5. Show why fertility benefits matter
In the UK, 30% of people believe their culture places a stigma on people experiencing fertility challenges. This can make it less likely that an employee may ask questions about their fertility benefits or sign up to learn more. Hearing about fertility and family forming from leaders can help.
Chances are, your benefit will get the most attention when you first announce it. Be sure to continue talking about your fertility benefit options throughout the year, such as during National Fertility Awareness Week (31 October-4 November 2023).
Fertility benefits are a powerful way to help employees feel heard and pursue their family forming goals — but only if they know they have support.
In partnership with Carrot
Comprehensive and inclusive fertility care platform, supporting family forming and hormonal health.