Transform your employment benefits
A very powerful approach is to give employees flexibility when it comes to defining their own employee benefits package. During the webinar, we carried out a poll asking attendees about their key priorities in terms of employment benefits, garnering 118 responses. Providing cost of living support appeared highest on the priority list, in recognition of individuals facing the challenge of rising costs.
The second highest priority for benefits was the additional annual holiday entitlement. Extra birthday days and moving house days generate goodwill. Others have transformed their annual leave policy. Traditionally described as a set number of days of holiday entitlement to recharge, some employers are saying that the total number of days of annual leave includes bank holidays that employees can take whenever they like. This relatively simple approach recognises that not everyone celebrates Easter etc., so the policy is flexible and inclusive, giving employees far more choice and generating greater engagement.
The third highest priority was green car leasing – highlighting the importance of sustainability and values-led benefits. Healthcare cash plans also remain popular, given their wide remit and the harnessing of technology to make accessing GP services easy and efficiently. This was closely followed by private medical insurance given the pressures facing the NHS.
Consider wider culture
The employee value proposition and what a company promises its people compared to what it actually delivers, can be directly reflected in benefits packages. The resulting employee experience is a vital tool to drive employee engagement, going beyond the traditional benefits on offer. Giving ownership to people about their work and mapping career development drives employee motivation and loyalty.
Benefits can support this wider employee experience, with the offer of hybrid working giving people the flexibility sought by many employees. Many values-led benefits such as volunteering could also double as team building days, as the company shows its values in action with each team. It is important to recognise that the sum of benefits may vary for each and every company to accommodate different cultures and priorities.
What defines excellent benefits?
A system that accommodates what matters to employees can be achieved by trial and error. Employee benefits must be affordable for organisations, so make sure that resources are being invested in the right initiatives and do not overlap – for example Employee Assistance Programmes may overlap with similar initiatives.
For those not in a position to spend, look at the current benefits on offer and communicate these to employees. Consider what is already available that might help, for example discounts available from supermarkets through employers and salary sacrifice benefits.
Total Reward Statements are an excellent way to capture what is already being offered to employees, outlining the true value that employers are offering through tangible and intangible benefits. The pension is the biggest cost on your employee benefits balance sheet and is one of the most overlooked. Consider whether it is truly providing value that is understood by employees, which Total Reward Statements can outline at a glance, alongside other more creative benefits.