Research shows that only 13% of employees around the world are actively engaged at work, and more than twice that number are so disengaged that they are likely to spread negativity to others¹. We know that employee benefits can change this. But how?
“Engagement is about creating opportunities for employees to connect with their colleagues, managers and wider organisation. It is also about creating an environment where employees are motivated to want to connect with their work and really care about doing a good job… It is a concept that places flexibility, change and continuous improvement at the heart of what it means to be an employee and an employer in a twenty-first century workplace.” Professor Katie Truss².
Employee engagement relies on a level of communication between you and your employees. Reward and benefit schemes provide an opportunity not only for this positive interaction, but also for positive enforcements that are above and beyond employee expectations.
Employee benefits can also be cost saving, delivering a fantastic return on investment for many organisations that utilise them, all whilst offering employees choice and flexibility. But in order to implement a new scheme, or change what you currently have in place, you’re going to need to convince stakeholders within your organisation.
First of all ask yourself: Why are employee benefits the right solution for my organisation?
We know that the advantages of implementing employee benefits are significant and that they can go a long way towards achieving your HR goals, as well as playing a huge part in delivering the wider business strategy. But convincing stakeholders isn’t always easy. Before creating a business case, whether it’s to suggest something new or improve an existing process, you need to understand the role employee benefits will play in achieving your goals.
Outline these goals upfront and refer back to them throughout your proposal. The list of reasons to implement employee benefits is extensive, but it will equate to different outcomes for different organisations. With a successful scheme you can benefit from:
• Tax and National Insurance efficiencies. Salary sacrifice benefits provide the opportunity for you and your employees to benefit from tax and NI savings.
• Cost effectiveness. Lower costs by harmonising employee benefits and using one platform for everything you offer (flexible benefits, voluntary benefits, auto-enrolment and more).
• Increased engagement, retention and motivation. A well-designed extensive scheme tailored to meet the needs of your employees will gain buy-in and allow individuals to choose the benefits relevant to them.
• Reduced administration. Hand over the reporting, scheme administration and employee queries to save time and allow your team to be more strategic.
• Meeting the diverse needs of your employees. Cater to your employees using benefits specifically selected to suit their needs and lifestyle.
Organisations all over the world are taking advantage of these benefits. But you need to consider the needs of your business specifically. Ensure you have set expectations around what can be achieved, the scheme can then grow and develop to accomplish new things.
Have you ever switched provider?
We surveyed reward and benefit professionals and over 60% had never switched employee benefits provider³. A scheme that’s standing still needs a lift, and just like any other high value purchase it pays to do the legwork when it comes to choosing a provider. Our survey showed there are a number of must-haves that should be on every reward team’s wish list:
• Over 50% said that mobile-friendly user interfaces are essential. In fact, user friendly design is an all-round winning strategy, with 31% of those surveyed citing it as a crucial feature.
• Not far behind at 47%, access to an analytics dashboard is a huge bonus for reward managers who need to keep a handle on what is and isn’t working with their employees.
• And around 32% of respondents said that they need to know that any new system will have reporting for HR administrators before they’ll consider making a move.
Persuading your organisation isn’t easy, so how can you create a compelling business case for employee benefits?
Whether you’re looking to tweak your current employee benefits scheme, implement a brand new feature, switch providers or do something completely different; you’re going to need a compelling business case.
Employers that work with a benefits provider to construct a business case that contains both soft and hard measures of return on investment are more likely to make an impact around the boardroom table.
² Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development: Employee engagement in context
³ Reward and Benefits Challenges and Migration Survey (Benefex, 2014) http://response.benefex.co.uk/survey-responses