There are many steps to take before you start looking at new benefit options, but one of the steps I often see people forget is to look at the data.

What do I mean by that? It’s important to pull together data to help you understand what will move the needle in exciting and engaging with your workforce as well as what’s out there to compete with in the first place.

Think about what will delight and engage your people with real data points to support that hypothesis, instead of just assuming.

Though there are plenty of low-cost employee benefit ideas that may not take a lot of legwork to put in place, you should be confident in your choices before you implement them at your organisation.

Here are four ways to work with the rest of your people team to collect data:

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Survey existing employees.

Your employees are with you for a reason — if not, they’d be gone already. Why not ask them what benefits motivate them, either through a focus group or an informal survey.  A couple questions could include:

  • Which benefits attracted you to the company?
  • Which benefits do you value the most and why?
  • Which benefits offered by other companies would make you consider leaving?

Interview exiting employees to find out why they’re leaving.

My colleague, Group HR Director Robert Hicks, often encourages the people team to use exit interviews to find out the reasons for employees leaving.  A couple of questions relating to benefits could include:

      • Which benefits have you valued the most?
      • Which benefits are being offered at your new company that we don’t provide?

Survey candidates who rejected your job offer.

This might be a bit tougher to glean, but if you can get honest feedback from a strong candidate who’s decided on another path, it’s helpful to narrow in on the “whys.” You want to remain supportive of the candidate’s decision, but also try to use it as a learning experience to find out more about what matters to them as well as benefits offered elsewhere in the marketplace. 


Monitor employee-review sites like Glassdoor.

We’re big fans of Glassdoor at Reward Gateway, as we believe it gives us another vehicle for communicating with our employees.  It’s so important that our leadership team aims to respond to employee reviews on Glassdoor within 24 hours, good, bad or even ugly. It’s here that we gain more insights into employee perspectives and views, and leads to more opportunities for us to make (our) world a better place to work. I’d suggest reading the section on benefits, providing you another source of helpful data from your employees as well as candidates.

Together, all of this data will paint a better picture of what your employees (current and former) and candidates think and say about benefits that matter most to them.

What data points are most useful to you when you're planning your employee benefits strategy? Share your advice in the comments!

Debra Corey

Debra Corey is an author, world-class speaker and HR consultant, paying it forward by inspiring and helping others around the world to bring out their inner rebel and drive strategic and meaningful people and business change as the Chief Pay it Forward Officer at DebCo HR. Her career spans 20+ years developing and delivering HR strategies in a rebellious way, pushing the boundaries and challenging the status quo to truly drive employee engagement.

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