employee-benefits-be-brave

5 min read

Whether you run a business with 50 or 50,000 employees, staying ahead of the game means constantly reevaluating – and sometimes redesigning – the systems and processes that may have worked well in the past. 

Shifting economic, social, political and technological capabilities means it’s impossible to sit back for too long if we want to wow our employees and customers. And many businesses are rethinking their employee experience to improve productivity and meet the pressures of a faster moving and more diverse workforce.

One way to do this is to rethink your employee benefits strategy – even minor changes to your offering can set yourself apart from your competitors and give you an edge when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent. Here are six steps to take to set your employee benefits programme apart from the rest:

Increase diversity in your benefits offering

Benefits are not a one-size-fits-all solution. By making assumptions on what your people want rather than asking for their feedback and taking their lifestyle needs into consideration, you run the risk of low engagement and a weak overall Employee Value Proposition. Employees are asking for more relevant benefits and, importantly, employers of all sizes are in a position to give more – provided they think outside the box.

Consider how diverse your team is in terms of age and lifestyle. Does your range of employee benefits cater to their different needs and interests?

To improve your benefits strategy, make your range as extensive as possible, and cater to the different demographics within your workforce.

While some people in your business will quickly jump onto benefits like exclusive or discounted access to fashion, entertainment and travel, others may want savings on everyday expenses like petrol, groceries and household necessities. Providing a diverse menu of employee benefit options, such as an employee discounts programme, is key.

Provide flexibility and the power to choose

While a large selection of employee benefits is important, providing flexibility when accessing certain benefits is important too. As your employees progress in their career or go through different personal and professional milestones, their priorities will change.

While some benefits should be available all year around, you can take advantage of making other benefits available during specific windows of the calendar year. This helps with planning and budgeting.

For example, here at Reward Gateway we have a quarterly benefits window where employees can opt to take advantage of our wellbeing benefit or buy or sell annual leave. It creates excitement in the lead up to exclusive benefits being available at specific times of the year.

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Prioritise 24/7 support for accessing benefits

Employee experience is something that leading employers are mad about, so it makes sense that user experience should be front of mind when building a world-class employee benefits programme.

Can your employees easily access their benefits when they actually need them? If they need assistance, can you or your employee benefits provider offer real-time support outside business hours?

As an employer, consider how you can support your people when they need it most. Our research shows providing employees with 24/7 real-time support when accessing their employee engagement platform helps to increase usage and the overall impact of the benefits programme.

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Provide instant access and value

For those seeking higher adoption rates for their benefits, instant access is key – we have a generation of employees who expect almost everything to run like Netflix or Amazon; they want immediacy and personalisation. This may mean putting all the information about your employee benefits on one mobile-friendly site, or providing an app so employees can access benefits on the go.

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When providing something like an employee discounts programme, you want your people to enjoy that benefit any time, anywhere.

And that's whether they’re saving money at a restaurant or at the cinema with mates on a Friday night, or while they’re squeezing in an early morning grocery run.

An app like SmartSpending™ can be downloaded on any smartphone, so instead of waiting to log into a company intranet to access their benefits, employees can instantly access their day-today employee discounts from hundreds of retailers – even while they’re waiting in the queue for the checkout. It sounds simple, but it gives your people something tangible every single day – simply for choosing you as an employer.

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Give them something to get excited about

Communicating your employee benefits programme shouldn’t be boring – if you want to get your people excited about what you’re offering, then get creative and have some fun!

Share the stories and shout out from every internal communication channel – email, TV screens, toolbox talks – about the savings your people and their families are enjoying.

Videos are hugely popular too, so my recommendation is to make sure you have a platform that can facilitate an online presence so can provide your people with information regardless of where they work.

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Use real-time reporting to make informed decisions

Staying ahead of the game means constantly reevaluating the current state - and it’s impossible to do this if you don’t have access to the data to help you make your decision.

Real-time data allows you to evaluate success and tailor your benefits strategy as needed. This helps you design a benefits suite that meets your needs, your employees’ needs and the needs of the entire business.

With so many of our companies keen to see growth, it is important for HR to be developing programmes that support the employees responsible for achieving those stretch goals. Taking any of these six steps to improving your employee benefits strategy can make a tangible and positive impact to the employee experience in your organisation, and support you in engaging your people setting them up for success.

Want to find out how we can support your employee benefits strategy? Get in touch:

Talk to an engagement consultant

Author

Rebecca Thomas

Rebecca Thomas
Reward Gateway

Rebecca Thomas, who often goes by "Becs," is a Corporate Client Success Team Manager.

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