Your employees are used to personalisation as consumers and they're beginning to expect the same level of individualisation at work. Suddenly, one-size-fits-all benefits are exposed for what they really are: one size fits no-one.
With five generations in the workplace for the first time, variety and flexibility is the key to an effective employee benefits proposition. We take a look at how you can personalise your company’s benefits offering to attract and retain.
What is personalisation and what does it mean for benefits?
For years, the marketing industry has known that personalising products, offers and communications works better than simply giving everyone with the same information. Why? Because we’re increasingly time poor and only interested about what is relevant to us.
The same is true for employee benefits. Those that appeal to baby boomers won’t necessarily engage younger employees who may have a different focus. Place a huge emphasis on family-friendly benefits for example, and you’ll fail to deliver for those without children.
So what’s the answer? Understanding your employees’ needs is always a good starting point. As is using the data you hold on employees to segment communications. By taking time to find out what your employees want - rather than guessing or simply following the market data - will give you better insight. And help you develop a benefits package your staff really need.
Personalising in this way will enable your organisation to appeal to everyone across the employee lifecycle. And organisations who do this will gain significant competitive advantage as research from Willis Towers Watson shows:
- 74% of employers follow benchmarking data to set their benefits strategy
- Only 62% of employers take employee opinions into account
And when it comes to differentiating in a key area like health and wellbeing, only 6% of employers go above and beyond by actively differentiating their offering from other organisations.
One recent survey found that a pick-and-choose benefits package would be appealing to 94% of respondents, particularly for younger generations. And Towers Watson found that if employees are offered benefit choice more than double the number of employees value their benefits.
So how can you achieve personalised benefit provision without offering everything to everyone and breaking the bank?
Flexible benefits - the ultimate in personalisation
For many organisations, the route to more benefit choice is flexible benefits. This approach involves giving staff a pot of money to spend on a range of benefits, like buying extra days holidays or upgrading single to family medical insurance.
In the 1990s and 2000s, many employers replaced their core benefits with flex. However, today employers are taking a slightly different approach. Now, core benefits are often offered by grade and flex benefits provided on top for variety and choice.
This gives organisations and employees a degree of security by ensuring legal requirements around pensions are fulfilled. It also means organisations can ensure employees have certain benefits in place to ensure market competitiveness and financial security.
Does personalisation require a complete scheme overhaul?
If launching a flexible benefits scheme sounds like a lot of work and investment - and it usually is - there are alternatives.
Instead, you could find ways to expand how you offer existing benefits. A great example is car benefit. Most organisations offer company cars to senior employees paid for by the organisation or provided as a cash alternative. This excludes staff in less senior roles.
But by introducing a car benefit scheme via salary sacrifice, organisations enable employees in other grades to benefit from great deals and tax breaks. Particularly if they opt for an ultra-low emission vehicle.
The company also benefits by making NI savings which can be used to fund additional employee benefits giving staff further choice.
Identifying one or two additional benefits that your staff would like to access and adding these to your offering can be a powerful way to show you care.
Technology is the key to unlocking personalisation
Personalisation in marketing really accelerated with the emergence of digital and this technology can also help HR. Online systems that help staff make the right benefit choices on the basis of their individual circumstances are key.
If you’re adding to your benefit package, look for providers with employee-centred systems. They will calculate the financial implications of benefit take up and support employees and HR in administering the scheme. This is particularly important for those offered by salary sacrifice.
Personalising your benefit provision will help you maximise your return on benefit investment. By listening to what your staff need and finding ways to provide something for everyone, you’ll attract, retain and engage. With these advantages on offer, it’s time prioritise personalisation.
We can help extend your total reward offering through salary sacrifice cars. Our wide range of vehicles will suit a range of individual budgets and we’ve everything you need for a successful launch and ongoing scheme management. Request your free scheme demo today.