You only get one chance to introduce a new benefit, so it’s critical to get it right. We’ve spent over a decade fine-tuning the perfect benefit launch. Here we share our insights to help you launch with a bang.
Get set for success with clear goals
Maybe benchmarking has revealed a gap in your total reward offering. Perhaps you want to support organisational objectives with additional benefits. Or you’re not happy with your existing benefits provider.
Whatever your reason, being clear about why you need a particular new benefit will help you:
- Decide which providers to invite to pitch
- Create an effective scorecard to consistently and objectively rate suppliers
- Set clear KPIs against which to measure the success of your benefit implementation - like improved wellbeing or reduced CO2 emissions
Picking the perfect provider
The right provider is key to the successful launch and ongoing operation of your new benefit so you’ll need to understand whether providers have:
- Consumer-standard technology - employees expect benefits to be served via slick, intuitive tech that’s designed to service employee benefits first and foremost.
- Administrative support - the best providers have the right teams in place to remove the administrative burden from you.
- Seamless onboarding - look out for suppliers with a clear onboarding process and the personnel to ensure a slick and successful implementation and dedicated account management beyond your launch.
Perfecting pre-launch preparations
Perfect benefit launches rely on the right team. We recommend including people from HR, reward, payroll, finance, communications and, if relevant, compliance.
To streamline the project, the legal paperwork can usually be completed alongside other activity. Public sector employers should look for providers who work with a range of frameworks. This will give you cost-effective access to employee benefits with all the normal safeguards, while saving time and money.
Introduce everyone with a kick-off meeting and cover key milestones so everyone’s clear on who’s doing what and when. This should take no more than two hours and your provider should shoulder the brunt of the workload. Leaving your team with around half a dozen actions.
Next, your provider will build your branded benefit website in line with your agreed approach.
Then communications - one of the most important parts of any benefit launch - need to be agreed. Your provider will support you with comms that can be branded and adapted to suit your organisation.
Just before your benefit goes live, we recommend a pre-launch meeting to give an overview of the project’s next steps.
Implementing your new benefit
It’s always best to launch your new benefit with a communications bang. You’ll need to explain:
- What’s in it for employees
- How salary sacrifice benefits work (if appropriate)
- Likely savings with real-life examples
- How to take action
Consider holding a benefits roadshow so employees can see physical benefits and ask any questions direct to your provider. We also recommend ongoing communications, planned a year in advance, to keep your benefits front of mind.
Managing your benefit
When your new benefit is first taken up, ensure your account manager is on hand to walk you through the process. This level of support ensures super-slick administration and provides employees with a great experience.
We always highlight the importance of completing the P46 immediately upon receipt of the benefit (as appropriate) so deductions begin promptly and line up with employees’ expectations.
Rolling out a new benefit might feel a little daunting, but with the right provider you’ll be in safe hands. By following a sophisticated, well-trodden launch process, you can be sure that the scheme will launch successfully. And that it will end up running itself.