How Often Should You Review Your Benefits Program?
Seventy-five percent of employees are more likely to stay with their employer because of the benefits package. How often should you review your benefits program?
- By Matt Bragg
- Feb 20, 2020
Research surrounding what’s important to employees on a global scale is carried out on a regular basis. One aspect that repeatedly appears, however, is employee benefit schemes. Insurance company Willis Towers Watson published its findings showing that 75 percent of employees are more likely to stay with their employer because of the benefits package. This indicates the importance of offering an expansive range of benefits that include the features your staff really wants.
How to Determine What Benefits your Employees Want
There is plenty of research that HR teams can conduct to find out exactly what their employees want to see in their benefits scheme. Some of the most popular benefits include:
- Flextime. Flexible working schedules are becoming increasingly common, and business owners and staff are seeing the advantages. Flexible working could mean allowing employees to work an eight-hour-day, for example, any way they’d prefer between the hours of 7am and 6pm or a 40-hour-week within the same hours between Monday and Friday. Flextime can be beneficial for workers to assist with their work life balance, and for employers who tend to see improvements in productivity when allowing staff to choose their hours.
- Childcare. Employees all over the world find themselves considering the childcare support they receive from their place of work. Childcare is a huge expense for parents, and it’s often revealed that it's financially favorable for one parent to stay at home to take care of their child instead of both parents returning to full time work and pay for childcare. Therefore, any help with childcare could be a significant incentive for an employee to stay in their job. This could be in the form of childcare vouchers or an on-site crèche, for instance.
- Training and development. In order to maintain high staff retention and employee contentment, managers and business owners must encourage staff members to see their jobs as careers. One way to do this is to offer training and development support. The opportunity to take part in an employer-funded course—either at or outside of work—is an effective way of showing employees they matter.
- Wellness opportunities. Taking care of employee health and wellbeing has substantial benefits for both parties, too. In addition to demonstrating a concern for employees and allowing them to focus on their own wellbeing at work, wellness benefits also help to improve productivity and creativity in the workplace.
Measuring a Benefits Program and Determining ROI
Companies that have benefits in place need to measure the value of money spent on such benefits. The best way to determine the return on investment is to understand employees’ opinions on the benefits they are offered. Incorporate opinion questions in your annual or bi-annual employee satisfaction survey or create an additional survey focusing on benefits alone. You can measure your existing benefits program by:
- Presenting staff with a list of existing benefits and asking them to order them according to importance
- Requesting that employees tick the benefits that they actually use
- Asking staff to rate existing and potential new benefits as ‘not important’, ‘important’, or ‘very important’
Your survey should also offer employees the chance to suggest benefits that they wish to see available at work. While it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to action all the requests, this will provide a good indication of what the majority of your workforce want.
Reviewing Your Existing Benefits Package
By asking employees questions about your existing benefits as part of the employee satisfaction survey, it should be possible to determine when they need re-examining.
In today’s world, millennials are changing the working landscape. This age group dominates the global workforce, and more than 50 percent of them are managers, leaders, and decision-makers. Having said this, it’s also true retirement ages are increasing all over the world; in the US, the average retirement age is 67. With workforces encompassing this wide age range, it can be challenging to offer benefits that are attractive to all.
Another consideration for benefits review is changing legislation. It’s important to keep up with any changes in local law—perhaps relating to statutory sick pay, or childcare vouchers—so that your company can offer benefits accordingly. In the UK, for example, the British government ended its childcare voucher scheme in 2018, much to the disappointment of new parents across the country. However, many employers cleverly saw this as an opportunity to offer their own childcare related scheme, which suddenly looked very attractive to employees.
HR teams all over the world must regularly conduct research—both among employees and externally—in order to properly understand what benefits they should consider offering. Those operating internationally might benefit from outsourced, international HR in order to access accurate information about prospective regions. Proper consultation is required to ensure that the benefits you have in place are relevant and appreciated among local workforces.
Employee benefits are not just another company must-have that goes unnoticed. Benefits, it turns out, have a huge effect on employee participation, performance, and overall happiness—and this is not something to disregard for your company culture.
Matt Bragg is a Director of FMP Global one of the world’s leading suppliers of UK and International managed payroll for SME’s. FMP in turn is owned by IRIS the UK’s largest privately-owned software company. Matt has worked for many large international corporations including Adobe, IBM, Harte Hanks, and has a wealth of experience advising and engaging with International brands in Finance, Retail, Hospitality and Govt. Matt is a commentator on the current issues surrounding the worlds of HR and Payroll and is an up and coming thought leader on the topics of digital working and employee engagement.