Tailor your benefits package to suit the workforce

The increasingly digital world is changing the way we all live our lives. We expect choice. We expect convenience. We expect to be able to access services on demand. We expect a personalised experience. And history has looked more kindly on disruptive technology than its critics.

Companies that get this are getting ahead (just look at the controversial taxi-hailing company, Uber), so what can we learn and apply from this to the world of employee benefits?

The report, Employee Benefits: 2035, shows that nearly three quarters of employees would like to personalise their own benefits package to suit their needs. They want the flexibility to change their benefits package when their circumstances change, if they get promoted, and when their lifestyle changes.

It all comes back to that desire for choice and personalisation, so how do you make sure your benefits package is hitting the mark with your employees?

How to make sure you offer the right benefits

The key to designing the best employee benefits package is getting to know the people that work for you.

In a small company, you probably won’t find this much of a challenge, but if you work for a bigger firm this becomes trickier. Encourage your line managers to have conversations with their teams and send out surveys to get feedback and gauge interest in different types of benefits.

Take a good look at your employee demographic data – identifying the size of the segments in different age and earning brackets are a good indicator of what will (or won’t) be of interest.

For example, you may employ lots of Millennials (take a look at our handy infographic for a run-down of the five generations in work today). They’ve grown up in the digital age so will expect to be able to access and change their benefits easily. Benefits that help them access discounts will go down well, as will schemes that help spread costs of things like home rental deposits and travel season tickets.

If you’ve got a large chunk of people in Generation X, then benefits across health and wellbeing, medical insurance and income protection will appeal.

Life events and how they impact employee benefits

Life events are also a trigger for employees to take a look at the benefits they’re taking – and they don’t come much bigger than having a child.

Employees will want the flexibility to change their benefits and the impact on their monthly budget will make benefits that can help their money go further and spread costs more attractive. Childcare vouchers, health cash plans and holiday trading will likely prove popular, alongside schemes that help employees buy cars, computers and other electricals.

Getting the right balance

Of course, it’s all a balancing act: you have to try and satisfy the needs of your employees whilst keeping an eye on the all-important bottom line. It’s not easy but the rewards are worth it: you’ll see an increase in take-up in some schemes, and you can ditch or replace ones that are underutilised.

We all know that employees are looking for more than just a salary, so offering benefits that appeal to your staff offers a boost to recruitment, retention and staff engagement too.