An HRD’s perspective on employee benefits

HR professionals have had many things to review, update, amend, design etc during and following the pandemic but we shouldn’t forget the employee benefits package offered to colleagues.

Employee benefits form a part of the reward strategy within our HR/People strategy.  When we review or update ‘reward’ within our organisation, we look at:

  • What people want and will motivate them
  • What behaviours the organisation needs to reward to deliver the organisational plans
  • Matching the two, to be able to attract, motivate, engage and retain great people within an affordable, ‘value for money’ cost base (which as we know is no mean feat).

The pandemic, as we know, has had an impact on how people feel about work – where they work, what they do and what they want from work; and employee benefits are a part of that.

For me, one of the most significant things is the confirmation of what has been a growing trend over the last few years – the increase of millennials and Generation Z (the digital natives and iGen as they are sometimes called as they have never had a life without tech) in our workforce, they now make up more than 50%.  The 2020 McKinsey report sets out that GenZ have a profound sense of diversity and environment – and we know from the pandemic that this also featured highly.

What does that mean for us as HR professionals looking at our employee benefits provision?

1. Tech is key

Mobile enabled employee benefits packages will engage and involve and if we don’t do that, our ROI in benefits is significantly reduced; it can also be a life saver for HR people as the administration around benefits is significantly reduced.  For most SMEs looking at tech solutions seems prohibitive, but costs are reducing and benefits increasing.

2. Matching our benefits to our organisational values

Recognising our values will be a big part of attracting and retaining millennials and GenZ (and remembering they search for us on-line and we are not in control of all of that, so we need to practice what we preach, or it will show up).

3. Benefits as a force for good

Ethical, sustainable and environmental brands are key for this group (and that’s not to say it’s not key for other groups too) and so they will look for organisations which offer them the brands/ideals which match theirs.

4. Return on Investment

Pension schemes are probably an organisation’s biggest ‘cost’ in employee benefits and an area which is least engaged with. However, you can get this group engaged with workplace savings that are more relevant to their stage of life; like buying a house (LISAs) or investing (Stock and Shares ISAs). Where pension is the right, and legal, offering, employees want to drive down the environmental footprint and, I didn’t know this, the average pension scheme contributes 23 tonnes of CO2 per person, per pension pot (Cushon 2021).

The employee benefits experts at Amba have put together a range of employee benefits that includes green pensions, ethical funds and sustainable benefits to ensure employers are offering relevant, plant saving benefits to their employees.

Lumina. Employee benefits as a force for good.

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