Many companies may recognise they are in need of a major benefits overhaul, but knowing that you have to do something doesn’t make it any less daunting. Here we provide six top tips to help you embrace change and deliver a successful scheme – without turning-off or inciting the wrath of your workforce:
1. Adopt a defined approach: It’s essential to ensure you have a robust process that includes talking to staff, looking at market research and benchmarking information. You need to find out how changes will impact you as an organisation, and model different scenarios so you don’t get any nasty shocks.
2. Evaluate your whole programme to understand your position: You need a firm research foundation and the appropriate due diligence in place to support your chosen strategy. By taking a consulting, data-led approach you’ll know exactly what employees want, enabling you to deliver change and earn the support of the workforce quicker.
3. Examine the influence the programme may have on employees: Ask yourself whether the changes you’re making will help you achieve your business objectives and make employees better off. If you take away an employee’s DB pension scheme for example, this will leave a significant hole in their benefits programme and they’ll need to be compensated. You don’t want to end up spending more as an organisation, so find a strategy that creates the largest possible number of winners.
4. Communicate your plans: Begin the process by clearly stating what the change will be and how this links to your long-term business strategy. Messages need to filter through appropriate communication channels so that employees know what’s going on and understand that the business cares about their views.
5. Implement the change: Once you’ve consulted employees on changes. You can begin implementation, ensure you iron-out any glitches and swiftly bed-down the new system as the norm.
6. Business as usual: Once your new scheme is implemented youmay feel you’ve reached Nirvana, but now is not the time to rest on your laurels. You need to measure yourself regularly against your new strategy and engage employees in the process on an ongoing basis to ensure their continued buy-in.
Stick to the above simple steps and there’s no reason to fear or avoid change. Yes, it can take time and may even be unpredictable, but as long as you keep the problem you want to solve and why at the forefront of your mind, and create objectives and new principles before you begin design, you will succeed.
Jack Curzon, Head of Scheme Design at Thomsons Online Benefits
To learn more about how best to design your benefits scheme, sign up to our upcoming webinar ‘How do you design a benefits scheme that stands the test of time?’