Delivering a robust rewards and benefits programme provides a great opportunity for companies to attract, retain and engage with employees.
But how tailored to an individual is a generic rewards programme? Would voluntary benefits have a better impact on the workforce?
Apparently so for British builders' merchant and home improvement retailer, Travis Perkins. Their Group Head of Reward, Paul Nelson shared with HR Grapevine the added-value behind ‘voluntary benefits’ in the workplace.
“For Travis Perkins plc, it was important that the benefit programme embraced organisation complexity, giving opportunities to manage legacy terms and conditions, simplify administration and improve data management,” says Nelson.
“It was also important that the benefits proposition reflected the Group ‘Cornerstones’ or company values. These inspired a desire to create a benefit proposition which created value for employees and their families.
“Voluntary benefits are typically defined as rewards which allow employees to buy discounted products and services through their employer out of their own taxable income or through a salary sacrifice arrangement.
“Benefits offered through ‘voluntary’ schemes also occur in flexible benefits schemes as well as core benefit offerings such as, cars, technology and health and wellbeing benefits. For employees the ‘voluntary’ aspect is similar; whether it a decision to spend their own funds, sacrifice some pay or accept a tax liability.
“The true ‘voluntary’ aspect lies in the decision by the employee to invest their own time in understanding the benefit and evaluating its suitability for them. The benefit needs to be sufficiently marketed but also explained so that the employee can make an informed decision as to whether the benefit suits them.”
The success of the benefits proposition at Travis Perkins has been driven by several key themes. See the next page for more...