Health benefits, flexible working, and leave are just three of the top picks for employers in 2024. These should be standard picks at most organisations.
But to put together a comprehensive package that meets the nuances and preferences of the workforce, HR and Rewards leaders should consistently audit their offerings in line with the latest data from their employees.
As HR becomes evermore data-driven, and employee listening techniques grow in sophistication beyond one-off Likert questionnaires, employers can keep a better pulse on what their people would like to see improved.
At Anaplan, Goodchild argues engaging employees with improved benefits is key. “We have an annual benefits survey that asks key questions and allows us to measure the awareness of certain benefits and any features of those benefits we deem of particular value,” he says, outlining Anaplan’s approach to employee listening on this topic.
Being able to allow for flexibility and variability in a benefits package is now key for attraction and retention
But this also requires consistent communication. “We schedule regular updates and information on our internal messaging system and through our benefits portal,” Goodchild adds.
This also represents a chance to trim the fat. As well as highlighting policies that are missing and require investment, it can also indicate the policies that offer poor return on investment (ROI). Cutting these policies from the budget frees up funds for re-investment or even scoring some brownie points with finance.
Review your package policy-by-policy, evaluating its ROI, and considering whether it still aligns with the goals of the company and employee demands. Then compare your package against both external benchmarks, which provide industry-best practices, and the data you continuously gather from your employees on their needs and wants.
Firstly, no prizes for guessing that building a closer alignment between your package and employee expectations can improve the usual measures of engagement, satisfaction, and productivity for employees across the board.
“Every employee is at a different life stage and being able to allow for flexibility and variability in a benefits package is now key for attraction and retention,” reflects Goodchild.
Secondly, if properly executed, creating an agile strategy around implementing benefits can help drive your organisation toward business-level goals.
A shift to flexible working policies, for example, may improve the ability of the company to acquire highly skilled employees from competitors enforcing return-to-office mandates. Or, generous leave policies may increase trust between employees and employers. High-trust organisations have higher levels of innovation than those where trust is low.
Thirdly, continuously auditing and updating benefits packages can prevent wasted budget on policies that collect dust and no longer engage employees. Though do note, cutting benefits that employees do value can prove to be a costly mistake.
What benefits are you adding to your package in 2024? And remember, if all you have is table football in the breakroom and snacks in the office, it's time to go back to the drawing board.
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