Interview with Tania Parmar, Employee Benefits Consultant, Johnson Fleming
Do your benefits currently support creating an environment where your people feel engaged and motivated, whether they’re on-site, hybrid or remote? Do they support each employee as an individual, beyond the workplace, while allowing the flexibility to access resources and products at a time and place that suits their working patterns and personal lifestyle.
Are your employee benefits centred around the physical workplace?
There are many benefits that are no longer as important to a hybrid workforce, such as season ticket loans, and on-site facilities like gyms or childcare. I’m seeing more demand from my clients recently for new solutions that aren’t just accessed at physical venues, but that also offer digital content and services. Benefits like the gym, PT sessions, nutritional support, counselling services and digital GPs, are in demand, and some employers are even implementing an annual ‘wellbeing pot’ that their people can choose to spend on wellbeing services wherever and whenever they wish. I’d certainly suggest that now is a great time to look at replacing fixed-location benefits with solutions that can be equally engaged with by remote employees, regardless of where they are based.
Are your benefits supporting the ‘whole person’, and their wider family?
It is always worth reviewing how many of your benefits are truly flexible. Providing a core level of cover for employees is valued and still important, however there has been a significant increase in employers wanting to allow their people the opportunity to enhance their own cover or extend cover to also support the wider family. We aren’t just talking about Group Life Cover and PMI but extending discounted rates and access to services that offer physical, health and wellbeing support. Some recent changes I’m seeing are shifts towards more inclusive benefits options, fertility support, flexible and emergency childcare benefits, and child and family counselling options.
To meet this shift and demand we are also seeing increasingly more inclusive benefits solutions available in the benefits market – these are a range of benefits that include specific men’s health support, women's health (cervical and breast screening), menopause support and access to gender dysphoria support and services.
Are your employee benefits communications fit for purpose in a hybrid workplace?
In a hybrid world, you can no longer rely on corridor conversations and flyers in the breakout room to ensure your people engage with their benefits. It is now more important than ever to give your people 24/7 access to information about their benefits, and transparent routes to trusted solutions – your people need to access their benefits from wherever they are, not only by arranging an in-person meeting with HR or an expert adviser.
My view is that the gold standard is to implement a data-driven solution that uses your HR and workplace pensions data to send push-notifications that are truly personalised to each of your people, ensuring that they get the right guidance about how their benefits can help them, at exactly the right times in their lives. When you combine this with a bespoke employee benefits hub, you can provide your people with full access to self-serve their benefits needs, wherever and whenever they wish. This approach means you can be sure that all of your people are getting the very best value from the great benefits you have worked so hard to provide.
To find out more about how to review, re-align and rebalance your employee benefits strategy to meet the expectations of today’s employees and job seekers, download Johnson Fleming’s new interactive guide, ‘How to re-align your employee benefits strategy for a changing workforce'.