Making sure employee benefits meet your workers' needs

23 Mar 2020

Whether you already have an employee benefits package in place, or you're looking to create one, it's essential to make sure you meet people's needs.

That means finding out what your workers want and need, communicating the benefits available, making it easy for staff to access these benefits, and regularly reviewing your benefits offering.

In many organisations in the UK a failure to do this is contributing to workplace disengagement, new research suggests.

The Willis Towers Watson Global Benefits Attitudes Study found that just one in five (19%) workers who are dissatisfied with their benefits package are highly engaged with their job. This compares to almost half (48%) of those who say their benefits meet their needs.

"Engagement deficit has become a major management concern over recent years, impacting business productivity and profitability," commented Mark Ramsook, senior director at Willis Towers Watson Health and Benefits.

"A premium benefits package may not be the silver bullet for employee engagement, but it is clear from this research that meagre, uncompetitive or inadequately tailored benefits provision can play a significant role in disengaging a workforce."

The report highlighted why it's worth offering a wide range of benefits, as there was a clear link between enhanced choice and benefits satisfaction.

Willis Towers Watson found that 72% of workers who were offered a full flexible benefits scheme, including voluntary benefits, felt their benefits meet their needs -- in contrast with just 39% who were offered no core or voluntary benefits choices.

In other findings, more than half of workers (54%) felt that a single online platform that allows them to review and manage their benefits would help them most in making benefit decisions. More than a third (36%) also wanted online materials to help them better understand their available options.

Lastly, when it comes to benefit communication strategies, consider the age range of your workers and the type of benefits on offer.

More than half of Gen Z employees (51%) favoured exclusive online communication, but less than one in four (23%) Baby Boomers felt the same way.

Meanwhile, over two-thirds (65%) of employees prefer to talk through their options, one-to-one, for complex benefits decisions.

"The increasing diversity of the modern workforce has meant that a one-size-fits-approach to benefit programme design is rarely an appropriate strategy for organisations aiming to attract and retain top talent," Ramsook added.

"Employees invariably have different pain points along with disparate health, wealth and lifestyle requirements. This calls for dedicated tools that support greater personalisation, freedom of choice and control over their benefits portfolio.

"Furthermore, these are likely to deliver greatest value where they also meet rising employee expectations for an intuitive and dynamic consumer-grade user experience."

At Fidelius our Employee Benefits consultants have extensive experience in designing employee benefit programmes and also communicating these benefits to employees, ensuring that they both appreciate and engage with what is being provided. Contact us to discuss how we can help you!