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Five ways that personalising benefits can improve employee engagement

Talya Zwiers | October 31, 2019

Many organisations are looking at employee benefits as a way of not only differentiating themselves as a potential employer, but also as a way of improving employee engagement and motivation. There is a plethora of benefits out there that a company can offer. Taking a strategic and personalised approach can have a significant impact on employee engagement. Here are our five tips on how to personalise the benefits you offer your talent:

1 – Make them relevant to your workforce

Every business is different. For example, some have a very young culture that is driven by attracting “millennials” and others have an older demographic. If you are putting a benefits scheme together for your organisation you need to understand the makeup of your talent.

Once you have identified the demographics of your talent pool, you can then ensure that you have the benefits that are relevant to them. Do you have an affluent, well compensated workforce or not? Do they all live locally or are they more dispersed? Ask yourself these types of questions and deliver the benefits accordingly.

There is no point offering shopping discounts at retail outlets nowhere near your employees or selling products outside the affordability of your team. Similarly, you don’t want to be offering gym membership at the gym next to the office if everyone works at home. Your team won’t appreciate it and it won’t make them feel valued.

2 – Give them some choice and flexibility

Different age groups have different spending patterns and needs from their benefits. For example, an older demographic with more financial responsibility may be looking for financial wellbeing benefits whereas a younger demographic may be looking for more experiential benefits such as holidays and events.

Companies overall often look at benefits as a way of delivering extra financial reward. This was reinforced by The Employee Benefits Research Institute which recently released a study that found that the three most common reasons for offering financial wellness initiatives were: improved worker satisfaction (46 percent), reduced employee financial stress (42 percent) and improved employee retention (35 percent).

But we need to think wider than financial reward alone. The real key to a successful benefits programme is to offer choice and flexibility. We need to enable each employee to pick and choose how they make best use of what’s on offer. It’s therefore important to ensure that you are offering financial and physical wellness benefits along with experiential and lifestyle benefits. Have them in one place and make it as easy as possible for all employees to access and use them when they want – therefore delivering both choice and flexibility.

3 – It’s not just for your employee alone

Many organisations think no further than the employee alone. This must change if you want to offer a benefit scheme that adds additional value. Why not offer benefits that enable your employees to share special time with those people closest to them?

For example, you can extend the lifestyle benefits to allow each employee to treat their family. This can be as simple as discounted cinema tickets, booking a family holiday or having a company concierge service that the whole family can use.

But it’s not only the experiences and lifestyle benefits that will make a difference. There are also financial benefits that can be advantageous to employees’ families such as savings and pensions, health care and legal services. It’s lovely to be able to give each employee an amazing experience to share with their friends and family, but it’s just as important to help them secure their health and financial future.

4 – Learning is a benefit

Traditionally benefits have focused on adding financial and lifestyle value to each employee, but what we are learning form the next generation of employees coming through our doors is that there is a real desire to grow professionally and personally.    

Learning is a key benefit that organisations can offer. This can benefit both the company and the employee, especially when the newly acquired skills can be used in the workplace to everyone’s advantage. However, it doesn’t have to be work related and can also be hobby driven. For example, the person who always wanted to learn how to play the piano or speak Italian and their company helped them realise this dream.

These benefits can also be tied into long service benefits where if you have been at a company for a certain period, you are sponsored through an MBA or equivalent of your choice. Offering to help your team learn is becoming increasing popular and is a great way to not only attract talent but also gain their long-term loyalty.

5 – Real-time benefits

Personalisation of benefits isn’t just about choice and financial reward, but it is also about immediate satisfaction and allowing your team to be spontaneous in how they use what’s on offer.  Many people want to take advantage of benefits on the spur of the moment. This could be discounted cinema tickets, access to sold out concerts or shows or even booking a holiday.

Not only should you have a regular number of immediately redeemable benefits available, but you need to have the technology platform and infrastructure available to deliver them to your team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Think about standing in the queue at the cinema or your favourite high street store and going into an app to get a discount code there and then. Or being able to book a last-minute holiday to take the family away simply at the touch of a button.

Personalisation of benefits means different things to different people - that’s why it’s personal. But if you take these five points into consideration you will be well on your way to ensuring that you increase employee engagement and help them remain motivated.

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Topics: Employee Engagement