People & Leadership

How effective is your employee benefits scheme?

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Do you know how many of your employees take advantage of your employee benefits scheme? What effect does it have on staff retention and employee motivation?

If you’ve invested in providing a benefits scheme, it’s important that you know the impact that it’s having on your business, whether that be positive or negative.

Encourage staff to join the scheme

For your employee benefits scheme to have the best chance of success you need as many employees to take advantage as possible.

  • Make sure all staff are aware of what’s available, how much it would cost them and the advantages of joining the scheme.
  • Be sure to include the details of employee benefits in any job adverts.
  • Take the time to tell new recruits about what’s available and how they can join.

Record which benefits are most popular

Using your HR software to track uptake of benefits is a good way to measure the level of uptake of your scheme and which benefits are the most popular.

However, according to The Benefits Research 2014, only 31% of employers use their HR system to monitor benefits and 29% don’t use any technology at all.

The benefits of using your HR software to track your scheme

While many companies use their suppliers’ platform to monitor uptake, using your HR software instead allows you to link up with other metrics that you measure to see whether your employee benefits scheme is having the desired effect.

For example, Payroll and HR software can monitor absence, recording time off by reason and in hours, days and half days. It can also keep track of employee’s performance and track objectives and targets.

You can also customise your software and create new screens to capture information about your individual benefits scheme. By linking this information you can see what effect it is having on the health and happiness of your workforce.

Measure the impact of your employee benefits

According to research by Employee Benefits, 11% of companies offer an employee benefits scheme because it provides a measurable return on investment.

So, what type of things should you be measuring? Hopefully when you decided to introduce a scheme, you also had a clear idea of the advantages that it would bring to your business. If not, it’s not too late to do that now.

It’s important to set some targets. Some of the key things to measure would be:

  • Staff retention
  • Absenteeism
  • Staff morale

Of course, there may be other factors that influence these metrics but your benefits package is still likely to have a positive effect on your business. For example, electronics company Samsung saw a 3.5% improvement in employee retention since launching its benefits package.

Ask employees for their input

If your scheme is falling short of your targets or you simply want to keep making improvements, speak to your staff.

They will be able to tell you what benefits would be appealing. According to The Benefits Research 2014, 41% of companies say they introduce or change benefits based on requests from their employees.

You can get feedback by running surveys, from informal conversations or via appraisals. The most important thing is to keep staff involved.

Review your employee benefits scheme

As your business grows and changes, it’s important to review your supplier and how well their service matches your needs.

And, as with any other service, it’s important to keep negotiating to ensure you have the best value scheme.

However, after introducing a benefits scheme, many companies don’t review what they have. Research by Unum shows that over 50% of businesses have not reviewed their packages since 2008.

Our recommendations for reviewing your scheme:

  • Most schemes are renewed annually. Before that date, think about how the scheme is working.
  • Look at how many people have opted in and see which benefits are most popular.
  • Review what your supplier is charging and how happy you are with their service.
  • Run a staff survey to see what they think of the scheme and why they have chosen to opt in (or not).

Once you have all this information you can renegotiate your contract or look for alternative suppliers.

Staying up to date with legislation

Employee benefits are an area of regulation that changes quite frequently.

There have been major changes recently, such as workplace pension reform and automatic enrolment, as well as changes to paternity and adoption leave, so it pays to keep up to date.

As legislation changes, it’s worth reviewing everything you offer. For example, as all companies have to offer a pension scheme, other benefits may become more important in differentiating you from your competitors.