As we emerge from over a year of lockdown restrictions, HR teams are focussing more than ever on getting the right employee benefits and company culture in place to support employees’ health and wellbeing.
It’s no secret that the pandemic has had a profound impact on mental health, with one 2020 study finding that 62% of employees have experienced mental health difficulties during lockdown.
With these effects expected to be felt long after the pandemic itself is over, companies must act now to ensure they have the right employee benefits in place to support their workforce’s physical, mental and financial wellbeing – both now and into the future.
The Employee Benefits Landscape
Identifying the right benefits to support employee wellbeing, while aligning with your company culture and staying within budget, is far from straightforward. Not only are your employees’ needs changing, but the options for offering employee benefits are vast.
As well as the more well-established employee benefits, such as health insurance, income protection and competitive pension contributions, we’re increasingly seeing new and innovative benefits being introduced. From ‘pawternity leave’ to gym discounts, and from financial education to mindfulness sessions, the possibilities really are endless.
So how can you ensure each and every one of your benefits is fit for purpose, delivering a strong ROI, and supporting your employees’ wellbeing?
Choosing the Right Benefits
The key is to understand who your workforce are, what challenges they’re facing, and which benefits would be most valuable to them.
Even if you had a fairly firm grasp of these areas prior to the pandemic, the chances are your employees’ circumstances have changed. The days of ping pong tables and free office snacks may well be behind us, and employees are more likely to be attracted to businesses that offer real benefits to support their wellbeing and overall quality of life.
Offering flexible or voluntary benefits can help employees tailor their packages to their unique needs. These can sometimes be perceived as an administrative burden, but with the right technology you can empower employees to view, select and amend their benefits anytime, anywhere.
But even when providing benefits on a flexible or voluntary basis, there’s a limit to how much you can offer – so it’s still important to align your benefits as closely as possible with your workforce’s needs.
In addition to consulting directly with your employees, such as through surveys, focus groups or staff forums, the best analysis will include data-driven people analytics. For example, Eppione’s HR & employee benefits platform features an embedded business intelligence module, delivering in-depth insights into which benefits are being utilised and by who.
So, if certain benefits are seeing low uptake, or you find many of your benefits are only suitable for a specific demographic, you can make adjustments to maximise your benefits ROI and improve your wellbeing supports.
Increasing Benefits Uptake
If your employee consultations and people analytics show that certain benefits are seeing particularly low uptake, be sure to investigate why this is before removing the benefit completely.
Do your employees understand the benefit? Are they required to make a substantial contribution to the cost? Are they even aware the benefit is available?
Research conducted in 2020 shows that just 28% of employers believe employees are aware of all the benefits available to them. In many cases, employees are only told about their benefits when they first join the organisation – so it’s not surprising that many companies see low benefits uptake, despite offering a great package.
To really make the most of your benefits spend and ensure you’re doing everything you can to support employee wellbeing, you need to provide employees with continuous, easy and flexible access to their benefits availability.
Ideally, you should empower employees to independently view, select and amend their benefits to suit them. So, if an employee’s personal or financial circumstances change, they can quickly update their benefits to meet their needs.
At Eppione, we’ve designed a HR platform with employee benefits fully integrated – so employees can manage their benefits and view their Total Reward Statement in the same platform they use to book annual leave, record timesheet and log training and development.
Available both online as a cloud-based platform and through our mobile app, Eppione is supporting businesses to maximise their benefits ROI and uptake, with the objective of improving employee wellbeing.
Get Your Employee Benefits Right
Choosing your employee benefits mix is far from straight-forward, with multiple factors – including cost, employee demographics and company culture – to consider.
At Eppione, our dedicated team of employee benefits experts can help you find the right benefits for your unique workforce and business, helping to increase the ROI of your benefits spend.
With our integrated HR & Employee Benefits platform, we can also help you manage your benefits day-to-day. As well as easy and flexible access for employees to view, amend and select their benefits, with a Total Rewards Statement and flexible benefits simulator, Eppione provides in-depth people analytics and visibility into your benefits uptake. So you can make the most of your employee benefits.
To find out how Eppione can support your business to get more out of your employee benefits and support employee wellbeing, get in touch with our friendly team of advisers using the form below.