Creating a Workplace Benefits strategy

By Sam Thomas | 9th November 2018 | 8 min read

In our recent Breakfast Briefing on workplace benefits, we heard from a number of industry insiders on everything from creating a benefits strategy to adapting leadership styles for a modern workplace.

In this blog, we share some of the top tips from Debra Corey, our guest speaker from Reward Gateway, who shared insider tips on how to develop an effective and adaptable benefits strategy.

Benefits should reflect your culture

One of the key takeaways from Debra’s session was that a company’s benefits need to suit its culture. To achieve this, work backwards from your company values and find benefits and perks that best fit.

For example, if you value community – why not offer “giving back days” where employees can take extra days off work to volunteer for local or national charities?

As a result of your benefits reflecting your values, you’ll more likely attract the talent and individuals you want for your business.  

When selecting your benefits, remember that they should be “meaningful and relevant”. Offering discounts with certain brands may appeal to employees but not be very relevant to everyone, so you should try and provide benefits that are as universally relevant as possible

Benefit distribution should be fair

This leads on to another key point: benefits should be fair. It’s unlikely that everyone will opt for the same benefits or that their equivalent value will match.

This is especially the case if you work across multiple sites or in different countries. Some differences will be unavoidable, but in that case you should make sure they’re clearly justified.

You should also ensure that the benefits you intend to offer are fair to your business too. While some employees may appreciate a free day off on their birthday, or extra annual leave over Christmas, it may not be feasible for your business to provide this.

Communication is key

Whether you’re creating your first strategy or updating an existing one, involve as many stakeholders as is feasible to ensure you’re best representing the wants and needs of your employees.

That said, Debra says it’s important to “ignore the noise” at times and stay true to your strategy rather than caving to (sometimes conflicting) employee requests and suggestions.  

As above, justify your choices in the benefits offered and explain the reasoning behind why something is being offered or left off the table.

Meet your employee needs

A successful benefits strategy should also offer balance and choice. This means offering benefits that meet all of your employee needs – covering their health, financial wellness, and personal development.

You should also try and include different benefits for the different life stages, like childcare vouchers and life assurance.

The work doesn’t stop once your strategy is in place

Once your benefits have been launched, communication once again becomes important. Make sure your benefits are available and that people know about them. They should be easy to use and understand otherwise there’s not much point in having them!

As your business grows and evolves, your benefits strategy will likely need to change too. Therefore, you should periodically review the benefits you offer, and why, and make sure you’re best representing your business.

For a deeper insight into Workplace Benefits, download our free guide to Payroll and Benefits in the Modern Workplace.