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5 Ways To Improve Employees Benefits Packages

Compensation has traditionally been the key driver for employees in terms of engagement and productivity. In recent years however, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, employee benefits are getting more spotlight. With the increased emphasis on work life balance, employees are starting to prioritise their health and well-being in the workplace. According to Future Workplace’s 2021 HR Sentiment Survey, close to three-quarters (68%) of senior HR leaders rated employee well-being and mental health as a top priority.

Benefits packages and offerings today need to be able to keep up with employees’ needs and wants. While the traditional benefits such as medical benefits and annual leaves still stand, employers are introducing more innovative benefits as part of their attraction and retention strategy as well as to cater to the various age groups within the organisation. That being said, implementing a unique benefits programme for the entire workforce is a challenging task. Here are some approaches that HR and business leaders can undertake to improve and enhance their benefits packages.

Gather feedback from employees about the existing benefits programme

The best way to improve and enhance on existing benefits programmes is simply to find out what employees need! After all, employee demographics vary from organisation to organsation, and there is no one benefits programme that fits all. Create multiple communication channels for employees to voice their feedback or gather suggestions, such as townhalls, focus group discussions or during manager-employee check ins. This helps HR and business leaders to better understand benefits that are valued by the employees, and allow them to refine their exisiting benefits options in line with employees’ preferences.

Be transparent about the benefits offered to employees

Similar to pay transparency, HR and business leaders need to be open about the array of benefits available to employees. While the level of transparency is still dependent on employees’ maturity levels, in order for employees to truly reap the benefits of a personalised benefits package, they need to be fully aware of the benefits that are available to them in the organisation.

Ensure both compensation and benefits are competitive against market

Benefits form part of the organisation’s talent attraction and retention strategy, along with compensation. Hence, it is imperative that the benefits offerings are competitive when benchmarked against the market. Consider reviewing the benefits programme every two to three years against the general market or selected peer companies to ensure market competitiveness. It is also helpful to stay abreast of ongoing or new benefits trends to ensure that organisations remain competitive in terms of their benefits offerings and is mentally prepared to introduce new benefits offerings if necessary.

Be flexible about the array of benefits offered

While HR can be detailed and creative in terms of designing benefits programmes, it is important to be flexible in terms of implementation. Each employee may be at a different stage in their life and a single benefit programme may not be suitable for all employee groups. Be flexible about the array of benefits offered, while ensuring that it is holistic enough to cater to all employee groups.

Allow employees the option to review their benefits throughout the year

Most organisations implement a specific period of time where employees are allowed to review and select their benefits options. These options are then locked in for the year until the next benefits cycle. While this may work for employees who have minimal changes to their benefits year on year, it may not appeal to employees who change ther lifestyle needs and preference midway through the year. For example, a new mum may not be able to opt for family leave benefits if she did not manage to select family-related benefits at the start of the benefits cycle. Consider giving employees the option to review and update their benefits on an ongoing basis, for example throughout the year or quarterly check-ins with employees to review and change their benefits depending on their existing lifestyle needs.

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