5 ingredients for a successful employee benefits programme
Like any endeavour, there is no single magic formula for guaranteeing successful employee benefits programmes. But the most dynamic are characterised by HR teams focusing on one or two key enablers and pursuing them relentlessly. We highlight here some very vibrant schemes in a diverse cross-section of clients.
Visible senior commitment to building benefits-orientated communities
One HR Director recorded a video introducing staff to the scheme, giving a personal tour and lending his authority to the programme. This video received 31,000 views in six weeks. This employer’s Rewards Community hosts video interviews where staff share savings tips winning an incentive for each story published. And the Twitter Group publicises new benefits in line with the corporate goal of making new technologies core to the business.
Engaging your Account Manager
Account managers should live and breathe the reward service seven days a week. Between them, they should know everything there is to know about what works and what doesn’t in voluntary benefits. As avid personal users of the scheme themselves, it would pain them to think that employees might be missing out on easily achievable savings potentially running up to £1,000 per annum per employee. We recognise that perhaps some employers see the provision of employee benefits as just ticking another to-do list box. Get the project implemented and then move onto something else. But for those HR Managers that really want to push benefits boundaries, account managers can provide much invaluable support.
Content, content, content
You can take employees to a benefits scheme but you can’t make them use it unless the offers are relevant and real. All your good work as an employer in raising awareness of discounts will come to grief if your employees are disappointed when they get there. You need style and substance, communications and content, breadth and depth of offers. The pay off is the very significant return on your investment.
You need style and substance, communications and content, breadth and depth of offers. the pay off is the very significant return on your investment.
Deploying product champions
Scheme success requires engagement at every level and particularly from line managers outside the HR department. We call them product champions and two employers in particular have recognised their value and invested time and money in getting them involved. A client with hundreds of locations, each with under 20 staff, has focused on champions to back up engagement competitions with points based schemes. These result in prizes for the area or divisional managers whose teams have achieved the highest level of participation by their direct reports. There is no doubt that, a twin track approach of motivating managers and employees has been responsible for significant improvements in engagement, in this case an astonishing 111% increase in three months.
Ensuring communications reach employees outside of Head Office
A major retailer recognised that a poster on an office noticeboard is, on its own, too passive to drive engagement. Their retail till system is used by all outlet staff and through it a survey was conducted on internet use at home among retail employees who do not have internet access at work. £1 was donated to their Charitable Trust for each completed survey and there was an astonishing participation rate of 33% revealing that up to 90% of staff shopped online. In a different organisation with staff based overseas as well as in the UK, Google Analytics reports reveal that employees as far away as Uzbekistan use the reward scheme. Whilst the Reward Gateway offer portfolio is limited to the UK, Ireland, Australia and the US, staff abroad have realised that retailers ship overseas and there are still gifts to be bought for family back home.
Motivating managers and employees has been responsible for significant improvements in engagement, in this case an astonishing 111% increase in three months.