If you’re thinking of introducing an employee benefits scheme to your workplace, there are some considerations to help the process go smoothly.
Before introducing every benefit you can think of, take some time to think about which benefits would really be meaningful in your workplace. If employees don’t appreciate and engage with the benefits you offer, the scheme isn’t bringing any value to the business. Think about the demographics and lifestyles of your employees and what would be genuinely beneficial to them. A key consideration is what you’re trying to achieve – higher engagement, increased motivation, lower staff turnover? You’ll also need to think about whether you’ll have an open voluntary scheme or whether your employees would respond better with a limited timeframe to engage with their options. If you have the functionality it might be worth conducting an anonymous survey to gather some data that will inform your scheme.
Ensuring your employees are aware of your new benefits scheme is essential for a good return on your investment. Do your research so you know the scheme well and are able to answer any questions they may. Terms such as ‘EAP’ or ‘Workplace ISA’ may be new to many people, so make sure information is available and everyone understands each benefit. It’s a good idea to establish a calendar of communications, promoting various benefits and reminding employees of the options available to them.
Establish Company Values
If your company has never had an employee benefit scheme in place before, employees may want to know why you’re making changes. They’ll be more likely to engage with the scheme if you reinforce why the company culture is evolving and how it’ll benefit everyone. Company culture may include how individuals and teams are expected to behave, what shared goals you’re working towards and which values are important to the company. If employee recognition is a key part of your new scheme, ensuring everyone is aware of the company values makes it easier to reward positive contributions to the shared goals.
It’s important to keep your new benefits scheme at the forefront of employer/employee relations going forward, rather than putting in all your energy and resources at the beginning of the scheme then letting it tail off. Employees may originally be wary of change but once your scheme is established, trust will grow. Be enthusiastic and engage with the benefits yourself; encouraging senior staff to do the same, as this will improve the value perception of the scheme. Employees will be more likely to engage if they see that you’re truly invested as a leader.