Flexible Benefit Schemes have become increasingly popular with employees and employers alike over the last few years. Many businesses offer a traditional benefits package, but this type of offering is beginning to look dated as organisations move towards a more comprehensive Flexible Benefits Scheme.
Flexible Benefits Schemes have been misunderstood in the past and possibly avoided because of the cost of introducing and administrating them. However, Flexible Benefits increase the perceived value of any employment package, attracting the best talent and maximising return on investment on benefit spend – we’ll explain how.
What Is a Flexible Benefits Scheme?
A Flexible Benefits Scheme contains a number of benefits that can be offered by an employer to their employees as part of their employment package. The benefits that are on offer are decided by the employer, you can choose to offer as many or as little as you decide.
Most Flexible Benefits have a core level set by the employer then have various levels of benefit that can be ‘flexed’ (to choose an additional level of benefit); the core level is paid for by the employer and the ‘flexed’ element is typically paid for by the employee. Ultimately, a Flexible Benefits Scheme gives employees the flexibility to choose from a selection of different benefits to match their personal requirements.
While benefits within a Flexible Benefits Scheme will be desirable to most, people’s needs and desires are not the same, which means some offerings will greatly benefit some but less attractive to others. This highlights the importance of having a choice of benefits, and why having a choice is highly valued by employees.
What Are the Advantages of a Flexible benefits Scheme?
A Flexible Benefits Scheme is hugely successful for companies of all shapes and sizes. By working on implementing or improving your existing Flexible Benefits Scheme you’ll be demonstrating that you appreciate and value your employees. – which in turn leads to enhanced engagement and motivation. The advantages don’t stop there:
- Return on Investment for Your Business
Although there is a financial investment to implement a Flexible Benefits Scheme, introducing Flexible Benefits can actually reduce benefits and administration costs.
Significant savings can be achieved by utilising salary sacrifice schemes for pensions or by allowing the employees to purchase additional holidays. This would allow an organisation to save on the employer National Insurance Contribution. These savings can be used to offset the cost of implementing and administering the Flexible Benefits scheme. Or, as in some cases, these savings can be passed back to the employees to further enhance their pension contributions or use to purchase additional benefits.
- Attract and Keep Talent
An employer that recognises that employees have different needs at different stages or life and their careers and can offers benefits that can be tailored by the employee; sounds like a dream for many organisations. This allows employers to stand out and remain competitive with other employers within the industry, allowing you to attract the best talent within your industry.
Time to keep your talent on board! Show your employees that you appreciate them with a benefits package that can be tailored to their specific needs as their careers develop. A great Flexible Benefits Scheme is proven to improve retention rates within organisations, especially when combined with a total reward statement and an effective communication strategy.
- Engagement, Engagement
Engagement, much like Jay Jay Okocha, is so good we’ve named it twice! If you’re a company leader or work within HR you’ll know how important employee engagement is and will no doubt be one of your top priorities now more than ever.
Employees value having the choice of Flexible Benefits, as it’s the benefits that could directly affect them that they’re more likely to choose. Thus, when you are offering benefits that your employees truly value, employees ‘buy into’ the company culture, become more engaged in their work, which then improves an employer’s reputation as well.
- Healthy Minds, Healthy People
As an employer there is the responsibility of creating and maintaining a healthy workforce, which can pose a challenge. People within the UK will work for an average of 3515 full days over a lifetime, which means as an employer you can strongly influence your employee’s health and wellbeing.
Offering employees choice over benefits such as online GP services, medical insurance or gym memberships, you’re taking steps to ensure that employees have access to what they need to become or remain healthy and happy. When these benefits become accessible through a Flexible Benefits Scheme, the employees that take advantage of these become more productive and they’ll also help to reduce serious illness.
What Should be Part of your Flexible Benefits Scheme?
There is an extensive list of benefits that can easily be included into a Flexible Benefits Scheme. The key is to ensure that you select the right benefits with the right level of flexibility that your employees feel motivated and engaged to use the scheme.
Communication Really is Key
Communication is an important element of your Flexible Benefits Scheme. A well communicated Flexible Benefits Scheme is proven to maximise employee engagement and ‘buy-in’, leading to a higher level of employee engagement rates. Communication will help promote a sense of wellbeing within your business, showing your employees that you care.
For some businesses, communicating your Flexible Benefits may seem a daunting task, which is why we’ve designed a message centre for the ease of communicating directly with your employees. This has significantly increased employee engagement and take up rates.
It’s Time to Wrap up but First, Let’s Talk About the Future
As a result of a Flexible Benefits Scheme, employee retention rates increase. Your employees will stay with you for longer and their individual needs will change. As a company, you’ll also grow and change, but will want to keep providing the benefits that deliver the best return on investment and also that change and develop over time.
A Flexible Benefits Scheme creates the perfect opportunity to continually deliver a great benefits strategy to all of your employees that you promised and them be proportionate to your success. The flexibility of Flexible Benefits means that there is room for them to be ‘powered-up’ when necessary for both the employee and employer.