Why insight is vital to shaping a successful benefits programme.

It isn’t hard to see, that without feedback from your employees, it is difficult to understand if your benefits are really hitting the mark.

Without insight into interest levels, adoption and usage, there is an element of shooting in the dark and seeing which benefits stick. With more generations in the workplace than ever before, there is always a risk that your benefits programme isn’t going to please everyone.

Allowing staff to bring their pets into work may sound like an all-round people pleaser, but what about employees with allergies? When outlining your benefits strategy, it is so important to consider all of your employees – regardless of the size of your organisation. And this isn’t just about a quick survey before you launch the benefits programme, we are talking about dedicating time to continuously understand how people are utilising their benefits and how to review if they are actually achieving the programme objectives.

Here are our top tips to make sure that your staff are helping to shape your benefits strategy, and don’t worry – it isn’t as hard as you may think.

In the moment feedback

Don’t wait for the annual survey to find out if your staff are happy with their benefits. It is often the case that staff won’t give feedback unless prompted but if you wait until the annual survey to get their opinions, it may be too late. You may find that discontent could have been avoided with a quick fix, such as sending a reminder of a benefits window closing, which could have made all the difference to an employee’s experience.

Pulse surveys are a great way to understand how staff are feeling at any moment. You can align these with events across the business that may affect the mood in the office, or just give employees a nudge to take a look at the latest retail offers on your platform. The best of it is, with the right software, you can send these surveys straight to employee’s mobile phones. You can reach every employee, wherever they work, to see how they are feeling and chances are, this will make them feel a bit more valued and engaged at work.

Champion your benefits

Here at Personal Group, we have Benefits Champions. The Champions are made up of employees from all departments and levels of the business and they meet to discuss the employee benefits on offer. Not only do they champion our platform to staff and come up with ways of communicating the launch of new services, we rely on them for feedback. Before we launch any benefit, the Champions get their hands dirty by testing the benefits, grilling HR and making sure that it is the right benefit for Personal Group staff.

Knowing that these benefits have been chosen by a variety of staff, and not just the directors, makes staff feel more engaged knowing that they are at the heart of the choice of benefits we offer.

Dig into the data

Always keep in mind what your objectives were when you first launched your benefits programme. Staff may be reluctant to give honest feedback, but the numbers never lie! If you are being measured by the impact your benefits strategy is having on adoption, usage or engagement then make sure you are measuring these continually. It is so important for your benefits platform to allow you to see what is going on behind the scenes. We do this with our HR Hub. You can see who has been accessing which benefits over time and tailor your communications to give those benefits that aren’t being utilised a bit of a nudge. Similarly, it can help you identify which benefits are worth keeping and which ones may not be as valued by your staff. Surprised that your staff aren’t jumping at the chance of saving on a helicopter ride over the Serengeti? Or that calls to your EAP about financial stress peak at certain times of year? This useful feedback will help you understand how your staff are really feeling and what they really value. There might be services that your staff would really appreciate such as fair value loans that you wouldn’t have known unless you dig into the data.

Learn from your mistakes

As we said before, you can no longer launch a benefits platform and just hope for the best (we wish it was that easy!). Gather together your HR Team and newly assembled Benefits Champions for a focus group to go over what is working and what isn’t. Take all of the feedback from the pulse surveys, annual surveys and platform data to identify trends, gaps and to start making improvements. With qualitative and quantitative feedback, it won’t be difficult to put the pieces together and see what has worked well for you and how you can continue on a winning benefits streak. Perhaps you don’t understand why the majority of your workforce aren’t taking up the childcare vouchers and pension benefits? Looking at the data and feedback you may see that the majority of your workforce are under 25 and the last thing on their minds is saving for the future. Taking the time to build a profile of your workforce (using the real time, honest feedback) will most definitely help you shape a successful benefits programme.

Bring it all together

After you have brought the relevant people together, looked at the stats and got feedback on your current benefits, it will be time to bring it all together.

With this information you now have everything you need to tailor your benefits programme to suit the needs of your staff. Getting rid of the benefits no one uses and introducing new products and services that your staff will love is bound to enhance engagement across the entire organisation.

See, we told you it was easy! Over to you…