- Life assurance.
- Dental insurance.
- Personal accident cover.
- Private medical insurance (BUPA).
- Permanent health insurance.
- Childcare vouchers.
- Company car scheme.
- Core holiday entitlement of 25 days per year plus holiday purchase scheme.
- Bikes For Work programme.
- Online Lifestyle Management offering (Xexec – discounts site with a full range of staff discounts).
Most popular benefit: Annual leave and purchase of additional holiday.
Most unpopular benefit: Bikes for Work.
- Listen to what staff want but be prepared for several different answers.
- Offer choice.
- Give people the benefits they actually desire.
Neil McKie, Head of Reward, National Human Resources at Deloitte, the business advisory firm strongly believes that offering choice and giving benefits that people actually want is the key to a robust rewards programme.
“Having a mix of core and flexible benefits is the ideal offering from my point of view. Some benefits should be given to everyone as standard, such as pension provision, life assurance, personal accident cover and permanent health insurance.
“Other benefits are more dependent on the needs of the individual and so a flexible benefits offering can give people the choice to meet their priorities,” he explains.
The 9,510 staff excluding Partners are provided with a benefits allowance to spend on a range of flexible benefits with the option of taking the cash as an alternative.
By far the most popular benefit is the holiday leave entitlement. All staff enjoy an annual allowance of 25 days with the option to buy a further five days through the flex plan.
“It gives staff the chance to enjoy a better work/life balance, improving their productivity when they are at work,” says McKie.
More then half of staff buy extra holiday and following close behind in the popularity stakes is private healthcare and the annual insurance offerings.
Demographics do play their part, McKie tells me that younger workers tend to opt for annual leave, travel insurance and taking the benefits allowance as cash. Whilst private healthcare, dental insurance and critical illness cover are more popular with the core of older workers.
Like many organisations profiled in our Company of the week column the Bikes for Work scheme has proved an unpopular choice.
“We did launch the Bikes for Work scheme this year after heavy interest from staff, but the actual take up, particularly in London was very low indeed,” admits McKie who true to his word is not afraid to drop and introduce new options in order to give workers what they want.
Offering choice and being prepared to be flexible are key facets of McKie’s benefits package. Listening to what staff want appears to be the HR Reward specialists most valuable skill when it comes to getting the most out of rewards, a talent and expertise that McKie deploys in abundance.