Four tips for improving employee satisfaction through benefits

Four tips for improving employee satisfaction through benefits

CIPHR’s head of HR, Gwenan West, shares how employers can put together a benefits package that makes all employees feel valued

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CIPHR’s head of HR, Gwenan West, shares how employers can put together a benefits package that makes all employees feel valued

How can an employer show its employees that it values them? Part of the answer lies with employee benefits. A workplace pension scheme, a health cash plan, and other benefits can show employees that they matter to their organisation. A good benefits package means a satisfied and productive workforce –nearly 70% of workers say they would be more likely to stay with an employer that offers good benefits – but how can an employer put together a benefits package that all employees can appreciate?

It’s not unusual for employers to target benefits at working parents. Twitter recently launched a virtual camp for kids, keeping them occupied while their parents –Twitter’s employees – can focus on their work while at home. But what about benefits and perks for employees who aren’t parents, or whose children have flown the next? HR teams need to offer a variety of benefits that suit employees are various different stages of their lives, recommends Gwenan West, head of HR at CIPHR. Here, she shares her top tips for organisations that want to put together a benefits package that helps everyone feel valued, and which acts as a “unique selling point when attracting new talent.”

1. Ask employees what they want/need

“The only way you will find the best balance of benefits is by asking your employees what they want,” says West.

By inviting employees to fill out a questionnaire or survey about what they would like to see included in a benefits package, West says you can discover what is important to employees and go from there.

Employees today demand open communication about their benefits , with 65% of employees expecting benefits to be appropriately communicated to them so that they can understand the advantages to themselves and to their families.

“You need to have constant communication with employees,” says West. “At CIPHR, we have recently had a few employees ask if we’re thinking of introducing a cycle-to-work scheme and this shows us that employees feel comfortable approaching HR and saying that they would like this benefit, and asking if there’s any way the business can provide it.”

This open communication with HR helps ensure that the benefits provided to employees will really be used and prevents employers from jumping on the bandwagon of introducing trendy benefits that might not be in tune with individuals’ wants and needs. organisations.

West says: “If Google gives X and Y benefit to their employees, you need to remember that you aren’t Google. Your employees are your employees. You need to be guided by them about what’s important to them, within the parameters of what you can afford.

“You have to see if the benefits fit in with your culture, your employees, and if they are affordable for you.”

2. Remember that benefits are not just those of monetary value

Rewarding employees and making them feel valued doesn’t necessarily have to be something which costs you money, West points out.

“If you are a company who can’t afford benefits, there are different things you can be doing that will make employees still feel valued and satisfied. This includes a day off for their birthday or an extra day off when they get married. For some people, time is more precious than something of a monetary value.”

Making it easier for employees to book holidays or travel arrangements, or even to change the way they work by providing flexible working hours, or the opportunity to work from wherever they like, helps employees to feel appreciated and engaged without costing your organisation huge sums.

3. Offer the same benefits to everyone, regardless of their position

From the apprentices to the senior leadership team, West says that everyone in an organisation should be given the same benefits despite their position, as done at CIPHR.

“CIPHR offers private healthcare after six months of service and, regardless of your seniority in the business, you have the option to take advantage of this benefit. In a lot of businesses, it depends on where you are in the structure, but we offer it to everybody – including apprentices and part-time employees.

“Our group income protection is also for all levels of employees after a year’s service and we also pay for all employees across the organisation to have a health assessment.”

By providing the same benefits to everyone, West says: “We’re telling employees that we value them regardless of where they are within the organisation. They are all important to us, and therefore they get exactly the same benefits as one of the directors.”

4. Avoid putting employees into categories

West warns that organisations should not be offering certain benefits to certain employees based on their age or the stage they are at in their lives.

“You need to have a benefits package that is flexible,” she says. “Some employers assume that young people don’t want private healthcare, or that young people don’t want pensions and to think about retirement, but you will find there are some that actually want that.

“You have to be careful of pigeonholing employees and categorising your benefits package according to the age of employees or whether or not they are married or have a family. You don’t want employees to not be able to enjoy a benefit because of their age, so it’s about having a really good balance of benefits that people can dip in and out of, so they can choose what’s important to them at that moment in their life.”

Want to provide a seamless benefits experience for your people? CIPHR’s HR solutions can integrate with software from a range of benefits providers. Call us on 01628 814242 to find out how we can help