With more than 30 years of working in people management, I believe that there are several key factors that influence and drive performance levels within a business. One of these, without a doubt, is putting employees at the core of what you do, ensuring that they know that they are being listened to and know that, ultimately, their input will be heard and considered and have a direct bearing on the decision-making process. This, to my mind, is a key ingredient for business success.
So, in answer to the question ‘Are employees becoming more influential in driving benefits strategy?’ then I would like to think that the answer is indeed yes and, more to the point, I would see this as a positive thing.
In organisations where employees are provided with the opportunity to make it clear what they want, and, in this case, what they would like to see within a benefits strategy, then the easier it is for the organisation to ensure that a suitable return on investment in terms of staff attrition and retention rates is made.
The trick, of course, is to ensure that any such feedback from employees by way of upwardly influencing is facilitated by an effective internal communications strategy, thus ensuring that it is conducted in a fair and meaningful way and not just left to chance with the most vocal staff, irrespective of what they have to say, being allowed to have the most influence.
In my experience, this approach will then go a long way to ensuring that employees are both considered and realistic in giving their input and, in the main, will look to influence the decision makers by providing thoughts and ideas that will generally be deemed to be relevant and valid, in this case, in the context of building a meaningful benefits strategy.
Wendy Choyce is HR and training director at Carter Law Solicitors