Flexible benefits plans used to boost engagement

EXCLUSIVE: Nearly three-quarters (70%) of respondents now offer flexible benefit schemes, up from 62% in 2012, according to research by consultancy Aon Hewitt.

Its 2013 Benefits administration survey, which questioned 361 HR practitioners and pension managers, found that 73% of respondents outsource the administration of their flex schemes, up from 60% in 2012.

The research also found:

  • A third of respondents spend more than 20% of payroll on benefits, while more than half of respondents spend more than 15%.
  • 45% of respondents cited attracting and retaining talent as the most popular reason for offering benefits.
  • Respondents’ top engagement priority for the next 12 months is to communicate the full value of reward to employees.
  • More than half of respondents evaluate their benefits strategy.

Andrew Woolnough (pictured), client development director at Aon Hewitt, said: “Monitoring and measurement of benefits is of paramount importance. Employers increasingly need to know what returns, both financial and otherwise, they are targeting and receiving.

“Unfortunately, many employers fail to measure accurately against their key objectives and so cannot track the true value of the benefits packages they are offering.

“It is not just a matter of increased measurement, but also of enhancing perceptions. Effective employee communication is key to this process and is becoming more important than ever as the benefits agenda extends into engagement.”