The Employee Benefits Summit always throws up many ‘aha’ moments for all those attending this two-day event.
And last week’s annual get-together was no different.
Everyone will have a different list of takeaways, but I was struck by these two points from our speakers:
Firstly, Sarah Purnell, head UK reward and benefits at Tesco, said: “Heightened awareness and adjusted expectations will be here for quite some time.”
She was referring to how staff have adjusted their expectations and needs because of their experiences during the recession. For me, the learning was that even as the good times come back (and for some that could still be a while away), people will continue to scrutinise pay packets and want to squeeze every drop from benefits packages.
So there is a real challenge for HR to be on the ball in meeting their own staff’s ongoing and shifting needs (and not simply benchmarking with competitors).
Secondly, Martin Flavell, HR director of Finmeccanica, told us that with workplace pension investments, there is still a lot of scope for HR and benefits managers to do things really well.
He pointed out that with so little effort being put in by so many UK HR departments, it is not hard to up the ante to get a better investment strategy for your staff and also find your organisation leading the pack in this area.
With contract-based defined contribution plans often being seen as the poor cousins of final salary schemes, it is good to see there is a free(ish) way to get better retirement outcomes for staff.
For a relatively low cost, the outcome could spin into thousands of pounds more for staff in old age.
What have you heard recently that gave you an ‘aha’ moment? Do share, in the comments section below.