International rail consultancy Interfleet keeps the cost of providing flexible benefits low by ensuring that it gives staff what they want.
The organisation, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, benchmarks its flex package and its 480 UK employees’ engagement with this, using the Great Places to Work questionnaire. In 2014 responses to the questionnaire revealed that just 35% of the workforce felt engaged, which is something the organisation wanted to improve through its benefits programme.
Kieran Grundy, interim human resources director, Europe, at SNC-Lavalin, explains: “The most important thing for us is offering the benefits that staff really want; not only does that keep our costs down, but it also motivates [staff]. We also had hands-on communications campaigns with posters and banners, and lunchtime presentations from our provider explaining what the portal means for employees.”
Interfleet keeps its flexible benefits window constantly open to help improve that staff engagement with benefits. “We don’t want staff to miss out on benefits because a window closed, and keeping these open constantly avoids that problem,” says Grundy.
Its flex portal, provided by Reward Gateway, initially enticed employees with straightforward retail discounts, which were then integrated with its flexible benefits, such as bikes for work, childcare vouchers and £20 off the price of joining any UK gym.
Interfleet also believes that benefits help improve staff motivation, which is why it incentivised employees who signed up to its flex portal. Between its launch on 1 September 2014 and 31 October 2015, staff were given £10 to spend through the portal free of charge if they logged in to use it.
The organisation also ensures it captures younger employees’ attention by making effective use of technology around its flex package. Grundy says: “Technology is absolutely key to engaging employees, but it needs to be fit for purpose and suit millennials particularly. This is why it’s available to staff anywhere on a 24/7 basis.