The role of benefits strategies in reinforcing organisational values was one of the key themes to emerge from Employee Benefits Live 2016, which took place on 11 and 12 October 2016 at Olympia National, London. Keynote speaker Vicky Williams, director of people at the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), highlighted the importance of embedding organisational values into performance and business strategies. After launching its core values of teamwork, integrity, passion, and excellence in 2015, the LTA is now set to link these to employee performance reviews and associated reward.
Benefits that represent an organisation’s values and culture were also on the agenda for Diarmuid Russell, vice-president of international at Glassdoor. During his keynote address, which opened this year’s event, Russell stressed the value of developing ‘moments of magic’, such as providing treats for new recruits on their first day at work that are representative of their new employer, or offering employees unique experiences that reflect the organisation’s core purpose.
Russell said: “Moments of magic are the opportunity to really transcend the day-to-day employment experience and bring some magic to the employer brand and employee experience. It’s not just about fun stuff; it’s about finding something that is true to the [organisation’s] core values and that represents what [it does].”
Such initiatives can not only engage employees, but also create brand ambassadors. With the rise of social sharing through sites such as Glassdoor, employer brand is increasingly important. Organisations should embrace the opportunities that such transparency can provide, said Russell.
Leaders also need to be aligned with an organisation’s vision and purpose, according to Nicky Moffat CBE, former HR director at The British Army, who closed Employee Benefits Live 2016 with a keynote address on the ways in which employee-wide leadership can empower staff and drive business success. Leaders can help to engage staff by ensuring that values are explained in a way that is clear and relatable.
How to offer benefits that support all employees and enable them to perform at their best at work remained high on speakers’ and delegates’ lists of priorities. Steve Varley, UK chairman and managing partner at EY, took to the keynote stage to outline the steps EY is taking to support inclusivity and diversity in the workplace. Flexible working is one of the many ways EY strives to meet the diverse needs of its workforce.
Varley said: “Once we have recruited our people, how do we ensure that we are able to fulfil their career aspirations and offer working arrangements that will help support them throughout the different stages of their careers with us?
“We refuse to let people be forced out of a career because we couldn’t be flexible enough to accommodate their situation. Our underlying philosophy is that if we are able to get the best out of our people by accommodating their needs, then the organisation, as well as the individual, benefits.”