EXCLUSIVE: Neil Goodwin (pictured), head of reward, HR at property services organisation Countrywide, will discuss how employers can implement a cost effective and flexible benefits approach at Employee Benefits Live 2017.
The session, titled ‘Structuring a cost effective and fluid benefits strategy’, will form part of the benefits on a budget conference stream on Wednesday 11 October.
During the session, Goodwin will detail the journey Countrywide undertook when reinvigorating its benefits strategy in 2015, demonstrating how the organisation sought to overcome benefits challenges such as low take-up and cost inefficiencies.
Goodwin will highlight how employers can align their benefits offering with an over-arching organisation vision and HR strategy, setting specific deliverables in relation to benefits to ensure that the organisation vision can be met.
In particular, he will discuss how Countrywide has promoted its internal products and services to employees under its scheme Under One Roof, how existing supplier partnerships have been leveraged to create preferential employee deals, and how the organisation uses communications to gather staff feedback. Goodwin will also speak about flexibility, for example, how Countrywide has used technology to communicate more flexibly with employees.
He will also touch on how cost efficiencies and savings can be utilised to help fund other areas of an organisation’s benefits strategy.
He said: “My talk is focusing on cost efficiency, and [reward professionals will] always have to make the business case for benefits. Even if [an organisation] is doing well performance wise, it’s about showing the return on investment.
“It’s about being commercial, which is key for us as reward professionals, and on the flexibility side, we need to be aligned with general society behaviours. People want more flexibility; they want more choice. They’re used to buying things online, having a lot more enablement from a [technology] perspective in terms of getting the deals they want and being able to flex things, so [employers] can’t just have a benefits offering these days that’s very static and people can only change their benefits once a year. That’s just not aligned with the different needs of [a] workforce, particularly younger [employees].
“It’s ensuring that [cost effectiveness and return on investment] underpins [the] overall benefits strategy. I think the focus is just on a commercial approach and making sure that the financials add up.”
Employee Benefits Live 2017 will take place on Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 October at Olympia National, London.