Refocusing benefits strategy can pay dividends

Debbie Lovewell-Tuck

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get,” so said American business magnate and one of the world’s wealthiest men, Warren Buffett.

While return on investment (ROI) is a critical measure of success for any business initiative, a number of employers are beginning to shift their focus slightly, so, rather than looking purely at the financial return they will obtain on their spend, they are instead focusing more on the value of their investment, whether in the short or longer term.

This may not be as immediately pleasing to their organisation’s finance director, but in the longer term, the potential returns on employee wellbeing, productivity, engagement and loyalty, for example, could prove much lucrative than any short-term financial gain.

Securing top-level support for investment in benefits, therefore, is vital for reward professionals looking to focus on driving value through benefits, rather than purely focusing on cost. Read more in How to gain value on investment from employee benefits.

In a roundtable discussion held in April 2016, sponsored by Standard Life, participating industry experts highlighted the advantages to businesses of shifting emphasis in this way, as well as key factors driving its success.

Employee take-up and appreciation of the reward and benefits available to them is vital if employers are to achieve value. No initiative will even come close to providing a return to an organisation, be it in value or cost terms, if employees do not engage with and use it. Employee demographics, therefore, must be considered when implementing or reviewing benefits. With five generations now present in the workplace for the first time, how to construct a package that appeals to such a vast employee base is a challenge facing many employers. How to meet the needs and expectations of the newer generations of employees is a particular area of focus for many. Find out more in How to engage millennials in the workplace.

Whatever approach employers take to benefits, for those looking to measure success, data and management information provides valuable insights. But with such a vast wealth of data now available to employers, it is vital to pick and choose the most useful statistic. Find out how to use such information effectively in What role can management information play in designing benefits strategy?

While refocusing benefits strategy can be a complex task, employers that get it right for their organisation will undoubtedly find that it pays dividends.

Debbie Lovewell-Tuck
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