Aligning benefits and business

How can you build or adapt your benefits scheme to ensure it aligns with your business strategy?

According to research, employees are missing one thing from their working lives: value. Do they see the value in the work they’re doing? Do they feel valued for the effort they put in? Are all these different aspects joined up in the rhetoric of their organisation? If employees can see a clear link between their contribution, its effect on the business as a whole, and how the business values and rewards them in return, that’s when you deliver a holistic and authentic employee experience, and you’ll see the repercussions of a well-aligned benefits strategy.

6 things to do before you implement your benefits strategy:

1.Identify your goals and stick to them!

As a first step, you must outline measurable business goals. Your company mission and values will inevitably become a part of this process, as these are often the strongest links between your tangible goals and your employees’ drive towards them. Where possible, you should set numerical targets within these goals, so that you can measure your success against them later on.

2. Make your people aware of these goals

This is where your communication strategy – often tied in with benefits strategy – is key. Your people’s performance cannot be measured against targets they don’t know about. Clearly defining and displaying (first) your company values and (second) your company goals for that year – and showing an obvious connection between the two – will drive awareness and engagement from individuals with these goals.

3. Make sure everyone is on board

If you expect your lowest earners to get on board with your objectives, your high-profile ringleaders must lead by example. HR’s People Strategy is key to making sure this part of the business-benefits relationship is secure. Behaviourally, everyone in the business needs to outwardly live and breathe your values, mission, and objectives.

4. Ask your people for their input

If you ask your people to get in on the Ground floor, and give them the opportunity to voice their preferences and help steer your benefits strategy, this is your first step to making sure everyone is on board with both your business strategy and the benefits you offer your people. One way of doing this is by asking for suggestions via anonymous surveys like Peakon or SurveyMonkey. As long as your people fully understand your business goals, there will be an implied understanding of how far your benefits scheme can accommodate their wants and needs.

5. Place equal focus on wider rewards

It’s not just tangible benefits which should play a part in your benefits strategy. Depending on how ambitious your goals are, you might find that the intangibles, such as recognition and small, incremental rewards, play a huge part in daily engagement with your business strategy.

6. Establish (or reaffirm) your employer brand

When it comes to authentic engagement, the most important thing is that your wider rewards are completely integrated with your tangible benefits and your business strategy. Here is where your employer brand comes into its own; if your employees are to make an authentic drive towards your business goals, then their benefits and rewards for doing so need to speak the same language.

Implementing your strategy

Here’s where you need two things: consultants and technology. A fantastic benefits platform will lead to an exceptional experience when your employees interact with their benefits. And, for your HR team, the consultancy and support you receive along the way is going to be the difference between a good experience and a great one.

A great consultant or consultancy will help you form a robust and valuable benefits strategy that coincides with your business goals. Plus, if they have broking capabilities, they’ll be able to negotiate the best deal with multiple benefits providers, so you don’t have loads of points of contact; they’ll tie it all together for you!

Accessing slicker benefits technology will give you and your people a smoother administrative journey. An overarching technology platform with specialist analytics capabilities will enable you to:

  • View and report on live benefit and reward data
  • See which benefits have high engagement and which ones are less popular
  • Measure the impact of new reward and benefit initiatives
  • View your demographics to inform your benefit strategy
  • See your return on investment, the impact on absence, turnover and benefit savings in real time

In automating all of these processes, there will be minimal errors, maximal time savings, and an improved experience on both ends of the administration.

Getting your people involved in the design of their benefits scheme is going to be the key component to making sure it’s a success and it’s helping you achieve your business goals. If, through their benefits – and particularly in their recognition system – your employees can see their values being implemented, lived, and taken seriously, these values will become more than just words on your website; they will be ingrained in the way your people approach their everyday work.