Avison Young ensures it understands the needs of its employees when deciding on what financial support to offer.
The global commercial real estate firm has more than 100 offices in 15 countries, and employs 5,000 employees worldwide and 1,500 in the UK.
Its financial wellbeing package includes initiatives such as a group pension plan, workplace individual savings accounts (Isas), an online discounts platform, virtual and in-person money masterclasses and one-to-one financial coaching provided by Financial Conduct Authority-recognised financial coaches at Bippit.
Its strategy behind this is to empower employees to take control of their financial wellbeing and to make the right decisions to support what they want and need in life.
The firm wants its workforce to be able to focus on their longer-term objectives, as well as short- and medium-term goals, so they can avoid ever getting into a situation where they are worried about money, explains Pav Powar, reward and employee benefits consultant.
“We’re always trying to close the gap between information and action to truly empower people,” she says. “Our previous provider gave information and knowledge to employees, but then it’s about: what’s next? How do we join the dots between education and ensuring employees can have conversations that turn education into action?”
Avison Young ensures that its financial benefits are supportive while staying within its budget by clearly defining the needs of its employees, which enables it to drill down into which provider can best meet these needs within a set amount. When having conversations with providers, the firm tries to understand what can be achieved within budget, with the ability to meet needs within this forming part of the scoring process.
“Providers should be able tailor what they offer and be willing to really understand the needs of their buyers,” says Powar. “Employers should have that conversation so that the services that will most impact employees are prioritised. It’s working in partnership with a provider to meet the goals of an organisation. That’s how to work effectively within a budget.”
The firm believes that financial wellbeing is a core driver of overall wellbeing and is linked to employee engagement, retention and productivity. As a result, it prioritises wellbeing support and uses metrics to show return on investment and the success of its provision.
“An important part of my role is advocating for a wellbeing budget,” adds Powar. “The key is working in partnership with providers to deliver management information that is relatable to decision makers within the business, to show why something is worth having or keeping. When things succeed, there are far fewer problems retaining or gaining budget.”