EXCLUSIVE: Bespoke benefits packages are key to attracting workforce of the future

Employee Benefits Connect 2020: To meet the needs of future workforces, employers must provide a benefits package with bespoke options for employees, says Jo Monk, HR director at ALD Automotive.

Addressing delegates at Employee Benefits Connect 2020 on Wednesday 26 February 2020, Monk discussed some of the difficulties employers face in trying to offer attractive benefits packages that meet the needs of diverse workforces.

“Employers face the challenge of trying to pull together benefits packages that really give them a difference for employees in the marketplace,” she said. “How do we find something that manages to meet a wide range of employees needs and preferences, how can we deliver that?”

Monk explained that, for employers to offer bespoke benefits packages that go over and above simple tick-boxes, they must mine employee data.

“[Employers] can just enhance the basics, [they] can have a better company car scheme, or a better holiday scheme, but for a lot of our employees now, we’re talking about a different profile, a different lifestyle, different personal beliefs,” Monk said. “That’s the trick: trying to understand your employee base well enough so that you can work out what the [unique selling proposition] is and what’s their expectation, in order to really deliver quite a difference.”

Gathering data and forming employee profiles can give employers the knowledge to build a benefits package that will give them a competitive edge, Monk explained. In addition, offering employees a package that they are able to adapt and amend to meet their needs is also highly desirable both for today’s workforces, and for the future.

Monk said: “We know that we’ve now got really diverse workforces; we’ve got people staying in the workplace much longer, we’ve got very different needs and lifecycle stages. Having a one-size-fits all option is probably not going to be good enough, moving forward in the future. Putting together a suite of benefits that enables us to be bespoke and switch some off and some on for different employee groups, is something that is going to be really important.”

Technology plays an important role, Monk continued. Employers need benefits software in place which allows employees to self-select as and when they want to.

“Most of us have diverse workforces working in different locations. Being able to offer the package out to the whole of [our] audience, and for them to be able to self-select, is equally important as what’s in there,” she said.

“We have to use our benefits schemes as a very deliberate commercial part of the offering we give to our employees, so that it’s a total benefits package and not just something else they get as well as being paid.”