Since recruitment organisation Hays updated its benefits strategy with the introduction of a flexible benefits platform in November 2018, it has used data to showcase the return on investment (ROI).
Based on the needs and demands of its employees, as identified through its annual engagement survey, Hays focused on aligning the online flexible benefits platform, provided by Benefex, with its wellbeing strategy. The platform was designed to promote the organisation’s wellbeing categories of health, money, life and working environment, and to signpost employees towards the most suitable benefits or initiatives for their needs.
Trisha Brookes, director of people and culture, UK and Ireland, at Hays, says: “We wanted to give employees more of a choice in terms of how they could support their health and wellbeing. We had to make sure there were really clear metrics in place that we could measure and show to the business that this was a great [ROI].”
The key ROI metrics that Hays focuses on are: benefits usage, annual engagement levels, retention, awareness of benefits and its positioning as an employer of choice.
“Significant investment [was] required for this new platform; it’s a big project and requires lots of time,” says Brookes. “We wanted to make sure that what we put in place was going to meet expectations.
“We didn’t know how much employees would want to embrace the new service, but actually, they did. It worked really well and the feedback was great. We hadn’t set out to achieve a certain percentage of metrics; it was about primarily doing the right thing that fitted into our wellbeing strategy.”
In the first year following the scheme’s introduction, Hays succeeded in achieving 86% engagement with its new platform, compared with an industry average of 58%. Additionally, the take up of benefits is 56% in comparison to the industry average of 34%; this is a 36% increase on the year prior to implementing the platform.
Hays is only into its second year with the flexible benefits platform, but after one year, it was able to showcase an ROI on benefits spend, and use the data to create a more effective benefits strategy moving forward.
Brookes says: “With the feedback we’re getting, we’ve been able to replace some benefits we didn’t feel tracked good engagement and replace them with others.”