How to Reward Using Flexible Benefits During COVID-19

While there has been a collective effort across the UK to slow the spread of corona virus, there has also been a national effort to keep the economy going too. Staff everywhere have pulled together to help their business through these difficult times. Staff who have been furloughed have shown patience and loyalty to their employers and many have returned to work to give their business the boost it needs. Many who have been furloughed have pursued volunteer work or have even taken on front-line work.

As lock down restrictions are eased, companies across the UK will be pondering how to reward their teams in a way that is fair, affordable and most importantly suitably rewarding for staff in need of support.

This is where flexible benefits can come in and help make the process quick, easy and effective.

For our full guide to rewarding staff during COVID-19 take a look here.

The importance of individualizing reward

The corona virus pandemic has affected people in varying ways. Many have been hit financially to varying levels while some have found an opportunity to save and cut their spending.

People have experienced varying levels of isolation and many have felt almost totally isolated, particularly those who have been asked to shield.

Therefore, it’s important that how you reward staff takes these situations into account.

For example, a cash bonus out to all staff would be great, but for those who have been able to save but have felt more isolated, a bonus of extra annual leave for example would be even better and might help them out of feeling isolated as lock down restrictions are eased.

However, determining which rewards would suit each employee best is tricky, particularly as departments are stretched and budgets are tight. Individualizing reward can be tricky even at the best of times.

This is where flexible benefits comes in.

How it works

Rather than handing out specific rewards, you can allocate rewards as increased flexible benefits allowance for staff. We’ve written a guide to setting your flexible benefits allowance here.

By doing this, staff can individualize their reward by using their extra flexible benefits allowance towards the benefits that suit them best.

How this works will depend entirely on your employee benefits set up. Flexible benefits are already a great way to help tailor your benefits package to your staff, but by also using flexible benefits to reward staff you’ll be able to reward in a quick, effective and personalized way.

Adapt your flexible benefits set up to support effective reward

Flexible benefits can be virtually whatever you want it to be and can be adapted to suit the needs of both the business and its employees.

While many traditional flexible benefits set ups only comprise of a handful of schemes, there are in fact many benefits that can be included under flexible benefits and now might just be the time to broaden your options.

How to optimize your flexible benefits set up for reward

Review the employee benefits you currently offer and think about which benefits could be ‘flexed’. Are there schemes you currently offer that could be included under your flexible benefits set up to allow staff to use their flexible benefits allowance on?

For example, you might offer discount vouchers to staff which could be included under your flexible benefits set up. Staff would then be able to use their flexible benefits allowance on vouchers to help with the weekly shop or on essentials and ease the financial effects felt by COVID-19.

If you run a Holiday Trading scheme this would be perfect to include under your flexible benefits set up if you don’t already. This would mean staff could use their flexible benefits allowance bonus to purchase extra annual leave. For those who have felt particularly isolated, such as those shielding as mentioned, this would allow them to use their extra time off to catch up with family and friends as lock down restrictions are eased.

Any health employee benefits that could also be ‘flexed’ would help staff too in a time where health and well-being is more important than ever. The Health Cash Plan for example when flexed would allow staff to use their extra allowance on upgrading their health cover for themselves and their family.

These are just a few examples of schemes that can be ‘flexed’. Opening up your flexible benefits set up can add a really important dimension not only to your reward strategy but to your benefits set up on the whole.

How setting up flexible benefits can be made easy

Flexible benefits can be tricky to set up as there are a number of moving parts, however the process can be made easier through a dedicated flexible benefits provider or by using a dedicated employee benefits platform.

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Reward in a way that will be remembered

There’s a brilliant opportunity right now for businesses across the UK to reward their staff in a way that will be remembered long into the future. Whether it’s for patience, hard work, loyalty or simply playing a huge part in helping the business through a difficult time, how you reward staff right now is as important as ever! Take the opportunity to enhance your flexible benefit set up and reward staff in a meaningful and personal way.