Best practice from thought leaders 2008

Employee%20Benefits%20-%20Flexible%20benefits%20supplement%20October%202007%20coverAdapt best practice to suit own needs
Facing flex
Flex can be the glue that offers consistency across businesses
Being proactive on health
Driving down cost of absence with analysis of sickness data
Accounting for change
Tailored modelling tools help staff get realistic about retirement
Build robust reward
Dishing out reward for hitting strategic goals creates value
Risk products have rewards
Building a backbone of risk benefits can lead to talent gains
Frustration factored in?
Give HR managers the tools to actively monitor engagement
Partial cure for absence
Power ahead with benefits that boost staff health and wellbeing
Put stock in share perks
Sharing a common language is vital for scheme success
Change investment practices to mitigate risk
Face facts head on and be upfront with staff to retain trust
Schooling pays dividends
Face up to the provision of multi-site financial education
Tailored funding strategies
Education is the key to curbing driver health and safety issues
Concentrate and work towards unifying cross-border thinking
Vodafone UK puts shining behaviour under the spotlight
Pay equality process requires forensic attention to detail
Constructing the right messages for staff to get financial picture
Publicise savings to help workers feed off bargains
Consider cultural impact carefully when integrating IT
Help staff achieve a good work-life balance to build on success

It can be a daunting challenge for benefits practitioners to put in place a strategy that
delivers business benefits. This is especially so if you are working in isolation in an
organisation that has little benefits expertise.

Of course there are HR textbooks to turn to for guidance, or courses and
conferences to attend, but there is nothing like being able to tap into first-hand
experience for advice on how to implement or improve a benefits scheme, or the
strategy that sits behind it.

Best Practice from Thought Leaders sets out to provide you with guidance direct
from some of the top thinkers within the benefits industry, whether they may be
employers, consultants or providers.

It includes in-depth case studies and advice from well-known employers. Their work
on specific benefits offers prime examples of what is considered to be best practice. Of
course, not everything that they have done or suggest doing may be appropriate to
your organisation. If nothing else that is one key learning to take from this publication –
the benefits scheme or strategy must be tailored to deliver the business benefits or
goals of the organisation at hand.

For example, Vodafone’s Alan Thomas explains why it was important for the mobile
phone giant to implement a peer recognition scheme that would motivate all staff from
the most junior sales assistant in any retail outlet to a secretary at head office. Each
year a buzz goes round the company when employees are given the opportunity to
nominate colleagues – whose performance has been exemplary – for an award. In the
past, these have included trips to Dubai, Cape Town and Hong Kong. While your
organisation may not have the coffers to provide the types of prizes that Vodafone
does, a peer recognition scheme may help you to motivate employees.

In fact, Nottingham City Council did not have a huge budget to hand when it set
about implementing a voluntary benefits scheme to help it attract staff in the face of
increasing competition for talent. Helen Humphries explains how the council used retail
discounts and a tax-efficient salary sacrifice travel-to-work scheme in a bid to become
an employer of choice in the area.

Other examples of best practice, include Asda’s employee share plan, ICI’s flexible
benefits scheme, GlaxoSmithKline’s financial education programme and Cadbury
Schweppes’ fleet strategy.

I hope that you will find this publication both informative and of great practical use.

Amanda Wilkinson
Editor, Employee Benefits