Andrew Kirby: Relationships are at the heart of future car schemes

This article is supplied by Zenith 

During the economic downturn, one of the main attractions of a salary sacrifice car scheme from an employer’s perspective was its ability to help with recruiting, retaining, motivating and engaging employees at no cost to the business.

Andrew Kirby, Zenith

Now the economy is growing and employment opportunities are increasing, the battle to recruit and retain talent is intensifying. The HR and reward teams that will be the most successful will be those that take a strategic approach to their reward package. They will benchmark the relative strength of benefits against each other and ensure they can combine the most attractive and engaging choices available.

Salary sacrifice schemes can affect recruitment

It will be these forward-thinking employers that will continue to lead the way with salary sacrifice car scheme adoption in the future, while others will gradually follow their lead. By analysing the impact of benefits, they will understand the influence that salary sacrifice car schemes have on recruitment, motivation and, in particular, retention.

Adopting a data-driven approach will help organisations to understand schemes’ value and enable the reward package to evolve continually. This will add a level of sophistication, even for current leaders in the benefits field.

Employers are most likely to seek out salary sacrifice car scheme providers that can demonstrate that they can mitigate the risks of running a scheme and have a track record of delivering ongoing communications effectively, to drive take-up of the benefit.  

Providers with experience of more than one lifecycle of a scheme have built up a detailed understanding of how to position it and how to maximise employee engagement. This includes both the messages within the communications that explain the scheme in an easy-to-understand way and through targeting particular staff demographics with attractive price points and types of car.

Employers need to work with their providers

Employers need to work closely with their salary sacrifice car partner to ensure communication channels are as open as possible. A recent survey conducted by Zenith revealed that 85% of eligible employees would be open to more communication about schemes. Marketing plans need to evolve and continue throughout the life of the scheme to increase take-up and the perceived value of the benefit.

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There is a growing understanding of the strong correlation between an engaged workforce and a profitable business. Employee benefits are coming more into the spotlight, and this is creating a greater need to adopt benefits that are highly effective, tax-efficient and can be provided at no cost to the business.

Andrew Kirby is commercial director, employee benefits, at Zenith