Rosemary Crabb, flexible benefits manager, Nationwide Building Society: Staff must know true value of their package

Employers of choice understand the importance of offering a balanced, diverse range of voluntary benefits to supplement their core reward offering. These perks can be delivered through salary sacrifice or flexible benefits schemes. In the current economic climate, it is especially important to offer a choice of voluntary benefits that will help boost the spending power of staff income. The scheme should be easy to access.

However, when a comprehensive portfolio of benefits is available to employees, it is easy for the true value of the overall package to be underestimated unless a total remuneration statement is provided to pull together all the strands of an employer’s reward offering.

A high-performance organisation recognises that its benefits package must facilitate employee choice and reward individual performance. It should therefore reflect the value placed on the contribution employees make. To achieve this, effective communication of the package is key. A pay and benefits statement is an important factor in staff engagement.

At a time when most people are prudently reviewing their personal budgets, a detailed statement providing information on benefits including salary, overtime, bonuses, life cover and projected pension, is an effective financial management aid.

We introduced an employee benefits statement in 1996, and by 2001 it had evolved into a brochure embracing all aspects of the core and voluntary benefits package.

After the launch of our integrated benefits programme in 2005, we replaced these brochures with an online statement. Such statements are very flexible but, to ensure a positive message, only perks relevant to individuals should be included.

Online statements are easy to navigate and are available to view from work and home, but some people still prefer the paper version. In 2008, we published statements in both formats, which complemented each other.

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However good an organisation’s benefits offering may be, it is increasingly important that staff perceptions of pay and benefits reflect the true value of their package. An employee who understands that pay is much more than just salary knows how much they are appreciated and valued by their employer.

  • Rosemary Crabb, flexible benefits manager, Nationwide Building Society