DOD’s blog: Sharpen your benefits skills

September is a month that often causes me to look back and take stock of how the benefits profession has evolved.


Debi O'Donovan editor Employee Benefits 2013 (305 x 240)

There are two reasons for this. Firstly, it is the month I joined the wonderful world of employee benefits back in 1998, so it is a personal flag in the ground from which to measure all the changes.

Secondly, and no doubt far more importantly, it is the month of the biggest employee benefits event in the UK (and beyond): Employee Benefits Live.

This must-attend industry get-together allows us all to get a measure of where the profession and industry are at and how we are all evolving.

So it seemed an opportune month to delve into exactly what makes a good benefits manager, or director, both now and in the years to come. (Which we did in the article Which key attributes will HR and benefits professionals of the future possess?)

I am sure we have all noticed for some time the reduction in niche specialism job roles, such as fleet manager and pensions manager. Responsibilities such as these have increasingly been rolled into broader benefits roles.

And benefits roles themselves are often labelled ‘reward’ to reflect the pay aspect of the job.

But it doesn’t stop there.

As more of the routine admin is picked up by benefits providers and advisers, our profession has been able to raise its collective eyes from the spreadsheets (for at least some of the time) to also take responsibility for driving the business and enhancing workforce planning and talent management.

This is an exciting time to be in benefits (even if we have to remind ourselves of it as we drown in tax changes and legislation). In particular, all the changes in pensions and retirement savings are going to alter British society’s attitude to saving and working longer. We in benefits are key drivers of this positive change, from which generations to come will benefit.

On the topic of keeping up with changes, I am looking forward to meeting or catching up with many of you on 24 and 25 September at Employee Benefits Live at Olympia, London. With 2,000 people due to arrive over two days, there will be a huge amount of networking, learning and catching up to do.

And if you want to get into knowledge-gathering mode early, check out the Employee Benefits Summer School video tutorials that we ran online during August. I leant many new facts during the recording of these videos and I am sure you will, too. They are free to access; you simply need to register online.

Debi O’Donovan


Employee Benefits 

Twitter: @DebiODonovan