Mary Asante: Benefits need to enhance employees’ lives

One of the most talked-about employment phenomena post-lockdown has been the Great Resignation. I believe the pandemic has given people the chance to evaluate what is important to them. Couple this with skills shortages for certain roles, and it is more important than ever for organisations to retain their top talent and attract new people.

To stand out as an employer of choice, organisations need to offer attractive and meaningful employee benefits to their workforce. Standing still and not reviewing employee benefits because they already have them in place is a potential pitfall.

Employers need to understand what is important to their employees and what really motivates them. An employee benefit strategy needs to go beyond just offering it because they have to. The benefits on offer need to be valuable to employees; to enhance their lives.

Employers can use data available through surveys, feedback and industrial trends to help shape a corporate benefits strategy. They will gain insight into which benefits employees use the most and an understanding of which benefits no-one uses. For example, if part of an offering is gym membership, which is limited to a gym local to an office while employees work predominantly from home, they are less likely to value this benefit.

It is important to explore flexible benefits packages where employees can pick and choose what is important to them.

A lot of employers are scratching their heads looking for a competitive advantage. They may want to consider new ways of incentivising employees, such as mindfulness benefits such as yoga sessions or massages; employee assistance programmes; or extra holidays, especially after long stressful projects.

Employers can also offer staff time off to pursue a passion of theirs or to do charitable work. They  might also want to offer training, coaching and mentoring to employees, to help them to keep their skills up to date and remain engaged.

The work involved when considering new incentives should be supported by data collected to ensure a corporate benefit strategy is aligned with  business goals.

Mary Asante is a director of people professionals body HRI