Customer generation firm MVF was ranked sixth in the top 10 of the Sunday Times’ Best Places to Work For list in 2017. Translating business strategy into employee benefits is critical to maintaining this ranking.
Andrea Pattico, chief people officer, says: “You can have the best strategy, but if people aren’t engaged and don’t feel there are benefits that fit in with their lifestyle, you will miss the mark. I think that the link to the benefits strategy is via engagement. Sometimes people don’t make the link particularly well because they think principally about the more traditional benefits like healthcare or pensions. We think benefits should be there to drive [the] culture.”
For instance, teamwork is vital at MVF, so Pattico and the team look for benefits that bring people together. “We motivate our teams with an annual incentive trip. For the last three years, we have taken the whole [organisation] to Ibiza. It is a great time for people to bond.”
MVF’s employees can also start a club, as long as they have 10 people who are interested. “We have had clubs from personal training to a movie club; a cheese and wine club to a choir,” says Pattico.
The organisation does no rest on its laurels, either. It has a full-time engagement officer ensuring that staff stay involved, and a quarterly engagement survey, filled out by 90% of staff, that keeps track of what matters to them.
Employers that are looking to link engagement more closely with benefits should get employees involved, says Pattico. “[Employers] should think about what kind of culture they want to foster and what kind of benefits will help them to build that,” she explains. “Ask employees for their input into that. Measure it: is it working? Do not be afraid to replace things that are not working.
“Our workforce is highly opinionated and will tell us what they think. It’s about keeping the conversation going. We have close to 500 people now and not everyone is going to agree with every decision, but open the lines of communication and explain; we are very data driven so we are able to show the data. Sometimes our employees will come to a decision by themselves. I don’t find we often have to tell them anything, they will tell us.”