Launching a new benefit is like making any other business proposal: there has to be a return on investment (ROI). A successful benefit, therefore, has to be valued by employees and make them feel more positively engaged with their organisation.
This is especially true in the case of financial benefits. Financial worries are among the biggest causes of stress, and any provision that can help employees alleviate financial pressure will enable them to focus more at work. This, in turn, will help staff be more productive. Even if employees do not immediately need all of the financial benefits that are offered, they are likely to appreciate the fact that the employer has made a commitment to providing them with support. This, therefore, will still have a positive effect on engagement and retention.
Measuring the success of any benefit is important, but it is not always possible to specifically measure the financial return, as it is hard to attribute a reduction in absence or increase in productivity purely to one thing. This is where employee feedback is of the utmost importance. Employees being open with their own personal stories about the impact a benefit has had on them, or explaining that they feel positive about the fact the organisation has introduced a certain provision, even if they do not need it themselves at that time, are all indications that the ROI has made the enterprise worthwhile.
If employers have a large number of staff, it is inevitable that a portion of the workforce are bound to have encountered financial difficulties at some point. If an organisation can help reduce these worries and enable employees to be more focused and engaged at work, then it can rest assured that it has invested well.
Rosemary Lemon is group head of reward at recruitment organisation Hays