Based on recent trends, data, shifts in priorities and behaviours, what do employees now want from their flexible benefits plan?
Recent trends have perhaps seen not necessarily a dramatic shift in the direction of priorities but more an acceleration of emerging trends.
These include things like the demand for more flexible working practices, increased focus on more environmental and sustainable behaviours and practices, an increased digital focus and so on.
Other factors like the increased cost of living and inflation also play a part in shifting the role of a flexible benefits plan.
So, how do all these translate into changes to your flexible benefits plan?
Green flexible benefits
Employee benefits like the Car Benefit scheme including green cars, sustainable pension funds, sustainable Workplace ISAs and investments and even Cycle to Work are becoming more of a priority for employees as the environment and the climate crisis becomes more of a focus.
Research by Ipsos Mori in 2020 found that 60% of Brits were more worried about climate change than the previous year.
We’ve seen net zero targets set out by Government and businesses increasing their focus on carbon neutrality.
Where businesses look to improve their sustainability, this should also extend to their flexible benefits plan to not only strengthen their sustainability but help employees meet their own sustainability and environmental goals.
On-demand flexible benefits accessible any time
The increased demand and increased implementation of flexible working practices has led to an increased demand for more on-demand, digital-based services that are accessible any time such a flexible benefits platform.
Flexible benefits tech has arguably never been more important for this reason.
Employees require all the information on the schemes available to them and as much control as possible over which schemes they access and use, when and how they access them.
For any business, it’s crucial that their employee benefits tech keeps pace with these changing demands and flexible benefits tech helps satisfy this.
While some face-to-face healthcare appointments are important and completely necessary, we’ve seen healthcare go digital to an extent with more virtual and telephone appointments, for example with GPs.
In terms of a flexible benefits plan, flexible schemes like Virtual GPs and EAPs with telephone appointments have become even more important in not only supporting employees with their healthcare but in adhering to changing behaviours and attitudes around the need for digital, on-demand services.
There’s the environmental side too as well as the time taken to attend appointments.
Digital healthcare is often more environmentally friendly while cutting out the time to commute.
While some shifts in priorities have been quite broadly adopted, different employees typically have different priorities.
Fairness across the whole pay and compensation package is incredibly important and this includes employee benefits.
Flexible benefits tech allows for the personalisation of employee benefits to ensure all employees get equal value from their benefits in-line with their own priorities, which is becoming increasingly important for employees.
Flexible benefits allowance
In light of the increases in inflation and the cost of living, flexible benefits plans can be used to reward employees in ways that matter to them using flexible benefits allowance.
For example with our flexible benefits platform, allowance could be used towards discounted vouchers on the food shop to help reduce some outgoings and reduce crucial expenditure.
Alternatively, allowance can be used to suit the employee and their needs.
Some employees may not prioritise food shopping and may choose to treat themselves or their family instead or use their allowance on a completely different scheme.
Flexible allowance brings an extra dimension to the term ‘flexible’ in a flexible benefits plan.
Implement an effective flexible benefits plan
HR professionals know the importance of staying on top of trends and adhering to new priorities and behaviours of employees.
At caboodle, we understand the importance of this too, which is why we’ve developed market-leading flexible technology that boosts employee engagement and delivers a better ROI on benefits.
For more information, discover our flexible benefits platform and get in touch for a free demo.