If you consider how many people work within the benefits industry in the UK (including all of the consultancy firms, the reward and benefits managers, not to mention the ‘brokers’) then it becomes clear that the area we operate in is a complex one.
Drawing on experience
Even with over 15 years experience working in the industry, I wouldn’t say that I have all of the answers and therefore I find it interesting that, for the most part, employees (who on the whole are not well informed) are given access to this complex world of benefits without much in the way of help.
This is further complicated when you consider all of the available access points to benefits; pension provider websites, flex platforms and company intranets to name a few.
The bigger wellbeing picture
This is why innovative consultancy and an effective strategy supported by bespoke technology like our member engagement tool - Me2® is so important.
"We all want to feel valued. We should never underestimate the importance of engagement, which is the first step to understanding employees’ needs in order to provide them with what matters most."
More holistically and as part of the bigger ‘wellbeing’ picture we take the philosophy of “analysis, build, governance” to help our clients understand what their wellbeing risks are and build a strategy to combat these risks both through prevention and intervention. Me2® conveys that strategy to employees in an engaging and personal way.
Our tailored approach allows employees to focus on their needs while being educated about the different benefits available to them - not by having a technical guide pushed in front of them, but by having the key information presented in a digestible way.
We all want to feel valued. We should never underestimate the importance of engagement, which is the first step to understanding employees’ needs in order to provide them with what matters most. If an employee feels as though they are part of the process they’re more likely to be engaged and make better informed decisions.
The art of flexibility
When looking specifically at benefits and giving employees choice the one thing that has never made much sense to me is only having access to benefits at only one point in a year. This is surely the complete opposite of flexible benefits! I am not suggesting that flexibility for all benefits is appropriate - I wouldn’t want my employees dipping into dental cover to have a root canal and then cancel shortly after, and neither would a dental insurer, but that doesn’t mean that elsewhere we can’t achieve more flexibility.
Surely there is no issue with other benefits such as cycle to work schemes, gym membership or mobile phone contracts being open all of the time? The providers of these products have been able to offer flexibility for some time, yet the market has been slow to catch on. After all, it isn’t much use to me if my employer offers me a discounted mobile phone contract in January when my current contract expires in July!
Painting a bright future
Our member engagement portal has been customised to adopt full flexibility and has limitless potential. As a team we share a vision that it will become a one stop shop for all employees in all kinds of ways. After all:
- Me2® currently offers access to pension information: why not allow access to all other financial information?
- Me2® already hosts job details; why not allow it to host all company policies (e.g. flexible working or job descriptions specific to the individual)?
- Me2® hosts private medical insurance right now: why not allow bookable GP appointments (either face to face or via a virtual GP)?
- Me2® hosts disability cover: why not enable it to track absence and automatically submit claims avoiding any delay?
We believe our consultancy and supporting engagement technology Me2® is the best in the market, but rest assured we won’t be standing still, there is always room for improvement.
This blog post was written by Carl Chapman. For further enquiries please contact Damian Stancombe, Head of Workplace Health and Wealth.