Traditional employee benefit schemes just don’t cut it anymore. Just like consumers, employees are pushing for better ways of doing things. 

Not only do employees want benefits that meet their particular needs, they also want the flexibility to change selections when it suits them, not just once a year. And they want to be communicated with in a way that’s relevant to them. 

By designing a more flexible benefits scheme that engages and empowers your employees, you can help improve their lives. The result? A happier, healthier and more engaged workforce. 

How much could that improve the productivity and bottom line of your business?

Understanding your needs

Setting up a flexible benefits scheme starts with an understanding of your employees and your business. What do your employees want? What are your business needs? How can you get the maximum value for your employees and your business? 

You want to attract, retain and motivate employees while meeting your business needs and staying within budget. 

A successful flexible benefits scheme can deliver on so many fronts. It can help you to:

  • imbed and reinforce your culture
  • meet your business objectives
  • improve the mental, physical and financial wellbeing of your people
  • improve sustainability
  • promote diversity and reduce your pay gap

So what are the key steps to designing an effective flexible benefit scheme that gives your employees the genuine flexibility and diversity of choice they want, and also meets your business objectives? 

The first step is to carry out a robust feasibility study. Why? You want to define and implement a successful flexible benefits scheme, not one full of the unexpected. You want to know just how realistic – how feasible – the flexible benefits scheme is.

Without a feasibility study, the launch invariably becomes a rush to get the project over the line and the system live. You’ll be embarking on a journey with pitfalls to navigate around without a clear plan. The chances of arriving where you wanted to be – and unscathed – are slim.

Our data-led consulting approach and PRINCE2 project planning methodology enable you to build up a realistic picture of just what’s involved. You’ll be guided through the payroll system and tax pitfalls, so you know how to offer the right benefits at the right time.

An audit will then need to be carried out to identify what you have already. We then work closely with you and your colleagues to produce a cohesive Benefits Strategy plan, supported by the use of people analytics to help inform decision making and strategy.

Our approach is more than simply understanding your current benefit design. It’s about recognising why your organisation’s benefits were put in place to begin with. We then apply our consulting expertise, with competitor benchmarking, plus our advanced employee demographic analytics. 

Finally, we bring our subject matter experts and your key stakeholders together. They meet in an engaging workshop to present possible solutions for discussion and interrogation, resulting in collaboration to inform strategy design.

We then put all this into a robust governance framework for choosing and communicating the range of benefits, all backed by powerful tools to measure your return on investment over time. 

Our aim is to help you spend more intelligently, adding value rather than cost, so that you and your colleagues get more for your money.

We believe that, while investment should focus on creating value, it should also be committed to investing sustainably for the future. Our sustainable benefits choices make it easy for you and your employees to meet the needs of the present, without compromising future generations.

We’re passionate about helping you operate a sustainable business both now and for the long-term. That’s why we look at the sustainability approach of benefit providers as part of our leading market-wide provider research. So you can choose those providers who share your sustainability values. 

We work with like-minded partners who offer a wide range of sustainable benefits choices. These include: electric cars, charitable giving, volunteering opportunities, cycle to work schemes and carbon offsetting.

Our recognition module enables you to reward your employees, whilst making a difference through tree planting, well building or donating to a charity of their choice. In addition, we’ll help your employees make a bigger difference to good causes by, for example, increasing their charitable spend without them spending more!

Looking to introduce a new benefit or review existing ones and not sure which provider to use? Or do you want to know if your current spend would give more value elsewhere? Our independence means you can feel confident that you’re dealing with the best providers in the market, to suit your particular needs.

We do the hard work for you. As a leading independent UK professional services consultancy we’re not restricted by the services we can offer and the solutions we can develop for you. By carrying out detailed market-wide provider research, analysis and due diligence we can recommend the best provider for you.

This means we’re able to recommend and implement the most appropriate benefits and providers from the whole of the market.

Although data analysis has already completely revolutionised our everyday retail journeys, in the workplace many key decisions are still based purely on anecdotal evidence or instinct alone. Slowly but surely, the juggernaut is turning and analytics is on the rise in the workplace. Indeed, we are heading towards a new destination where Employer DNA will deliver sustainable, robust and innovative strategies.

"We are heading towards a new destination where Employer DNA will deliver sustainable, robust and innovative strategies."

I started by saying that “DNA is the very material that defines our uniqueness – the very substance that carries the information we need to survive and to thrive.” The same is true for Employer DNA. As you work your way up the rungs of the data analytics ladder, the closer you get to the top, the more you’ll realise that your Employer DNA really does contains the insights you need to both survive and to thrive. 

Although data analysis has already completely revolutionised our everyday retail journeys, in the workplace many key decisions are still based purely on anecdotal evidence or instinct alone. Slowly but surely, the juggernaut is turning and analytics is on the rise in the workplace. Indeed, we are heading towards a new destination where Employer DNA will deliver sustainable, robust and innovative strategies.

"We are heading towards a new destination where Employer DNA will deliver sustainable, robust and innovative strategies."

I started by saying that “DNA is the very material that defines our uniqueness – the very substance that carries the information we need to survive and to thrive.” The same is true for Employer DNA. As you work your way up the rungs of the data analytics ladder, the closer you get to the top, the more you’ll realise that your Employer DNA really does contains the insights you need to both survive and to thrive. 


Delivering through 4me

Once you’ve agreed your benefit strategy and know what flexible benefit options you’re offering, it’s time to deliver this through technology. This should be easy-to-use, engaging and interactive. Employees need to clearly see what options exist and be able to make their choices with ease. 

Your employees are a diverse group, with different needs at different points in their lives. Our 4me technology brings people together, enabling them to choose the benefits and services that meet their particular needs — from the day-to-day necessities to bigger decisions.  

Through our “Learn, Play and Plan” approach employees can use 4me to make an immediate, positive impact today, future proof their tomorrow and plan for the “one day.” 

4me is designed to be both simple and intuitive. No ‘how-to guides’ are required here! Those requiring a little more help can get straight through to our wholly UK based benefit support team, who can help with both platform and benefit queries.

It’s easy for users to navigate around 4me to find everything they need. Using our Learn, Play, and Plan approach, people can clearly see the options available and then select their chosen benefits.

If it's needed, more help is easily accessible via our ‘more help’ 4me page, as well as our dedicated 4me UK helpline number and email box.

For those who like a little more detail, our useful online tools provide helpful additional insight. Our take home pay wizard shows the real cost to the employee, while our AI tool highlights benefits that employees should look at first, based on what they care most about.

We are there for you at every step of your online benefits journey. To help you, you’ll have the services of a relationship manager. In addition, our outsourced administration will save you time and allow you to focus on what really matters.

Every single client has an experienced relationship manager who will provide support with invaluable insights, thought leadership, market research and our in-depth provider due diligence. They’ll use our powerful MI and data analysis tools to help you get the most value from your benefit spend. 

Our seamless outsourced administration services are able to meet all of your requirements covering data processing, automated benefit administration and automatic employee communications, as well as reporting to, and managing providers, to ensure your scheme runs efficiently with minimal effort from you. 


Engaging communications

It’s clear there is an appetite and need for a fresh, personalised, intergenerational approach to employee communication. So we combine Barnett Waddingham’s actuarial and analytical expertise with the talent and creative of our internal creative agency, Drumroll

Our combination of technology, benefits knowledge and our internal creative agency set us apart as we treat employees as consumers and improve their workplace experience through engagement. 

It means employees are able to be sent engaging yet straightforward communications, face-to-face education, targeted webinars, deep personalisation, cutting-edge design, interactive video, social media integration, AI, behavioural nudges, augmented reality, and even holographic presentations.