How a more personalised approach to benefits can improve staff motivation

Motivation and reward are intrinsically linked. Most of us are motivated, at least in part, by rewards. Alongside pay, employee benefits can be a strong driver for motivating staff. And getting your employee benefits offering right is crucial if you want to maximise the potential for improving motivation. But, how do you do it?

How a more personalised approach to benefits can improve staff motivation

Employers should keep in mind that what works for one person, might not work for another. A one-size-fits-all approach is old hat and unlikely to have the same impact on motivation as a flexible benefits solution.

Every employee is individual – they will all be at varying life stages, have varying lifestyles and, as a result, different wants and needs.

Personalising benefits through flexibility

The answer to meeting those needs is adopting a personalised approach through flexible benefits. The flexible benefits movement isn’t a new one – it’s been around for 30 years or more.

Despite this, only half of businesses surveyed for our Industry Insight: Addressing the challenges of a 4G workforce (2017) study offer all benefits on a flexible basis and only 39 per cent offer some benefits flexibly. Employees were also surveyed, and the vast majority (91 per cent) want to be offered benefits which meet their specific lifestyle and life stage needs.

A flexible benefits package allows each employee to tailor their ‘perks’ to suit them. This means they can select benefits that are most relevant, and adapt them if something changes in their life.

A great example is generational differences and what impact a generation’s life priorities has on benefit preferences. A younger employee could be saving for a home deposit, so shopping vouchers and discounts to help them save, might be really useful for them. An older employee is probably more concerned with upcoming retirement, so some kind of money saving scheme to supplement their pension could be more attractive.

Talk to your employees

Effective communication is essential to making sure your employees understand and make use of their flexible benefits offering. Digital transformations have made it easier to reach people on a more personal level. Employers should take advantage of this and personalise benefits communications. By doing this, employees will feel valued because you are speaking directly to them.

As well as talking, you need to listen. When you’re designing or reviewing your flexible benefits offering, involve your employees – a focus group or employee committee. Find out which benefits they value the most, and if there is something missing from what’s on offer.

By asking for opinions, employees will feel listened to and noticed. Both of these ways of communicating will allow an intrinsic motivation to develop.

The effect of personalised benefits

At Simplyhealth, we offer a mix of core and flexible benefits. Our employees can receive the core benefits which matter most to our workforce, including pension contributions and access to our Optimise health plan, providing employees with money back on their healthcare bills. Staff can then also tailor their package to suit their lifestyle, choosing from a range of benefits to be paid for out of a flex pot.

Since the flexible benefits were introduced in 2017, interaction has been strong. A staggering 92 per cent of our employees logged in to select their benefits when they launched. Staff turnover is at a six-year low and continues to fall, and employee perception of the benefits is positive.

By making your employee benefits a personal experience, you allow staff to get even more added value from their work. And when employees feel like they are getting more, they are more likely to give more back. Higher work satisfaction results in improved engagement with the business. Improved engagement results in improved productivity. And all together, that adds up to improved staff motivation.

This article was provided by Simplyhealth.

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