Key takeaways from CIPD’s and LCP’s Reward Management survey

In our experience, the majority of employers have a similar goal in mind by offering benefits: to attract and retain the right people needed to support current and future business needs. Recently this offering has focused on work/life balance and wellbeing support for employees. After all, this is about people, so any exploration of benefits must start here.

Key takeaways from CIPD’s and LCP’s Reward Management survey

LCP recently worked closely with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development on its 15th annual Reward Management survey, which this year focuses on workplace employee benefits. We hope the insights within this report help reward professionals re-evaluate and evolve their workplace benefits offering to achieve better outcomes for their organisation and its people.

Diversity is no longer a consideration alone; it’s a collective responsibility for inclusiveness

There has been lots of talk in the HR industry – politically and in the world generally – about emphasising individualism and not stereotyping via demography. This sentiment was echoed by a large number of respondents who told us that embracing diversity and personalisation is increasingly important. So, we were surprised to see diversity not being reflected in benefits, with a minimal focus on personalisation and benefits.

Organisations will only be able to get true engagement from their people if they offer tailored benefits facilitated through a comprehensive, multi-channel communication strategy that encourages feedback.

Interestingly, a large proportion of our respondents admitted that it wasn’t always easy for employees to find out about all aspects of their benefits. The reality is that many employers offer great packages to their people, but often this good work is undone by poor communication, leaving people less than fully informed and dis-engaged.

Employers need to prioritise re-dressing their ‘shop window’ when it comes to benefits and supporting policies. In an age of information overload, cutting through the regulatory noise to ensure people use and value their workplace benefits is paramount. Striving to adopt a comprehensive portfolio of communication methods to engage with workforces could be the quickest and simplest win for many to act on now.

Harnessing data to do the hard work for you

Our results revealed that not many organisations use technology to better understand their workforce needs, yet respondents are aware of the need to harness analytics to decide the future of their benefits strategy. Leveraging technology becomes even more important when looking at the challenge of the diverse needs of individuals.

Organisations that don’t yet have technology in place should, as a first step, be thinking about what the right model for their business looks like. When technology is adopted, organisations can use it for essential data and number crunching and ultimately provide more tailored, nuanced offerings to employees.

What next?

While ‘wellbeing’ is the latest buzz term, the reality from our results finds that few are doing or planning much in this space. This could be down to the vast scale of what this area encompasses or not knowing how to practically approach challenging subject areas.

Government and UK policy-makers are taking steps towards bettering the UK’s overall financial and mental wellbeing. But, for now, the onus is very much on the employer to educate and engage their people with financial wellbeing to ensure people can meet the cost of living, saving and retirement.

It’s been a turbulent decade for HR. Juggling legislation changes plus tightening of budgets and resource remain ongoing challenges. In addition, the industry continues to evolve in response to the ever-shifting needs of a modern-day workforce, with relatively new considerations such as financial and mental wellbeing being added to the benefits menu.

With change a constant challenge, not only in benefits but in the vast portfolio of HR-owned responsibilities that go far and beyond the reward world, HR professionals must harness data and technology to inform the benefits strategy to its full advantage and effect. Getting this right will not only help organisations see a return on their investment through increased productivity and general wellbeing, but could simultaneously help alleviate pressure on HR, providing renewed direction and focus as the industry continues to do its utmost to protect businesses and people.

The author is Dipa Mistry Kandola, head of flexible benefits service, LCP.

This article was provided by LCP.

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