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25 Aug 2023
by Andrew Walker

From savings to pensions – the benefits that can support inclusive financial wellbeing

Focusing on inclusive benefits has the power to increase employee engagement, happiness and aid retention

From savings to pensions – the benefits that can support inclusive financial wellbeing.jpg 1

 

Companies are working hard to place a greater emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Advances in areas like gender and ethnic pay reporting have increased the focus at every level. There is a lot that companies can do in terms of governance, recruitment and data analysis, but making benefits packages inclusive is also important.

The first building block to making this happen is for companies to know all their workers. Only then can they understand what motivates them at each stage of their employment, and what they are going to value from their benefits package. Achieving this requires two kinds of insight: the first is demographics analysis, careful crunching the numbers to break employee groups down by gender, ethnicity, age, tenure and level. 

The second is a softer approach, namely listening to employees through various means and methods to match what they will value most with what employers can afford. Armed with that knowledge, a scalable benefits package capable of supporting inclusive financial wellbeing can be built.

Here are benefits can help support inclusive financial wellbeing:

Discounts and savings

Offering a range of retail discounts across grocery shopping, high street stores, food and beverage chains, tech and entertainment provides mass appeal. And this can now be managed and activated through apps like HAPI, enabling every employee to make and redeem their own choices.

Rewards and recognition

By working with employees, it’s possible to design and deliver recognition programmes that acknowledge their diverse needs, achievements and contributions. Involving staff in the process encourages inclusivity and creates an authentic connection that will enable you to immediately shine a light on positive behaviour and drive a culture that brings your workers together. It might be as simple as a thank you, or it might be a £5 voucher towards a coffee and piece of cake. The feeling of recognition and the buzz it creates can often be priceless.

A flexible approach to time and working practices

Flexible working is one of the big non-monetary benefits of our time, but it will not mean to same to everyone. Different generations of worker will have distinct preferences when it comes to working hours and locations. A flexible approach to time might mean a compressed four-day week; the tweaking of shift patterns; or workers being given the chance to drop hours or pick up more. Some companies allow staff to buy or sell holiday or have more flexibility around lieu days, birthdays, parental leave or compassionate leave. All these things can help grow loyalty, while also allowing employees to balance their work and personal lives. 

A flexible approach to pay

There are creative ways to offer salary sacrifice through pensions, technology, low emission cars or cycle to work schemes. In terms of the timing of payment, it can also help workers to pay them before their usual pay day, or even winding the clock forward on pay review where budgets and cashflow allows it.

Employee assistance programmes (EAPs) and financial planning

Packaging up an EAP that provides confidential counselling, mental health support, financial advice and other resources can benefit every employee, regardless of age. 

Help and advice around financial planning is often aimed at silver surfers gearing up for big life transitions and retirement, but it can be just as valuable to younger workers. They might be trying to take a first step onto the housing ladder or looking for guidance on saving and investing. This younger group is also likely to appreciate assistance or repayment options around Student Loans, while both groups would use signposts to online aids, for example a tax code checker. 

Somewhere between those two age groups, is a cross-section of workers balancing career progression with the stress of caring for ageing parents or increasingly expensive offspring. Providing support and resources around elderly care can help alleviate stress in a practical sense, while also demonstrating the kind of empathy that can cement real loyalty in staff. 

Professional development opportunities

Well thought-out training and development programmes can cater to both the career aspirations of younger employees and the desire for continuous learning among older ones. Mentorship and coaching initiatives can bridge the knowledge gap between generations and generally employees are more likely to stay put if they feel invested in.

Health and wellbeing

Looking beyond a token gym membership, comprehensive health and wellness benefits can now address the specific health concerns of different age groups. This might include fitness programmes, mental health resources and apps, and preventive care such as insured benefits, private medical support and access to online GPs. 

Transform by Hapi, is a good example, a component of a staff benefits platform, it incorporates mental health, mindfulness, fitness, and nutrition, as well as engagement tools.

Diversity and inclusion initiatives

Developing initiatives that celebrate and promote DEI within the organisation can create a more inclusive atmosphere where employees feel valued and respected. Laying on a programme of workplace social events and activities, for example, can foster camaraderie but make sure the events are sensitive to the needs and values of each group.

Generational communications training

Workshops or resources teaching effective communication strategies to bridge generational gaps can really work, and foster a more inclusive and collaborative environment. And don’t stop at your employees: also challenge yourselves as HR professionals to examine and question the language you are using. Sometimes by using the same comms methods or language we can exclude entire cross-sections of workers – by gender, age or ethnicity – and that might often impact on benefits. 

Total reward statements can be a powerful tool for reiterating the package of benefits available, but make sure the words, tone and methods you are using resonate with all, not just some.

In a multi-generational workforce there can be no one-size-fits-all approach to anything, including benefits. If we think inclusive and challenge ourselves as HR professionals to cater for everyone, our benefits will increase employee engagement, happiness and aid retention.

In partnership with Personal Group

Personal Group provides the latest employee benefits and wellbeing products.

Contact us today