Setting up an employee benefits scheme is a difficult task – especially for overworked HR teams. You’ve got to find the right mix of perks and insurance policies which match the needs of your employees, all within budget.
Unsurprisingly, mistakes are often made. Many companies end up with a scheme which goes unloved and underappreciated by teams and fails to achieve value for money.
In this article we explore the 6 most common mistakes UK businesses make with their employee benefits and detail the simple remedies to put them right.
Looking for help setting up or reviewing your employee benefits scheme? Contact our expert team at +44 (0)1273 974419 or click on the bottom right chat box for advice and FREE market-wide quotes.
#1 Uneven benefits – Balanced benefits
One of the most common problems we encounter is an employee benefits offering which is weighted too heavily in one area. Ideally, your benefits programme will be evenly spread across three main categories:
- Insurance: including Business Health Insurance, Critical Illness Cover, Income Protection, Life Insurance, Relevant Life Insurance and more.
- Wellbeing: including everyday wellbeing initiatives such as discounted gym memberships, dietary guidance, one-to-one counselling – often provided within an Employee Assistance Programme.
- Rewards: including leisure and retail discounts, company away days, extra holiday entitlement, flexi working arrangements and more.
Unfortunately, we often discover that businesses put all their eggs in one basket and neglect other areas. For example, a scheme which tilts too heavily towards insurance means that staff only get support when things go wrong and will be lacking the positive motivation provided by reward schemes or the practical daily support offered by wellbeing initiatives.
The answer of course, is to ensure benefits are carefully balanced – though demographics can certainly play a role in your decision-making. This ensures that the various needs of your team are most likely to be met.
#2 Hope for success – Monitor success
We understand why some HR teams would want to treat workplace perks as a one and done deal. But in truth, the success (or otherwise) of perks must be monitored on an ongoing basis. Clear goals or KPIs can be set for your system of perks. For example, if you have insurance schemes, are they receiving much use? If you have an employee benefits platform – how much engagement is it receiving? Do you know what success looks like?
Based on what you learn, the benefits you provide can be adapted along with the changing needs of your teams. And don’t forget to gather feedback from the team!
As a benefits broker and consultant, we help HR teams put in place user-friendly systems for monitoring success – and even perform these duties on their behalf should they so wish.
Looking for one-to-one assistance? Our team of independent brokers are happy to answer all your questions and fix any issues you have with your employee benefits. Use the chatbox in the bottom right or email [email protected].
#3 Unaware employees – Informed team members
The most attractive array of perks can go unloved if your team isn’t aware of them. We’ve visited the offices of many a client to introduce perks to their employees for just this reason. We frequently perform presentations to staff and allow time for a thorough Q&A.
The importance of communication cannot be underestimated. Your people won’t appreciate their perks if they don’t know they exist or are unsure how to use them.
#4 Ask the boardroom – Consult the whole team
In the rush to negotiate a scheme and provide it within budget, it’s too easy to forget those who matter most – the employees themselves. It’s not only the purse string holders and senior management who should be influencing the nature of the perks being provided.
It’s relatively straightforward to create questionnaires which allow employees to rank perks in order of importance. However you do it, getting feedback is essential before launching or revising a benefit scheme.
#5 Carry the burden – Outsource to the experts
Every HR team wants advice they can trust. The world of insurance and employee benefits is full of people with a vested interest in advising you according to their own needs rather than the needs of your business. Even some brokers have mutually beneficial relationships with just one or two insurance providers which means their advice is not truly impartial and they won’t cast their eye across the whole marketplace for better deals or improved policy terms.
To find a broker or consultant you can trust, it’s worth checking if they’re members of the Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries (AMII). Membership proves that a broker is committed to providing excellent service and impartial advice.
At Engage Health Group we are proud members and are passionate about providing our clients with the best possible advice and support. Furthermore, we provide our advice free of charge.
It’s also worth pointing out that outsourcing to a benefits broker will reduce the burden on HR. All the most complex and infuriating aspects of employee benefits administration can be handed over to people who perform these duties day in, day out.
#6 Stick to the same benefit – Review yearly
Annually reviewing your benefits scheme is essential. It’s not just a case of evaluating their usage and popularity (though important), it’s also to review their cost. You might discover a better deal elsewhere – and avoid a nasty price hike.
We’ve worked with many clients who let their benefits drift from one year to the next, not realising they could massively reduce the cost of their coverage while improving the terms and conditions offered.
The Engage team can help!
Setting up and managing employee benefits is too often a stressful process for business owners and HR teams. Enlisting a broker can help alleviate the strain by ensuring you have expert guidance on hand whenever you need it.
At Engage Health Group Ltd, we offer expert support free of charge, advising on any issue within the employee benefits and health insurance market. We source FREE quotes tailored to fit your business needs, and help you implement your selected employee benefits and health insurance schemes to your staff.
Contact us at [email protected] or call +44 (0)1273 974419 for FREE no-obligation advice and support.