Over the last few years, the world of work has changed quite dramatically and as part of this, employees are thinking more deeply about what their non-negotiables are when it comes to working.
Whether that be working from home, flexible working or something else.
Employees are also becoming more empowered to leave their job if they feel their employer is not providing them with a package that fits their needs or isn’t fair compensation.
As an employer, there are many things you can do, and we want to talk to you about just one of them – flexible benefits.
What are flexible benefits?
Flexible benefits allow employees to essentially personalise their employee benefits. Flexible benefits tech gives employers the tools to provide a wide range of employee benefits but provide only the ones that are valued the most by each individual employee.
Employees get more from their benefits and a more personalised employee benefits experience. Employers find their benefits get increased engagement and often, where salary sacrifice is involved, even save further on tax and NI.
The evolution of flexible benefits technology
Flexible benefits tech has evolved a great deal since it was first introduced around 30 years ago.
The level of automation today’s flex tech provides both employers and employees makes it incredible easy and efficient to use for everyone.
Flexible benefits tech gives employers all the information they need at their fingertips which can be paired with further data from sources such as employee surveys to yield deeper insights into what employees want from their employee benefits.
Flexible benefits tech has evolved significantly to reduce admin and make benefits processes much more seamless.
Changes to how we use technology
With the adoption of digital tech accelerated by the pandemic, flexible benefits tech gives employees on-demand access that everyone now expects with their employee benefits.
Flexible benefits technology has made accessing things like discounts much simpler, easier and faster with apps and platforms.
Technology also allows easier integration of new and up and coming benefits like virtual GP’s which have become more popular since the pandemic too.
Employees now have more diverse needs too, and flex tech makes it easier and simpler to provide the benefits employees really need.
The ‘Great Resignation’
The ‘Great Resignation’ has also fuelled the accelerated adoption of flexible benefits tech as flexible benefits allow employers to meet the needs of employees more effectively.
Many suggest the ‘Great Resignation’ was caused by burnout with many employees working increasingly hard to support their businesses through the pandemic and beyond.
Flexible benefits tech allows employers to offer benefits such as Holiday Trading to staff who are interested, allowing employees to buy extra annual leave and have greater control over their work-life balance.
Many left their employers looking for better support with their finances. Flex tech allows employers to offer a range of financial wellbeing benefits to support employees in different ways with their finances.
Some benefits can help build better long-term financial positions, some focus on saving in the short term with discounts for example, so just providing one or two financial wellbeing benefits may not cut it for many employees.
Flexible benefits allow employers to provide multiple benefits to tackle various challenges employees may have that they may ultimately look elsewhere for in other employers.
Supporting employees with the cost of living
There are a whole range of employee benefits that can support employees with the cost of living. But, as mentioned, the specific challenges employees face with the cost of living can vary greatly and so the benefits that are most suited to support them vary too.
For example, some employees may be struggling with motoring costs, commuting costs or the cost of the food shop.
Employee benefits like MotorSave which helps employees save on car maintenance through salary sacrifice, Commuting Loans which help save staff money with travel season tickets, and employee discounts which can help employees save on the grocery shopping at supermarkets can all support employees in these situations respectively.
Flexible benefits can help provide a range of benefits like these and give employees the choice to make the most of the benefits that suit their situation the most and reduce the burden of the cost of living.
Maximising employee benefits
Employee expectations are increasing but in many cases budgets around employee benefits aren’t. There’s an increasing importance for employers to demonstrate a real return on investment for their benefits spend.
While this may be frustrating for HR teams, particularly when overall employee wellbeing is the ultimate focus as opposed to ROI, flexible benefits tech can help with this and help prove the advantages of employee benefits to the C-suite.
Through a more personalised employee experience, flexible benefits can drive increased engagement and take-up of benefits.
Flex tech can even help employers subsidise the cost of their benefits through increased up-take in salary sacrifice schemes, which can ultimately help employers make bigger savings on tax and national insurance through schemes like the Bike to Work scheme and Holiday Trading.
These points just scratch the surface when it comes to understanding why flexible benefits are so popular. Ultimately, they help provide employees with the support they need to improve the lives of them and their families. Flexible benefits help improve the employee experience, ultimately helping improve recruitment, retention and employee engagement.