What is it they say about assumption……..something about mother of all…?!
I read about flexible benefits all the time across our industry. It’s a huge market. It’s becoming even more accessible and affordable to every employer. But what does Flex actually mean? I’ve been involved in rolling out Flex schemes for the last 15 years, and believe me- that’s not easy to define!
The answer is, it will be different for everyone dependent on size, culture, budget and goals. What is it you want to achieve from a flexible benefits scheme? Does it fit with your values? If it doesn’t, then that’s a great reason for not having one!
But let’s look at the reasons you might want to Flex. It could be limited to discount portals and voluntary benefits, some will class that as Flex, other end of the scale would dictate that all the benefits in the scheme can be altered in some way, probably with a core minimum.
The scale is huge, and most will settle somewhere in the middle, but the message is- don’t define it without first working out how it can impact positively on what you deliver to your employees. It will deliver better engagement if communicated in the right way, even though it is the most basic of schemes with little cost to the employer. It can make your organisation stand out from similar employers in your field along with the culture that drives you to implement a scheme.
Baby steps are sometimes the best way to test it out. Speak to your employees, find out what they think, a carefully crafted survey can help you align with their wishes, and allow you to set a path over a period of time, that can deliver engagement through evolution of the reward proposition.
Do I believe that Flex alone can significantly have an impact on attraction, retention, engagement and motivation? Not alone, no, but it is a significant piece of the jigsaw, and if the right circumstances exist for it’s launch then employers should get on and do it, to a degree that suits them.
There are ready made solutions out there, they will help you simply and effectively introduce a meaningful scheme at even a basic level. Don’t assume that you don’t need or want Flex, that you can’t afford to look at it or haven’t got the time to implement it.
Delivery is another thing completely. The myriad of technology solutions that are available is another discussion completely, one that will be covered in due course.
Good luck defining Flex, the answer is out there.
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