Flexible benefits: Engage employees with choice
Support employees in the moments that matter with flexible benefits and other forms of choice.
Employees are used to personalisation in every aspect of their lives — from banking to shopping — and want that same flexibility in the workplace.
They also want to work with an organisation that helps them get better control over their health and well-being, especially in a hybrid work environment.
However, our Health on Demand research shows that just 52% of employees can personalise their benefits package to meet their needs.
Employers need to realise that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to benefits.
Making sure there’s something for everyone enables a thriving workforce fit for the future. Our research shows 72% of employees with access to 10 or more employer-sponsored benefits are less likely to move to another company. By contrast, just 43% of those with one to four benefits said they were less likely to move.
Adding choice to benefit plans helps employers create programmes that better meet employee needs while balancing cost with empathy. At the same time, they can use a broader suite of benefits to better align with their company purpose and improve inclusivity.
Challenges facing organisations today
Businesses have workers across multiple generations and socioeconomic backgrounds with vastly different priorities and challenges.
These groups represent just some of the many different needs and characteristics present in the workplace.
A growing body of research highlights that women, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ employees and many others continue to experience health inequities and benefits gaps. This is reflected in how well employees feel they’re cared for at work and whether they feel they’re thriving.
No matter how often you benchmark benefits or which lens you use to create programmes, if you take a “one size fits all” approach, you’re likely only to serve the needs of part of your workforce.
Every business, workforce and employee is unique. This is why an employee value proposition should also be unique, with benefits designed to meet corporate aims and match your culture and purpose. Yet many organisations struggle to understand their employees’ needs.
Another challenge is cost. As we continue in a period of economic uncertainty, it’s natural for the C-suite to question well-being spending. Medical insurance inflation means the cost of providing health benefits escalates yearly. At the same time, transportation, food, meals and education are getting more expensive for employees.
However, simply shifting the cost to employees is a blunt response to the need for benefit cost containment and could lead to other issues. Flexible benefits provide the opportunity to deliver certain benefits on a defined contribution basis, allowing employees to tailor their programme to better suit their needs.
A final challenge is rising vigilance from key stakeholders such as customers, employees and investors around sustainability, inclusiveness and purpose. Benefits programmes that only serve the needs of a few (often higher-earning) employees are likely to come under increasing scrutiny.
Traditionally, a barrier to adding choice has been the complexity of administration. Many HR, reward, and health and well-being leaders struggle with fragmented platforms and organisational silos, making adding choices a burden. However, as technology evolves, adding personalisation components has become much more realistic and manageable.
of employees say their benefits meet their needs
of employees with access to benefits technology say their benefits meet their needs
of employees with access to benefits technology say they are thriving in their role
Using benefits to express company values will be more important as life becomes more complex.
Benefits for all is the secret to thriving employees and businesses. Understand the lives and priorities of your workforce and how to energise, reassure and care for them in the most relevant ways.
Listen to the needs of every employee within your organisation. At MMB, we work with you to carry out focus groups, employee surveys, personalised sessions with your leaders, and scenario planning to understand the needs of your workforce.
We then work with you to design a flexible benefits plan so that there is something for everyone. That means you are providing valued support for many employees whose needs have not been adequately considered — for example, women, Gen Z and people with disabilities.
We can provide a programme that is tailored to the needs of the many. This provides the opportunity to focus on improving illness prevention, healthcare access and affordability.
The C-suite and senior managers are asking questions such as: “Do we have a corporate benefit plan architecture that adapts to changes in the business environment? Have we articulated the benefit plan philosophy to adjust to changing legal and statutory environments? When was the last time we reviewed our benefits plan to ensure it was competitive and reflected employee needs? And what is our digitalisation strategy, and who is driving this in our organisation?”
We will work with you to help ensure that the strategic objectives of your benefit programmes are well-designed to impact the well-being and health of employees by creating a broad, comprehensive, holistic and flexible vision that reflects the overall business strategy and mitigates emerging business risks.
Benefits technology helps employers achieve more personalisation with less administration and uncertainty. Technology reduces the time needed for transactional activities, helps address compliance issues and reduces operational risks. This, in turn, positively affects the employees’ experience and how they view their employers.
Through the design and implementation of choice and flex, MMB can also advise and provide access to the right technology. We offer solutions that fit in with the broader ecosystem of your organisation. We can also help you communicate the plan to employees so they understand and appreciate their benefits and can make the right choices.
The key advantages of choice and flex
- Customisation of benefits for a multigenerational workforce and diverse needs
- Consistent communication and branding that empowers employees to take charge of their benefit decisions and well-being
- Optimisation of benefit investment, robust budget planning and cost control
- Improved employee visibility of the value of their benefits and shared responsibility
Our unique value proposition
- Integrated consulting, broking and technology
- Strong global and local choice consulting capabilities
- Strong provider relationships
- Global administration and communication technology
- Considered through the lens of the broader EVP, including health and well-being, DEI and ESG