How Much Should You Spend on an Employee Benefits Scheme?

Employee benefits schemes are often one of the key differentiating factors for organisations

The right mix of benefits will give your business a huge advantage when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent. But with budgets being under intense scrutiny at the moment, you'll want reassurance that your investment is going to bring in results.

First off, it's important not to get employee benefits confused with reward and recognition programmes.

While both contribute to a positive and productive company culture, employee benefits are part of the fundamental support you offer to all employees within your organisation. Benefits create an even playing field for all individuals within your company, enabling them to feel secure and looked after when working for you.

Each organisation will have its own unique blend of benefits based on the preferences and needs of its people. On a very basic level, benefits will include pension and paid annual leave. Where budget allows, however, some employers may wish to offer extras such as flexible working hours, life and health insurance, gym memberships, retailer discounts and other similar perks that may be attractive to people working in a particular industry. 

Since all of these benefits will require a financial commitment from the enterprise, it's essential to establish a budget. To find out how much you should be spending on your employee benefits scheme, here's what you need to consider:

what do you employees need?

A one-size-fits-all approach won't work for your business – from a financial and target reaching perspective.

To make sure you’re spending your money on the right benefits, you should start by looking at the needs of your people. Initiate focus groups and circulate surveys where you can directly ask your employees what kind of benefits would be appreciated and useful to them. Would a cycle-to-work scheme help lower the cost of their commute? Would an Employee Assistance Programme help them to balance work-life pressures better? 

Choosing an expert partner in the field of employee benefits can help you get this feedback process off to a great start, reducing ambiguity and assisting your workers to choose the benefits which will truly impact their lives positively. 

At Sodexo, we offer a wealth of resources to employers and employees looking to learn more about the right-fit benefits for their needs. Our award-winning benefits platform provides an all-in-one solution that helps companies to build effective relationships with their people. We'll create a bespoke package that not only encourages participation but also drives home the message that you are truly invested in looking after your employees. 

It's important to view your employee benefits scheme as an investment in your corporate culture ecosystem. A personalised and carefully crafted package will help to support your employees physical and mental wellbeing and make them feel part of a great company and team.

getting your budget approved

Once you've identified the benefits that are going to engage your employees and help to attract and retain new ones, it's time to add up the numbers and present your plans to the key stakeholders in your organisation. We have some key tips on how to do this:

Show your method

The first thing to show your board of directors are the results from the studies you conducted with employees to establish their needs and requirements. This will demonstrate that nothing frivolous or unaccounted for has been added to the package and that each of the benefits you have selected will be useful and appreciated by employees.

Review and present the data

If you have an existing scheme, you can present a case study of the results this scheme has yielded so far. You can show the challenges and shortfalls that the scheme has had and present alternative suggestions that will course correct and refocus the initiative. 

If you're working with a dedicated employee benefits platform provider, ask them for figures that demonstrate the ROI of specific benefits in your proposed plan. This will help stakeholders to understand the reasoning behind your recommendations and see the value that the new scheme will add to the business. 

Spell out your objectives

Part of your initial research should have been to identify the challenges your business is facing and how the right benefits can help to boost engagement, enhance company culture, or promote better habits amongst your people. When presenting our employee benefits package to stakeholders, give a clear breakdown of how each benefit will improve an area of your business.

For example, in the current climate, many employees may be struggling financially. While the business may not be in a position to offer a pay rise, providing retailer discounts can help them to save money on the day-to-day things that they need. This creates a win-win situation for both the employee and the company.

let's get you started...

As a bit of a summary statement, it's important at this point to recognise that price isn't the most crucial factor in your decision making process. Yes it's important of course, but understanding what will resonate and engage your people, is key.

At Sodexo, we help businesses just like yours to build and implement people-centric employee benefit schemes that not only fit your budget, but the needs of your employees too. We're always available for a no-obligation chat to talk you through our personalised packages and offer the kind of information you need to establish realistic and practical cost objectives.

Give us a call today, and let's get started.

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