7 questions to ask in your voluntary benefits review
As a business, it’s important to consistently monitor the success of your voluntary benefits programme to check that it’s aligned to your goals, delivering a return on your investment and, most importantly, meeting the needs of your employees. As a benefits provider, we understand the importance of the review phase of any scheme because it helps our clients get the most out of our solutions.
The review process is a great opportunity to take a step back, assess the success of a scheme, and ask some key questions that will identify whether changes need to be made. By analysing your benefits programme delivery, you could save money, enhance your return on investment, and effectively re-engage your employees by either modifying your existing offering or deciding to use an alternative provider.
To help you get the most out of your benefits solution, we’ve outlined the seven key questions to ask in your review. These will give you a good insight into whether your approach is right for your business, or whether you need to consider going down a different route with an alternative approach or provider.
1. Are my employees getting what they want?
Benefits are a great way to boost your employee value proposition, but first and foremost they need to be matched to your employees. If your benefits programme doesn’t directly address the needs of your people, it defeats the purpose of having it because your employees won’t be inclined to use it. The result will be low levels of engagement, which will inhibit your ability to meet your scheme objectives. So, to maximise the impact of your benefits programme, it’s essential that the content you’re providing is comprehensive enough to meet the needs of a broad demographic and can be tailored to your employees’ individual nuances: their personal interests, demographics, job roles, and more.
Analysing your management information reports will give you a flavour of how engaged your employees are with your scheme, but it will only give you part of the picture. Employee feedback is a far more powerful tool and will enable you to work out whether your employees’ needs have been/are being met. All you need to do is ask your employees if they’re getting what they want from your benefits programme. You could send out a survey, conduct focus groups or get employees to do a quick poll – any kind of employee insight will help you determine whether your benefits approach is working and is right for your business.
2. Is there a good range of content available?
Offering a good range of benefits will increase the likelihood of employees engaging with your scheme. It’s also a key indication that you’re using a good benefits provider.
A comprehensive library of offers, discounts, resources (and more), complements the diverse nature of a workforce and ensures that there’s something for everyone to use and enjoy. If what you’re offering is very limited, you’re not going to get optimal engagement with your benefits scheme because there simply isn’t enough to interest your employees. Everyone in your business should be able to log into your benefits platform and find something that directly appeals to them. So, if you’re deciding whether to renew your contract with a benefits provider, make sure you evaluate just how extensive the range of content is.
3. How effective are our communications?
Communications are the lifeblood of your benefits scheme and will actively drive engagement across your business. Your provider should offer full communications support and work with you to ensure that key messages about your scheme are delivered and general awareness is raised on a regular basis and in an effective way.
For example, we adopt a multi-channel approach with our clients so that employees from all areas of the business are targeted. Our Pixel, Paper, Person (3 P’s) approach ensures that communications have optimal reach. Whether your employees work remotely or are largely ‘offline’ in their day-to-day roles, benefits communications should be tailored to the nuances of your workforce because only then will they be effective in getting employees on board with your benefits scheme.
It’s all well and good sending out a company-wide email every month about your benefits, but does it actually have an impact? Does it really encourage your employees to utilise their benefits? Refer to your scheme reports and consider how successful your benefits communications actually are.
4. Are we getting value for money?
It’s vital to measure your return on investment when reviewing your current benefits programme to see whether your budget is being well spent. Assess the level of engagement you’ve had with your scheme but over and above that, assess actual levels of utilisation and savings made by employees
Also, consider the value for money for your employees too. Are the discounts and offers good? Of course, any level of discount will help make your employees’ money go further, but you need to question how much of an impact your benefits have. Will your employees be able to make considerable savings? That’s the aim.
It’s always worth questioning the value of your scheme because there’s a chance you could either save money or get more for your money by using an alternative provider.
5. What level of reporting are we getting?
Reporting should help you improve your employee benefits programme, so your provider needs to supply you with the right data (and enough of it) to inform your future steps.
You need to be able to evaluate whether your benefits programme is meeting your business objectives. As a result, your provider should deliver detailed reports that are aligned to your goals, have meaning, and give you a valuable insight into your scheme’s performance. Ultimately, whenever you receive information from your provider, whether it’s weekly, monthly or quarterly, you should be able to analyse the success of your benefits programme with ease.
Our clients receive detailed MI (Management Information) which gives them a comprehensive run-down on the usage of our benefits solution. This data can be accessed by our clients on a self-serve basis, meaning they can view data whenever they want. We monitor and collect a whole host of relevant information which we then break down into sub-categories to provide a detailed picture of the activity, spend, savings and overall engagement with schemes.
In essence, you should be able to accurately measure the success of your benefits programme.
6. Are our benefits easy to access?
In today’s culture, most people have access to technology wherever they go so they can get to the information they need. With so much online content to compete with, a benefits programme that is user-friendly and optimised for any device is key.
Think about how your employees currently access their benefits. Can they do it on the go as well as at home? How easy is the log in process? For optimal engagement you need an optimal user experience for your employees. That’s why our advantage benefits and discount solution has innovative features such as optional one-click purchase capability and direct debit functionality, and is automatically optimised for any web-enabled device to ensure ease of use
Convenience is critical and can have a huge impact on the take-up of your scheme. Assess whether there are things that can be done to streamline the login process or improve the platform for use on mobile, tablet and desktop devices.
7. Do we know our provider’s development roadmap?
A key indicator of a good benefits provider is whether there is a clear development path for your programme. Is there scope to develop? What is your provider doing to innovate? You should be working closely with your provider to uncover ways in which you can enhance your existing scheme to increase its value to you and your employees.
At peoplevalue, we’re constantly thinking of new ways to make our solutions better so that our clients get the best in class. We have close working relationships with our clients and give them the utmost support to ensure our solutions are tailored to fit their exact needs and so we can upgrade their scheme wherever applicable. Whether it’s adding modules or introducing new features, it’s important to us that we continue to build value over time.
Innovation helps solve problems, increases efficiency and keeps things fresh and exciting for your employees. That’s why it’s important that you have a good relationship with your benefits provider, so you can work together to come up with new ideas to reach your objectives. If there is no real promise of development and you’re not getting the correct level of support, it might be time to switch provider.
Thinking of switching your voluntary benefits provider? Discover advantage – our innovative discounts and benefits solution.