Inspired by the many conversations we’ve had with business owners and managers setting up an employee benefits scheme for the first time, we’ve compiled the top 6 problems that buyers face and the best ways to solve them.
“We were starting our benefits journey from the beginning. As a small start-up, we wanted to ensure we were providing benefits that were in line with our culture. We wanted to take a look at all the options available to us and make an informed decision. Our priority based on input from Unminders was health insurance” – Hazel Silvester, Unmind
Need help navigating the employee benefits market as a first-time buyer? Contact our friendly team at [email protected] or use the chatbox for FREE one-to-one support.
- 1 #1 Where to even start?
- 2 #2 How to best use a limited budget?
- 3 #3 Confusing market
- 4 #4 Developing a scheme that caters for everyone
- 5 #5 How to get the perfect balance of employee benefits
- 6 #6 Communication/distribution of scheme
- 7 Designer Group reports how employee benefits brokers help
- 8 Experts in all things employee benefits
#1 Where to even start?
Problem: Typing “how to set up employee benefits” into Google, will leave you with infinite articles to sift through – and often targeted at the US market!
What works best for your company depends on a wide range of components and each one must be considered appropriately – your employees, the nature of your company, budgetary constraints, and how your business operates day-to-day.
Solution: Instead of undertaking an endless online search, we recommend taking the time to reflect on what you’re hoping to achieve, and then gaining feedback from your employees.
Begin by brainstorming answers to the following questions:
- Why do we want to invest in employee benefits?
- What do we hope to achieve through them?
- Who are our competitors? And what are they offering their teams?
- How can we match them or better them without breaking the bank?
At the same time, you need to gather anonymous feedback from staff and get answers to the following:
- What are the biggest wellbeing challenges employees face?
- And what can we do to help?
- What are the biggest impediments to employees performing at their best?
- What would help them overcome these impediments?
- What do your employees want and need? List a wide selection of benefits and consider allowing them to rank in the level of importance.
Once you’ve gathered survey results and completed a brainstorming session, you should have a better idea of the employee benefits you’d like to offer.
#2 How to best use a limited budget?
Problem: Establishing what you can realistically afford and setting budget limits is very important. Once you start offering benefits, it’s hard to take them back again! Fortunately, you don’t have to be a big corporation to source a benefits scheme that benefits businesses and the workforce alike.
Solution: We recommend reflecting on three aspects:
- What can your company realistically afford
- Which benefits your staff desire the most
- Which benefits are going to most benefit the business as a result
Remember, not all benefits require financial investment – you might be surprised how far your budget can reach.
#3 Confusing market
Problem: The health insurance and employee benefits market is infamous for confusing terminology and insanely complicated policy terms for insurance products.
It’s easy to get bogged down in the terminology and frustrated by the in-depth knowledge required to know what a good insurance scheme looks like. Not to mention broader considerations around workplace benefits and how to implement them.
Solution: A good broker can explain everything in easy-to-follow language and provide answers to every question you ever wanted to ask. As well as providing guidance, they can negotiate insurance schemes on your behalf and help implement them within your business, negotiate renewals and assist with insurance claims
If you’re looking for one-to-one advice tailored to your small business, call our friendly team of brokers on 01273 222805 or email [email protected]. We offer FREE quotes and advice – and no contractual tie-ins.
#4 Developing a scheme that caters for everyone
Problem: Each employee is driven by their own individual needs, desires, and priorities – a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to cut it.
Every staff member wants to feel heard and have access to benefits they actually benefit from. And this can prove tricky to address.
Solution: The key here is understanding what your staff want and needs.
We’ve provided a list of easy-to-apply suggestions to help you learn what your employee benefits need to be targeting:
- Consult your employees directly to offer diverse/personalised benefits: Workplace surveys are a great way of providing a space for staff to voice their priorities.
- Offer a choice of “flexi” benefits: Online benefits platforms can allow employees to choose between which benefits they want – with budget limits/guardrails set by the employer. This allows an element of personalisation.
- Provide a balanced set of perks: Perks can be classified under three different categories: ‘Insurance’, ‘Wellness’ and ‘Rewards’. Getting the balance between them will go a long way to keeping everyone happy. As we explain below.
#5 How to get the perfect balance of employee benefits
Problem: Benefits can be divided into three broad categories:
- Insurance: health-related insurance policies such as private health insurance, life insurance, and critical illness cover
- Wellness: proactive approaches to wellbeing, such as gym discounts, Employee Assistance Programmes, and healthy eating programmes.
- Rewards: perks to be enjoyed such as retail discounts, extra holiday days and bonus schemes.
Businesses often make the mistake of leaning too heavily on just one category. For example, an insurance-heavy approach will neglect benefits which bolster staff wellbeing. On the flip side, too much emphasis on rewards could leave your staff’s health neglected.
Solution: It’s important to provide a balanced offering which supports the health, wellbeing, and happiness of your teams. Having a tick in each box goes some way to achieving this.
#6 Communication/distribution of scheme
Problem: Communicating your employee benefits scheme is just as important as constructing it – yet is often overlooked. Too many businesses make the mistake of having in place a generous scheme which goes underused and underappreciated because few of their staff know about it.
In short: it leads to a wasted budget!
Solution: Once you’ve put together an employee benefits scheme, be sure to raise awareness and educate employees about it. This can be via one-to-one sessions, large group meetings and via email or other written means of communication.
They need to know what it is, how it can help and how they can use it.
Designer Group reports how employee benefits brokers help
Kerry Noblett, HR Director UK Offices at Designer Group has outlined how using the Hooray team saved time, worries, and money when first setting up employee benefits or switching to a new provider:
“I would recommend Hooray to anyone wanting an easier life. Managing insurance has always been notoriously difficult in the past, with lots of complex wording and jargon, leaving you wondering whether you really have got the best deal for your employees. Hooray takes all the hassle out of the process, allowing a stress-free set-up or transition to a new provider.”
Experts in all things employee benefits
Setting up employee benefits for the first time requires some deep thinking about what you and your employees need. Finding a friendly, impartial broker can really help simplify the whole process of deciding on, and implementing, the ideal scheme.
At Hooray Health & Protection, we provide one-to-one advice and support to ensure that health insurance schemes and employee benefits are the best fit for your company. We take the time and care to listen to the specific needs of your business and staff, finding you the best deals and the lowest prices.
Contact Hooray Health & Protection on 01273 222805 or email us at [email protected].