During periods of financial stability, many companies are not always aware of the day to day benefit management or behind the scenes adjustments being made by their Employee Benefits Consultant on their behalf, happy to leave in abeyance until renewal or annual review.
However, it is in the challenging financial periods that Employee Benefits Consultants' expertise really delivers value to their company clients.
After several months of Covid-19, falling oil prices, lockdown, furlough, travel bans, remote working, team consultations, redundancies, it is probably fair to say these are exceptional financially challenging times and this is when real employee benefits consultancy support becomes essential to cost control and meeting the needs of your team.
It would not be unfair to observe that the success of remote working has surprised in some instances both employers and their team. Permanently changing employer pre-held assumptions on flexible working and team expectations on their mode of delivering their responsibilities.
With falling oil revenues here in North East Scotland, all-expense and benefit-cost will naturally come under scrutiny, but, the need to review benefits will not be merely about cost or scope of cover, but, should also be about questioning are these benefits appropriate for current needs – after all the COVID -19 lockdown has just profoundly impacted on employer and employee work practice expectations and benefit modification may be required to maintain their value to assist recruitment and staff retention.
So as employers face challenges they understandably never anticipated, ranging from supporting concerned staff back into the office, to providing mental health support to staff who have been impacted by the psychological impact of lockdown and then only to find their historic employee benefit range does not reflect their current needs.
So how can employee benefits consultants help employers to maintain benefit regimes that address the team needs today and maximise spend value?
The answer is to work in partnership with the employer to review the benefits in such a way that the range doesn’t just reflect the historic expected sector offerings, but identify what employees in a post-Covid-19 world now require and value over and above statutory requirements such as Auto Enrolment. Employee Benefits providers can design a cost-effective benefit structure that employers feel comfortable to fund.
Key factors for employers to consider include:
- When were the existing benefits put in place?
- What was the size and demographic make up of the work force at that point?
- What is the size and demographic of the current workforce?
- What were and are the objectives of the current benefit programme? Did the benefit suite deliver the required outcomes? – have they proved relevant to today’s workforce? What would you change?
- Align agreed objectives to existing benefits and proposed additions and confirm with the client any restructuring to be made.
This exercise, even in a remote working landscape can be achieved quickly and thoroughly to provide a compelling benefit range that delivers value to the business within a budget that reflects the current needs of your team.
Benefit analysis and review is an integral service recommended to be undertaken often as business change and evolve, moreover in the current challenging circumstances we believe it is imperative that companies spend their benefits budget effectively combined with the appropriate advice.