Employee benefits are designed to help attract, retain and engage the top caliber staff for a company and a way to ensure they are motivated and looked after. The most effective employee benefits should be tailored to the wants and needs of the organisation’s workforce, are simple to use as well as support the greater business objectives and corporate culture. It is within reason to say that for some businesses, especially SMEs, getting a budget for an employee benefits scheme may not be as simple as 1,2,3!
Below are five tips in the bid to getting your employee benefits and engagement strategy approved:
1. Make sure there is a business case
Ensuring your objectives are directly linked back to your business goals is crucial in getting buy-in from your leadership and board members. It is often not as black and white as submitting a document and getting sign-off immediately as the benefits spectrum may not appear business critical at first glance. Dealing with employee engagement, motivation and happiness may be harder to get buy-in on as it may appear more airy fairy than other clear cut business goals. Ensure that these benefits enhance and are directly linked to specific business values and this may help push the cause forward more smoothly.
2. Be clear on your expenditure
This may sound obvious to be clear on everything you’re spending, but is business critical to provider a very well-defined breakdown of how much you’re spending on what exactly. Leadership will want to know what the value proposition is and how this impacts the ROI. Be prepared to explain the step-by-step approach how you got to a certain monthly / annual figure and what the specific benchmarks are. Remember to be all-inclusive when presenting the figures and include all areas such as marketing, branding, training and reporting. If there are going to be costs which fluctuate depending on usage, or seasonality, remember to note these down too.
3. Be clear on your objectives
Ask yourself the simple questions: what are the goals of your engagement strategy? What do you want to achieve by implementing a benefits scheme? Why are you implementing such a package? What values are you hoping to highlight? What outcome to you want to see from your employees? It is often about hashing out the basics and getting to grips with the ins and outs that needs doing before presenting a holistic pitch to your leadership team. Do your homework as they will want to see SMART objectives – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. If your engagement strategy includes both employee benefits and reward and recognition, clearly articulate that the benefits side can help your employees’ salary go further and sit along a bonus, whereas recognition may be more about rewarding behaviour and saying well done.
4. Use data to support your case
Expect to be asked for some hard evidence and data to back up your proposal, whether it’s from an existing scheme you’re currently using or providing clear predictions on the return on investment should this scheme be implemented. Consider all metrics such as spend per employee, spend per month and so forth. Usage reports may be a good place to start in order to get concrete evidence. Many organisations also consider Value on Investment (VOI), which instead of focusing on tangible measures such as sales and revenue, looks at intangible measures such as employee engagement and motivation factors.
5. Ask your benefits provider for assistance
It may be worth asking your employee benefits provider for some assistance when it comes to case studies, figures, relevant industry statistics and examples. They may have a portfolio of this information which you can use to bolster your proposal to your management team. They may have clever ideas for implementing a scheme and can provide some tried and tested approaches which have been successful for their other clients. . In addition, if you show that your greatest competitors are utilising employee benefits to engage their workforce, this may be another driver for your approval process and getting the team on your side.
There is no one-size fits all approach to getting your employee benefits budget approached. It may have to go through a phased approach or be done at a specific financial period that makes the most sense for the business. Ensure you have done all your research to avoid your directors being forced to ask the obvious questions. Rather take your time and present a transparent proposal which shows that your employees’ best interests are taken into account, as well as that of the business. If implemented correctly, this engagement tool will be a win-win for everyone at hand.
Staff Treats is an Employee Benefits provider offering employee discounts and reward and recognition solutions. Our products help to increase employee engagement and create a motivated workforce. If you’d like to find out more, with one of our Engagement Specialists.
Written by Talya Zwiers
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