If you arrived at the office one morning and discovered that your desktop computer and confidential documents are missing, you would probably:

  • Call the police or your internal data security representative
  • Start an investigation to determine responsibility
  • Create a plan to ensure that such a loss doesn’t reoccur.

Try changing your perspective and think about the last time one of your most valuable employees left to work for one of your competitors.

Did you launch the investigation? Did you find out why and how? Did you implement a robust procedure to ensure that it doesn’t happen again?

The answer for many is “no”. For many organisations our most valuable asset is our people and the cost of replacing them is substantial. An Oxford Economics study in 2014 calculates the cost of replacing an average employee at:

  •  £5,433 ($8,389) directly – the cost of bringing in a new person after losing a key employee
  •  £25,182 ($38,887) indirectly – the cost to company revenue as a result of lower productivity

That’s right… on average the cost to our organisations amounts to £30,615 ($47,276) per employee lost. Whether you have 25 or 250,000 employees, the stark cost of losing key talent should be enough to keep even the bravest CEO awake at night.

The need to control the flow of departing talent puts HR, Benefits and Finance professionals at the centre of the strategic agenda. Stem the tide and you can directly impact your business’ performance today and tomorrow.

Benefits optimisation can be one of your most effective means of retaining key talent you can’t afford to lose.

Making an immediate impact

At our recent Reward Club Day I had the pleasure of meeting over 50 Thomsons clients who all shared a common desire. They want to ensure that their employee benefits solution offers the best possible value for their employees and their organisation. Benefits optimisation includes three core focuses:

  • What you offer
  • How you offer it
  • How you communicate it

Tailor these correctly and unlocking benefits optimisation is achievable. 

Here are your 6 tips for benefits optimisation that will make an impact today…

What you offer:

1. Knowledge Is Power

Survey your current employees, benchmark yourself against your competitors and find out why your employees are leaving. “In vino veritas” – leavers often provide you with an unbiased review, so use it to find out what you’ve missed. Understanding where you are today is the key to knowing where you need to be tomorrow.

2. Do Something Different

Innovative and relevant benefits retain key employees. “Make me care and I will be loyal” – from lifestyle, protection, health and wealth there needs to be something for every persona in your business. Innovative doesn’t have to mean expensive, it’s all about providing value and relevance. 

How you offer it:

3. Increase Choice

Offering choice is just the start but allowing employees to determine their own reward is a brilliant basic.“My lifestyle isn’t determined in 2 weeks in December so why should my benefit choices be?”From truly flexible spending accounts to anytime benefits, it’s important that there is something in the package that makes a difference to your employees regularly.

How many flexible benefits plans aren’t really that flexible at all? With provider innovation and the administration power of Darwin™ this doesn’t have to be the case. If you give your employees a reason to engage regularly then they will do so. 

4. Maximise Savings

We will always have to justify our spend on benefits. How many of us have heard “If you save X I’ll consider Y”?

There are three key areas we are working with our existing clients on in 2015. These include tax savings (National Insurance in the UK), provider charges reductions, and challenging the status quo on provider commissions on health and wellbeing benefits. We believe there’s a better way to maximise return and regularly reviewing this will drive business value. Not all benefits programs are created equally.

How you communicate it:

5. Provide an Interconnected Universe

Our employees are becoming more impatient - “Instant gratification is key”. We need to react to this by improving integration. No more repetitive data entry – employees get instant access when joining on a mobile device. From an HR perspective this means Single Sign On and Secure File Transfer into and from your existing systems. Easier and cheaper to do than ever before, this is as important as a regular vehicle safety inspection on your car. It doesn’t matter how good your benefits package is if it doesn’t reflect with how your employees want to consume information and engage.

6. Help Me Don’t Tell Me

Our employees are bombarded with information. Helping them to access “in the moment” guidance through multiple channels is the best way of supporting them. Consider solutions that use rich media content and allow for tailored notifications. You can go a step forward and tie this in with analytics to deliver truly personalised communications to your employees.

Are you optimised?

How many of the items above do you identify with? Are you practicing them all?

Remember not to stand still. Just as your employees’ needs are constantly evolving, so you will need to make sure you are continually optimising your benefits to suit them.

For me personally for example…there has to be a reason for me to stay at my company. From a benefits perspective, it’s the flexible mortgage booster offered as part of the Thomsons benefits package. I’ve yet to find an organisation that offers a more compelling tie-in than the roof above my head.

So is it time you reviewed your scheme?

Contact us today for an initial assessment or if you are an existing client, get in touch with your team at Thomsons directly.