A couple of years back, I had written about "the market for employee benefits". I was fully convinced that it will help foster a better understanding of the employee benefits plan and drive better satisfaction as a result of the ability to customize the plan to suit individual needs and lifestyles.
I was at a conference last week, where I was a part of a panel discussion. One of the questions posed to me was "How does having a flexible benefits system affect the engagement levels of employees?"
Typically, research shows that pay / benefits do not feature as a top driver of engagement - they affect engagement, but other factors assume higher priority when it comes to engagement. However, pay / benefits are critical drivers of talent attraction and retention. But, I do feel that a flexible benefits system, as opposed to a traditional benefits plan, would also affect engagement.
In a flexi-benefits programs, the role of employees evolves. From being passive recipients of a standardized, mundane plan, employees become active decision-makers in a flexi-benefits system. It helps to build that sense of autonomy, of empowerment, of ownership. And that does have a positive rub-off effect on engagement, attraction and retention. Overall, I feel that a flexi-benefits system is a great way to differentiate your employee value proposition and compete better in the marketplace for talent.
Have you implemented a flexi-benefits system? What has been your experience?