21 Aug

Flexible Benefits – Are They Worth The Hype?


Why is it that some companies use flexible benefits and rave about them, while others seem reluctant to even discuss the idea? We wanted to find out the answers and we’ve gone and found them for you.

Employee benefits software provider Staffcare recently surveyed some businesses about flexible benefits and we’ve gone through their data to try to answer the big flexible benefits questions.

Just under two thirds of UK businesses do not have a flexible benefits scheme in place. This is perhaps the most interesting fact to be taken from Staffcare’s recent survey on flexible benefits, which showed that only 36% of businesses do have a flexible benefits scheme.

Of those companies that do not have a flexible benefits scheme in place, three big reasons emerged for not implementing one.

The most common reason given for not having a flexible benefits scheme in place for employees was that the company’s culture wouldn’t be welcome to one. 35% of businesses without a flexible scheme gave this excuse, which suggests there is some underlying hostility in UK workplaces to implementing such a scheme.

Also offered as reasons for not wanting to bring in flexible benefits were the cost (with 29% citing this as a reason not to bring them in) and the time and resources that would be required (with 24% of businesses saying this would put them off the idea).

It is obvious therefore that there is a negative image of flexible benefits out there which is causing flexible benefits schemes to be viewed as a drain on money and staff time. Yes, there will be some admin time needed to implement a flexible benefits scheme and the scheme will cost money, but if analysing the costs we should also consider the costs of not bringing in flexible benefits.

Only 13% of employees were found to value their employee benefits in those companies which didn’t offer flexible benefits. Having such a low level of staff engagement? Now that sounds costly!

When you consider that companies not offering flexible benefits still generally offer other benefits – 72% of them offered 3 or more out of pensions, healthcare, group protection, salary sacrifice and voluntary benefits – then the argument about cost seems a strange one. When a company pays a lot for employee benefits and only has 13% of its staff valuing that expenditure then something isn’t working.

So are flexible benefits really the answer?

Well, those companies which do use flex seem to think so. There is a 37% increase in the percentage of staff who value their benefits when there is a flexible benefits scheme compared to when there isn’t.

Something as simple as a switch to flexible benefits seems to encourage much higher employee engagement and the value of this staff engagement surely outweighs any extra cost. Those in business agree and 85% testified that flexible benefits offer value for money.

69% of those involved with administering a flex scheme said that flexible benefits helped with employee engagement. For me, that is the most telling stat of all.

So it seems that flexible benefits really do help with keeping employees engaged and committed to a company and that the excuses offered by businesses not using flexible benefits schemes don’t really stand up. Maybe it’s time to learn a little more about employee benefits, therefore, and what a DAM good flexible benefits package could do for your business.


Photo credit goes to daverose259

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