The evolution of flexible benefits platforms: opening up benefits to all
In the past, having a flexible benefits platform was seen as something only very large companies would use; access was provided to employees once a year to make changes to a range of benefits that they could pay for through their salary. In many cases these ‘products’ would be available at discounted prices. But, after one month of making decisions and looking at what you have chosen, it was forgotten, left on the ‘shelf’ gathering dust. It was hugely expensive for the employer and for 11 months of the year, mostly ignored.
Premier Companies is exhibiting at the virtual Employee Wellbeing Congress in September.
Things have changed. Flexible benefits platforms can now be accessed all year round, magnetic content draws your employees back, helping them change their choices as needed, not just once a year.
What is magnetic content? It is information that grabs the member’s attention and encourages them to look at the system. It might be as simple as an email telling them that their payslip is available and to log in and look (yes flexible benefits platforms can handle a variety of HR functions, or simply have a link to another system). Just by going online and looking at the platform, members will almost always take a quick look – if it’s been designed well – to see what’s new.
The site can be used as a hub for wellbeing, tying in the benefits on offer with articles and campaigns to encourage a healthier lifestyle. The wellbeing module holds information and signposts to additional help with physical, mental and financial health issues.
For you, the employer, the back office systems have also changed, making it easier to use and manage reporting. It removes the pain from administering multiple benefits with changing membership information on a monthly basis.
Most importantly, however, the biggest change is in how accessible this is financially. Costs have generally fallen with improved technology meaning a flexible benefits platform is now within the reach of many smaller to medium-sized companies.
The author is Sue Pemberton, head of employee services for Premier Companies.
This is a sponsored article provided by Premier Companies.
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