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Do your employee benefits stack up?

1 Mar 2019 by  Haya Alomari

Whether you’re looking after a group of senior executives, on-the-ground retail staff or a remote customer service team, one factor remains consistent. Employee benefits are crucial. Benefits that resonate with top employees and embed them into your organisational culture? Even better.

In Aon’s 2018 Best Employer study, it was revealed that 80% of Aon Best Employers consider “Employee engagement and motivation” as one of their top three HR priorities. But far beyond a quarterly team outing and a year-end bonus, expectations around employee engagement and benefits are changing. In today’s shifting employment landscape, employee priorities and motivations are complex, and as a result, organisations need to be creative in their offerings. With a solid benefits plan – and looking outside of the box for options to engage staff – organisations can ensure they are market leaders who can attract and retain top talent in the process. Not only do Best Employers offer better benefits, they tailor their benefits to foster a high performance culture. On average 73% of employees at Best Employer organisations believe that their organisation's benefits meet the needs of them and their family compared to only 49% at other organisations.

Find out how your company ranks in terms of employee engagement

So, what creative benefits should be considered? Our research shows that organisations are shifting away from monetary rewards and are moving toward employee-based benefits.

To spark your own employee engagement ideas, we are pleased to share a handful of benefits being adopted by the 2018 Best Employers.

Extra leave

It’s a simple strategy, but one that works. As employees clock up more time with your organisation, they’re rewarded with time off. In fact, one Best Employer has introduced an Ambassador Club program that provides employees with two or more years of tenure with an additional month of parental leave, and more days of annual leave when they meet identified performance criteria.

Parental leave support

As working parents will be all too familiar, parental leave can take a toll on superannuation. Good employers are acutely aware of this fact and are offering maternity leave superannuation top ups to lessen the compounded impact. They’re also offering non-monetary support, with coaching sessions on returning to work, and mentors to assist new parents as they navigate managing workloads with family.

Passion projects

Best Employers recognise that their employees are more than just their job, and they treat them accordingly. Many organisations offer financial assistance for further study, as well as time off for classes, but some employers are going a step further, by providing a lump sum for career sabbaticals. What’s more, one organisation has introduced a $15,000 cash reward for innovative ideas. Not only can this type of initiative propel your business forward by the people who know your company best, but it also fosters a spirit of innovation and organisational buy-in.

Cash rewards

While many Best Employers are looking outside of traditional performance oriented rewards systems, cold hard cash still resonates. However, far from being a lump sum at the end of a performance cycle, employers are looking at smaller, more regular rewards to motivate performance. It could be as simple as a $250 quarterly spa voucher, or a $100 cash gift to spend on family and friends. These gestures can be highly engaging, without making a significant dent in your P&L.

Regular reviews

It may be standard to conduct annual performance and salary reviews, but Best Employers have recognised that these processes need to occur more regularly to be a driving benefit. By rewarding and recognising employees more regularly, you’re shortening the time frame to appropriately incentivise and engage them.

Agile work practices

In today’s age of constant connection, flexibility is not only possible, but paramount. Many Best Employers are adopting a “work anywhere, anytime” model. With flexible hours and remote working options, high performing team members can enjoy the elusive work/life balance – picking up children from school, making time for fitness or simply avoiding the morning commute – while continuing to deliver results for your organisation.

Also of critical importance is the communication and embedding of these benefits. Best Employers regularly communicate details of their benefits plans, introduce them from the time of employee induction, and showcase them from the top down. Becoming a key part of the employee value proposition, these benefits plans are an organisational priority used to attract top talent, and to retain that talent once they’re onboarded.

As all good employers will be aware, employees are the driving force behind the success of an organisation. With a thoughtful, well executed signature benefits plan, organisations can enjoy higher levels of engagement, retention and productivity, while cultivating a culture of belonging.

How can Aon help?

As we have seen in  2018's Best Employer results, to be truly impactful, employee engagement needs to be put at the top of your company’s priority list. It’s a journey that involves a considered strategy to deliver the rewards that Aon Best Employers enjoy. At Aon, we are experts in assisting organisations with creating and executing a world class benefits programs. If you are ready to start your journey towards becoming an Aon Best Employer, contact us today.

Haya Alomari

Haya leads the employee engagement practice for the Pacific region. Haya focuses on supporting organisations in achieving business strategy through their people. With experience across different industries and a wide-range of HR disciplines, Haya brings a holistic strategic approach to people management. Partnering with clients to explore different solutions to overcome organisational challenges is at the core of how she works with her clients.

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