Recruitment organisation PageGroup’s flexible and voluntary benefits platform, MyBenefits, went live in November 2016, and is available to all 1,400 employees across its 26 UK sites.
PageGroup provides a number of core benefits to employees, such as life insurance, group income protection and pension contributions; these can then be flexed and added to via the portal. Its voluntary offering also includes around 12 additional benefits, including a health cash plan, season ticket loans and a bikes-for-work scheme. Staff can also access employee discounts, such as theatre and hotel discounts, provided by Reward Gateway.
The portal, which is provided by Thomsons Online Benefits, includes access to total reward statements, financial education services, pension modelling tools and the rest of the organisation’s benefits offering, creating an integrated, holistic approach.
Since PageGroup introduced voluntary benefits in July 2014, it has made an effort to keep its finger on the pulse and provide perks that create value for its workforce, which has an average age of 33.
Vanessa Edmonds, HR director at PageGroup, says: “We’ve got a multi-generational workforce, but with more people down the [younger] end, what we find is people are expecting more flexibility, and to be able to give more instantaneous feedback.”
To gather information prior to the organisation’s annual benefits enrolment window, for example, which starts in November, PageGroup uses benefits roadshows, ad-hoc reward surveys and global employee engagement questionnaires, which run every two years, historically in September. The roadshows also take place in September each year and 2018 saw the introduction of webinars in addition to office visits.
PageGroup also analyses usage rates for the benefits included on its portal, and is planning to introduce more frequent pulse-style surveying methods.
One of the results of this monitoring was the introduction of a technology scheme in January 2018, which allows employees to save on new products by purchasing them through a salary sacrifice arrangement.
“We do try to match our benefits to the multi-generational workforce,” Edmonds explains. “So just as much as [the technology scheme] might help a consultant early on in their career, it’s also of interest to a director-level person with a family.”
Beyond the annual roadshows, the organisation communicates with employees about the voluntary benefits available to them via social platform Yammer, as well as in webinars for new starters and on website splash pages.
For PageGroup, it is the ability to link to all elements of reward and engagement that is particularly appealing about this use of technology, as well as the flexibility and tailoring opportunities provided by a voluntary scheme.
“This is something that adds to the overall package; there has to be a multi-pronged approach,” says Edmonds. “For the size we are, we have a really good spread of benefits. We’re operating in a fiercely competitive market, so we want to make sure we do offer things people are motivated by.
“Voluntary schemes allow employees to tailor benefits to meet their needs, and that’s what we’re all about: flexibility and ease.”