Benefits are commonplace across many, if not all, organisations. They’re those extra little perks designed to help people save money, manage their wellbeing and maintain a better work-life balance.

But findings from a YouGov survey suggest that, in the UK alone, organisations are wasting up to £15bn a year on unused benefits. So, what’s going wrong?

One size fits all?

For some organisations, benefits are simply an incentive, in addition to salary. A way of saying, “when you work for us, you get access to all this great stuff!”

And it works. From free dental care and subsidised gym memberships to wellness programmes and flexible working… and everything in between. They’re normally packed with a variety of offerings – whether we need them or not – that can add genuine benefit to people’s lives.

But, at the same time, the one size fits all approach to benefits, fails to account for the real-life challenges, experiences and needs that people have. And with five generations in the workplace, there’s a lot of variance in terms of what people want and need, depending on where they’re at in their life-stage.

Perhaps this makes the eye-watering amount of waste make sense?

A meaningful approach

So, in an ever-competitive talent and retention market, organisations are beginning to evolve their approach to benefits, customising their offering and investing their budget in meaningful ways, responding to the needs of their employees, as they progress through their lives and careers.

These include student loan assistance and financial education for Gen Z; fertility treatment and family planning support to attract millennials; services to manage university admission processes for Gen X’s children and assistance services to manage the administrative aspect of caring for elderly relatives; and even ‘grand-ternity’ leave to allow employees time-off to support with childcare and spend time with grandchildren.

The organisations responding to genuine human needs are visibly showing their employees that, “we hear you, we see you, we care about you”. They’re creating a connection with their employees, and it benefits the organisation too – enhancing culture, boosting retention and even driving productivity.

Creating human benefits

Creating personalised, human benefits begins by understanding your employees. Yes, data can give you a broad understanding of the make-up of your organisation, but conversation is where you’ll uncover the real detail.

If your organisation has them, Employee Resource Groups are a positive place to start. These groups, formed around shared characteristics and interests, may already be engaged in conversation about the unique challenges they face and the support they require and/or would benefit from, from the organisation.

Recruitment teams may also provide further valuable insight into the types of questions potential candidates are asking around benefits, as well as what competitors are offering.

And we, at Home, can also share some of the recent changes we’ve introduced to ensure we show up for each other, through many of life’s difficult phases.

On our LinkedIn page, we’ve shared our menopause and cancer policies. And although we call them ‘policies’, they’re designed to ensure that we can all benefit from a culture and environment that recognises the unique (and incredibly challenging) circumstances we can all face.

By making these available our aim was to spark a conversation that needs to be had, making these policies more common, and to provide a template – a foundation – for other organisations to build on and implement.

Let’s transform how we think about benefits from a catalogue of short-term perks to a personalised offering that enables people to be at their best, no matter where they are in their life journey.

If this is something you’d like to chat more about, drop us a message, email or even give us a call.