How to build a compelling business case for employee benefits

Most companies offer employee benefits. But a holistic package is more rare, and something that can really set you apart from the competition when it comes to attracting and retaining talent.

Talent & Hiring
Benefits 101

⋅ min read

Most companies these days offer some form of employee benefits – whether that’s a pension scheme or health insurance or your birthday off. But having a holistic benefits package is more rare, and something that can really set you apart from the competition when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. Only 18% of employers have a financial wellbeing policy in place, for instance, but this is something that could prove key to employee performance and happiness. We’ve pulled together some steps to consider when presenting a case for employee benefits to senior leaders at your organisation.

What’s in it for employees and the business?

First things first, there’s no point offering benefits if your employees don’t find them useful. So now’s the time to identify the specific needs of your people to find the perfect fit for them. This can be done through surveys, feedback or one-to-one discussions – whatever helps you gather honest opinions.

It’s also a good idea to establish the company's objectives for offering a benefits package in the first place. Do they want to attract a larger number of candidates by shouting about employee benefits on their job descriptions? Do they want to boost employee loyalty by offering extra days of annual leave? Maybe they just want to achieve higher scores in the monthly engagement survey. This information will be key to defining the right benefits package, for employees and leaders.

Carry out some research and benchmarking

Before you present anything to the company’s stakeholders, make sure you’ve done some research into industry standards and benchmarks for employee benefits in your sector. You might want to compare your current benefits to those offered by competitors and industry leaders to identify gaps. Ben’s benchmarking tool gives you access to data and insights from more than 1,100 companies across 25 countries to help you see how your perks match up.

See how the costs weigh up

This one’s important. After all, no business wants to invest in something they don’t see being a worthwhile cost. Make sure you calculate the costs associated with implementing and running a benefits package. This includes everything from insurance premiums to administrative expenses and potential tax implications (for example, if you’re offering salary sacrifice schemes). You can get a feel for how much offering a benefits package could cost your company with our handy calculator.

Estimate the potential ROI by taking into account factors like reduced turnover, increased productivity and boosted morale. For example, how much is staff churn costing you each year at the moment? If bringing in a benefits platform would reduce this by just one person’s salary, it could be worth it. Be sure to use data and statistics to support your claims – people can’t argue with cold, hard numbers! 

Now is the time to anticipate and address any potential objections or concerns from senior leaders, so you can tackle them head-on when you put forward your business case. Think about the budgetary impact or challenges when it comes to implementation – do you have adequate resources or HR team members to do the work? Once you’ve identified the areas of potential concern, you can consider solutions or mitigation strategies to help win over your stakeholders.

Alignment with company values and culture

Making sure your proposed benefits package aligns with the company's values and culture is vital for it to serve its purpose. If the main objective of offering employee benefits is to attract top talent, but there’s a disconnect between the benefits you offer and the type of company you claim to be, it’s going to be off-putting for potential candidates. For example, if you’re a health and fitness organisation yet you don’t offer things like free fruit in the office or subsidised gym memberships, your culture is at risk of looking confused or hypocritical.

Think about how the benefits you want to provide support your values. Let’s say one of your values is innovation – maybe you want to offer a dedicated learning and development budget to every employee, or a free book of their choice each month. When you present this case to the business, emphasise the positive impact on employee morale, engagement and overall company culture.

Don’t forget to tailor the benefits package to accommodate the diverse needs of your employees. What one person who’s a parent wants from their work perks might be very different to what a university-aged intern would like. When you’re communicating this to people later on, shout about the flexibility on offer, such as allowing employees to choose between different options or adjusting benefits over time as their needs change.

Consider legal and compliance factors

Don’t skip this one! Before you can offer any sort of benefits, you need to confirm that they comply with relevant working laws and regulations. For example, if you’re planning to offer on-site yoga classes, make sure you’re following health and safety guidelines and that you’re not at risk for being sued by any employees who become injured in the workplace. 

In your presentation, you might want to highlight any legal benefits requirements to show that the company is committed to legal and ethical practices and to ward off any unseen concerns. Failing to consider these legal implications can lead to financial consequences, such as fines, as well as reputational damage.

To see which benefits are mandatory in different countries, and to get a flavour for what is ‘best practice’, check out Ben’s country guides.

Engage your stakeholders

Now that you’ve considered all aspects of your shiny new benefits package, it’s time to involve key stakeholders in the decision-making process. This step is essential if you want to build support across the business and address any reservations they may have that you might not have considered. Plus, you might need sign-off from the finance team or CEO before you can get the ball rolling.

After you’ve presented your case, try to be open to feedback and willing to make changes if necessary. Remember that other people may have ideas that more closely align to the business’ objectives, for instance, or they might have additional insights to those you’ve gathered in your employee surveys. 

Create a communication plan

Once everyone’s happy with your plan, you can start to develop a clear communication strategy to inform employees about the new benefits and how to access them. This is a great opportunity to shout about how the benefits will positively impact their lives and job satisfaction. Whether you’re offering a few extra days’ of holiday or you’re adding dentistry to their existing healthcare plans, your employees are sure to be grateful for their new, enhanced work perks.

Think about where you want to list the benefits on offer. Have you updated your Careers page and job descriptions to reflect the changes? Is there a handbook for new joiners to learn about the discounts and rewards they can get their hands on? Consistency is key, so make sure every employee (and job seeker) touchpoint is updated.

Don’t forget to keep the stakeholders from the previous step informed throughout the implementation process, particularly as you gather more learnings on how the new benefits are performing.

Measure, report, iterate

After your benefits package has been out in the open for a period of time – maybe six months or so – it’s a good idea to track and measure its impact on key performance indicators. Regularly report on the outcomes to demonstrate the package's success and value to the business, and to remind stakeholders that the investment was worthwhile.

While numbers are key to gaining buy-in, words of affirmation are also important. You could include testimonials or case studies from employees who are raving about the new benefits package or take into account any suggestions they might have for improvement. As your staff are the ones using and enjoying the benefits day in, day out, their opinions are crucial for you to keep the package updated with the best offers.

Ready to create the perfect benefits package for your business? Get started with Ben, the all-in-one platform that offers 100% flexible employee benefits anywhere with 0% admin. Whether you need a place to manage your core benefits or a hand sourcing new perks, Ben is here to help. Join teams around the world getting 90%+ engagement with their benefits programmes – book a demo now to see the platform in action.

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