The world is living in unprecedented times. Leaders must have vision and courage to manage the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. We need practical solutions. The same applies to the employee benefits sector. Although it may be tempting for benefit providers, employers, and insurers to cut costs and suspend investment in benefits, I believe the crisis created by the pandemic gives the industry the chance to reevaluate what it offers employers. As we work to get out of this crisis, we must evaluate how we motivate them to provide comprehensive benefits for their employees.
This article focuses on what employers should expect from their platform providers, and what they should pay to have a platform included in their benefits package.
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As a result, the benefits industry has always designed its services to accommodate large employers. These flexible solutions can be costly and require IT resources. They also have long-term contractual commitments.
What does growth of digitisation mean?
With the rise of digitalisation, however, platform solutions that are more simple and offer digitally enabled tools are available. They are also easier to use because they don’t require staff selection windows. Employers can use these platforms to improve their benefits and reward programs in a cost-effective manner. These platforms should prompt employers to reexamine existing provisions and assist them in transferring away from complex flex platform solutions.
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Digital entrants provide benefit platforms that can be set up quickly and require minimal IT configurations. They provide all the communication and engagement tools employers require as well as a wide range of benefits, including recognition and reward as well as health and well-being. These new entrants are rapidly finding new ways to increase the reach of benefits provision with UK businesses. They are also working to bridge the gap between the old world flex platforms and the new, agile, simple and affordable world.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a shift in the work environment. It is now clear that we will see a shift to more remote working and social distancing. Employers will need to be more proactive in engaging and communicating with their employees.
Companies will need to improve their operating capabilities and resilience in order to function in this new environment. However, they must also be prepared for potential pandemics. This will require companies to review their supply chains, offshore manufacturing arrangements, and change how work is organized on-site and off. This also includes their pay and benefits structures.
What should I pay for a benefits platform
Future reward and benefit platform solutions businesses must be fast and cost-effective to establish and maintain. For large national employers employing between 10,000 and 100,000 staff, the annual set-up and maintenance costs for reward and benefit platforms should be below PS30,000 per year. This is in contrast to the cost of setting up and maintaining a system for employers employing 100 to 1,000 staff. These platforms should also be able to cater for small businesses that employ fewer staff. No matter their size, employers need to partner with small agile platform providers who embrace remote work and understand the speed of delivery.
These platform providers offer many of the same features as traditional flexible benefit platforms: they can integrate company branding, provide employee communications, and offer a full range reward and benefits products including peer to peer recognition, employee messaging, and a wide range of wellness services. They are easy to set up and require no complicated payroll alignments. They are designed to simplify employee benefits, reduce complexity for overstretched HR teams, and increase the accessibility of UK benefit provision. Employers can pay for many benefits before they have to pay for a flexible, complex benefits platform.
What services can I expect?
The new platforms offer a full support system for health and well-being, due to the increased demand. Common benefits include virtual GP services and employee assistance programmes. Rewards and discounts are also available. Peer to peer recognition and health information and support is also provided. These products will play a greater role in the future as people are more focused on living healthier lives after the pandemic. As social distancing becomes an integral part of social life and work, new services like health coaching, health screenings on-site, risk and workplace assessments, occupational health, and health coaching will be more important.