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20 ways to manage and promote employee benefits as a small business

Effective employee benefits administration will help your team benefit from their (ahem) benefits

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What is employee benefits administration?20 ways to manage and promote employee benefits

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As any People person will tell you, there’s a lot more to building a successful employee benefits package than simply choosing fun benefits. Taking the time to manage employee benefits and planning how to promote employee benefits are essential for ensuring your team actually benefits from their, well, benefits. 

Here, we take a closer look at how to manage and promote employee benefits as a small business. Plus, Sophie Simmonds, People Lead at Wild, the brand behind the popular refillable deodorant, and Olivia Knight, People Manager at Log my Care, a digital care management platform, share how they manage employee benefits in their own teams.

What is employee benefits administration?

Employee benefits administration is the more formal term that describes the process of choosing and managing the benefits offered to employees. Typically, HR departments or benefits administrators within an HR department are responsible for employee benefits administration, but in a small business, this may fall to the founder or leadership team.

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20 ways to manage and promote employee benefits

Employee benefits administration covers everything from the setup of benefits to onboarding new hires, right the way through to ongoing promotion. Here are 20 ideas to help you get started 👇 

5 ways to effectively manage employee benefits

1. Think outside the box

With a seemingly endless number of possible employee benefits, take the time to really think about the things your team will benefit from. Consider the different types of benefits that make up a comprehensive package and don’t be afraid to think outside the box: often, the best employee benefits aren’t the most obvious ones. 

2. (Regularly) ask your team what they want

Benchmarking against businesses of a similar size is a popular way to spruce up an employee benefits package, but remember to ask your team, too. After all, they’ll be the ones actually using the benefits. Include questions about your employee benefits in employee wellbeing surveys, set up an anonymous suggestions box like Wild (make it digital with a Slack channel or separate inbox), or simply ask around in 1-2-1s or informal conversations.

Here’s how Wild and Log my Care do it👇

Testimonial from Sophie, People Lead at Wild, saying: “One thing we’ll always do at Wild is speak to our employees. We do a quarterly feedback survey that covers everything, including people’s understanding of what our benefits are, as well as a space for suggestions. I’ll sit down with the whole team a couple of times a year to have a face-to-face discussion, too. We also have an anonymous suggestions box that we go through every Monday morning and Freddy, our CEO will address anything that’s in there with the company.”

A testimonial from Olivia, People Manager at Log my Care, saying:  “I try to keep things data-driven, so we send out a staff survey twice a year to get an idea of how the team is feeling and how we can improve the overall employee experience. One of the questions asks the team how much the benefits make them feel valued and is a really good indicator of the general feeling within the team.”

3. Meet the legal requirements

This might sound obvious, but we think it's worth mentioning: every country will have a minimum legal requirement when it comes to employee benefits, and it’s important you comply. Extra benefits offered in addition to the legal requirements are known as voluntary employee benefits.

Here’s how Sophie does it at Wild 👇

Testimonial from Sophie, People Lead at Wild, saying: “I always benchmark our benefits package with companies of a similar size in the UK to see what they’re doing, what feedback they’re getting, and to make sure we’re doing everything we should be doing.”

4. Keep an eye on how your team uses their benefits

Track the uptake of your benefits to see which ones your team actually uses. Some benefits, like mental health support platforms, employee health insurance, or even holiday allowance, generate usage data but for those that don’t, a simple poll will help you take the pulse of how people feel. And then assess the results: if you discover benefits that aren’t being used, consider replacing them with alternatives that your team would make use of. 

Here's what benefits tracking looks like at Log my Care 👇

A testimonial from Olivia, People Manager at Log my Care, saying: "When I first joined Log my Care, our learning and development benefit was barely used. Over the last 6 months, we’ve implemented progression frameworks and processes for this benefit so the team knows how to use it to progress their career. We’ve also got a new HR system that lets employees record their learning and development — in turn, I can monitor who is using their allowance and give those that aren’t a nudge."

5. Be flexible and open to change

Businesses change — and so do teams. While we wouldn’t recommend revoking benefits entirely, it's possible that you’ll need to adjust your offering as your team evolves. A surge of internal promotions could benefit from an increased focus on learning and development, while a spike in sick leave could signal your team is in need of mental health support. An employee benefits package is never completely ‘finished’ — it’s a living, breathing part of your business that will change and grow, just like the company.

Here's Olivia's advice for developing an employee benefits package 👇

A testimonial from Olivia, People Manager at Log my Care, saying: “Don’t be afraid to ask your employees what they want. Be open and tell them what you’re thinking budget-wise: making a roadmap of employee benefits is a good idea, too.”

Spill gives your team access to high quality therapy, a benefit that helps you create a working environment that's safe, inclusive, and effective.

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7 ways to manage employee benefits during onboarding

1. Mention your employee benefits in job adverts

Onboarding new hires begins when they first see a role advertised on your company’s careers page. After all, that page is the first glimpse a prospective candidate will have into what it's like to work for your company. So, champion your benefits! Research by PageGroup suggests that 78% of Brits would be more likely to apply for a job that mentions the benefits on offer…but, they also found that only 47% of job ads make any mention of benefits at all. This is an ideal opportunity to give your company the competitive edge.

2. Recap your company benefits at the offer stage

Congratulations — you’ve made a new hire! Chances are, you’ll be sending an official offer letter or email, and this is another good time to reiterate your benefits. Let your new hire know what to expect by coming to work for you and set the expectation now that they can — and should — make use of all the benefits on offer.

3. Set up a 1-2-1 with new hires during their first week

Arrange an informal catch-up with new hires as part of their onboarding process: not only is this a chance to check-in with any other People/HR-related questions they might have, it’s an opportunity to go through the company’s benefits and answer any questions. Plus, you’ll get the chance to ask them about benefits from their previous company that might suit the rest of your team, too.

Here's what happens at Log my Care 👇

A testimonial from Olivia, People Manager at Log my Care, saying: “The team is small enough that you can see the impact of everything you do, and I know everyone quite well. People come to me with questions or new people suggest ideas, and part of the onboarding process is to ask newbies their thoughts.”

4. Offer personalised benefits recommendations

This is a nice idea for everyone in the business but for new hires, might be especially beneficial as they get to grips with what benefits your company offers: some employee engagement surveys offer the ability to show certain things to people who score low in certain areas (i.e. if a response is 7 or below, automatically do xyz.). In the context of employee benefits, if an employee scores a low mood at work, the survey would show them their benefits for mental health and wellbeing. 

5. Pair new starters with another colleague in the business

Set up a ‘buddy’ system that matches a new starter with someone else in the business — preferably someone in another team. As well as encouraging cross-team connections, buddy initiatives help new hires learn more about the business and company culture away from their manager and team. Encourage buddies to mention employee benefits as part of this initiative: not only does this again set the expectation that the benefits are there to be used, it’s another opportunity to ask questions.

6. Make using benefits part of probation

Probation is an opportunity for new starters to understand their role and the wider business. It’s considered a period of learning and many probation plans include weekly or monthly tasks for new starters to complete. Consider adding employee benefits to these targets: if you have mental health support, it could be to arrange a therapy session in the first month, or champion time off by asking new hires to book in some holiday. If you offer a work from home budget, ask new hires to buy something within their first 3 months. Not only does this get new starters used to engaging with your company’s benefits, it signals that you a) care about their welfare and b) expect benefits to be used.

7. Get organised

It pays to be ready for a new starter: as well as having their equipment and email ready, be sure to arrange access to online tools (including benefits platforms), schedule important meetings for their first day and week to populate their calendar, and if you have one, send your employee handbook (or other relevant policies and guides) to their work email address. Not only does this make them feel immediately welcomed, it makes it easy for them to explore the ins and outs of the company without having to ask. 

8 ways to promote employee benefits to the wider team

1. Make your employee benefits easy to find and even easier to understand

Often, company benefits aren’t used simply because employees don’t know what they’re entitled to or how to access them. Have a Notion page, company intranet page, or even just a PDF listing all your company’s benefits in plain English and explain how to use them. Then, share this page with everyone in the company: email it round, send it on Slack, create a summary and print it out to pin up round the office. And don’t forget to update this information as necessary.

Find out how Log my Care launched Spill 👇

2. Run employee benefit information sessions

It’s all very well having a bunch of benefits in place, but if people don’t know how to use them or what they mean, you’re not going to get the engagement you want. So, set up benefit information sessions. These could be Q&As or presentations (e.g. if you offer stock options, set up a presentation to explain the process to new and existing employees) or interactive demos (e.g. how to book holiday, how to access mental health support, how to set up health insurance). 

Here are Log my Care's plans for promoting their benefits this quarter 👇

A testimonial from Olivia, People Manager at Log my Care, saying: “I keep an eye on how many employees use specific benefits so that we can figure out which ones require more attention when it comes to promoting them. I’m planning a benefits session this quarter where the team can ask questions and get more information on what Log my Care offers.”

3. Lead by example

Help employees feel comfortable about using their benefits by using them yourself. And by this, we don’t just mean using the snazzy, paid benefits, but making the most of ‘free’ benefits like flexible or hybrid working, too: take time off, communicate your working hours, work from home a few days a week, or take a walking meeting. If your team sees you benefiting from what your company offers, they’ll be more likely to do the same.

What this looks like at Log my Care 👇

A testimonial from Olivia, People Manager at Log my Care, saying: "If our CEO is feeling unwell, he's open about it and takes time to recover, which encourages the rest of the team to take care of themselves in the same way."

4. Send out calendar invites

Set up company-wide invites as an easy way to see friendly, regular reminders of what company benefits are on offer and to invite people to use them. For example, invite everyone to lunchtime yoga sessions or just a team lunch, or set up individual sessions for financial advice appointments or reminders for when someone’s work from home allowance renews. It requires a little extra effort on your part, but will go a long way to showing your team you care. 

5. Change the benefits you offer

There’s a chance that employees aren’t making use of your company’s benefits simply because they’re not valuable to them. If this might be the case, survey your team to find out what they think of your benefits package and where necessary, change things up.

Sophie shares her advice for how to build a benefits package as People team of one 👇

Testimonial from Sophie, People Lead at Wild, saying: “One thing that’s really helped me is networking. When I was benchmarking our benefits, the most useful information I got was from having a half hour call with another People person. I was able to get real life examples and hear from people who have implemented different benefits before, how it’s gone, and what advice they have. As a one-person team, it was especially good to get opinions from other people who do my job.”

6. Spruce up your careers page (and involve the team)

We mentioned it earlier on, but a careers page that shouts about your company’s benefit package can go a long way to attracting top talent. But you don’t have to make this page in isolation: remember, this is a page to show off your company culture and personality, so get the team involved. Gather testimonials, ask for input on what to include, take some photos, or even create a short video showcasing your team and their benefits. Not only will this be a fun thing to do, it will remind your team of the benefits on offer.

7. Add benefits to role progression plans

In a similar way to adding benefits to probation plans, encourage every employee to engage with their benefits as part of their ongoing career progression. For example, if you offer a learning and development budget, make using that benefit (e.g. attending a conference, signing up to a course, spending x hours a month working on a course) a key requirement to progress to the next level. 

How Wild is promoting learning and development 👇

Testimonial from Sophie, People Lead at Wild, saying: “Everyone gets a learning and development budget at Wild but it often goes on the back burner purely because work is so busy. This year, we’re making a conscious effort to encourage people to use that budget, for example booking training for groups of people.”

8. Bring employee benefits to life

Awareness days and weeks are a good starting point here: Mental Health Awareness Week for example, is an opportunity to encourage your team to engage with any mental health support you have on offer. Or, do it your own way: run a fitness week and schedule in a couple of longer lunch breaks (e.g. 1.5 hours) to encourage employees to use their exercise benefits. Or, set up a lunch and learn programme: ask an employee to share their experience of working abroad or taking a paid sabbatical, or invite a guest speaker to discuss important topics for employee wellbeing like mental health, financial health, and work-life balance. You could even invite an occupational therapist to review your team’s workstation ergonomics and encourage people to use their work from home allowance to improve their home setup. 

And there we have it: 20 ideas to manage and promote employee benefits. There’s a lot there, we know, so here’s what we’d recommend doing as a minimum to get your team benefitting from their, well, benefits:

  • Follow Sophie’s lead and benchmark your company’s benefits against other companies of a similar size. Do this every year as a minimum, but every six months wouldn’t be a bad thing.
  • Talk to your employees to out what current benefits they like, what they don’t like, and what they want. And then act on your findings: it's so important your team feels heard.

Good luck!

Why is employee benefits administration important?
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Download our employee benefits questionnaire

Use our template to ask your team how they feel about your employee benefits package and what you can do to improve it

See how much it would cost to benefit your team's wellbeing by giving them easy access to next-day therapy sessions.

Check our prices