28. February 2024

Why is everyone talking about… intentional benefits?

Personio Pulse: This Week in HR - 1

Welcome to Personio Pulse: This Week in HR, where each week we take a look at the latest trends in the world of work, what you need to know about them and what they mean for you as an HR professional. 

This week we’re covering the world of intentional benefits and how organisations can use them to boost loyalty and engagement.

What you need to know

There’s a good reason why just about every job description you’ll find has a section on the benefits an organisation offers. The fact is that employees care greatly about them, but the question we’re asking is do they understand them? 

According to recent data from insurance provider MetLife, about 45% of employees don’t understand their benefits packages. That’s troubling for two reasons: 

  1. When employees don’t know what is available to them, they are less likely to use their benefits – this creates a drag on organisation-wide adoption. 

  2. Benefits are tied to increases in employee loyalty (60%) and engagement (59%). If employees don’t use them, your organisation may lose these employees.

Ultimately, that same research revealed that only 38% of employees are completely confident that they know about all the benefits and perks offered to them. That’s simply far too low for the kind of returns businesses can enjoy. 

What others are saying about it 

The fact is that organisations should look to design and communicate benefits that make sense for them and their employees. 

Luke Sondelski, Director of Reward at Personio, offered the following insight:

“We know that benefits are massively important for employees and can move the needle for organisations' talent efforts. For Personio, this has meant building a rich assortment of benefits to intentionally target employees’ needs, are relevant for the local talent market and local office culture and that reflect our own unique company culture.

A big part of success for employee benefits is communicating them. We highly recommend putting intentional focus into communication – make it easier for your employees to understand what benefits are available to them and, more importantly, how they can make use of them.

Personio does this by maintaining an internal library of benefits with simple and clear descriptions of what they are and how to make use of them, by sharing benefits in individual employee total reward statements and by running timely campaigns to market to employees what is available.”

What that means for you

For a benefit to be intentional, it should be mutually beneficial. Take the example of on-site therapy for employees. For an organisation that is keen to have employees return to the office, this benefit could have a large impact. 

Why? Firstly, it helps employees prioritise their mental wellbeing. Secondly, it encourages employees to come to the office to take advantage of the benefit and ties their presence in the office with personal and professional development. 

Not all benefits are made equal. Your workforce (as well as your business) may have different needs that necessitate different benefits. To take the next step, we’d recommend the following plan of action: 

  • Take stock of your current benefits: Review your full offering, and keep a close eye on adoption rates and how often they are used. 

  • Identify gaps: Survey your workforce and engagement data to understand which benefits people could “benefit” from. 

  • Roll out and review. Carefully introduce new benefits into your organisational ecosystem and over-communicate how they work. Host learning sessions and rely on peer-led examples to boost adoption.

What else should I read? 

That's all for this week's edition of Personio Pulse: This Week in HR. Check back next week as we continue to dissect the latest trends impacting the ways we work. 

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Max Specht

Max Specht

Max Specht is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Personio. He enjoys writing and discussing topics related to employee engagement, leadership development and process optimisation.

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