Breaking down barriers for younger employees – benefits need to be relevant, affordable and convenient

Charlotte Godley, 27 June 2017

One of the bugbears that HR Directors talk to us at Capita about is the difficulty in getting younger employees to really engage with the benefits they provide. Take-up is generally lower for younger employees than older ones and it can be difficult to get young employees to see the benefits available to them, let alone select them.

And even after an employee has seen the benefits available to them, many may not be interested, if they don’t really scream out as being essential. We risk losing a generation of the workforce, because once they switch off, we will need to convince them to explore their benefits again.   

Much of this comes down to relevance; ensuring that employees are offered the kind of benefits they want.  We have to consider two additional elements: convenience and affordability.

Advances in technology means that we can do things today that we couldn’t do five years ago. We can’t boast that benefits technology has improved from where it was a few years ago because the end user (i.e. the employee) really doesn’t give two hoots about it – all people should care about is whether it works for them right here, right now, in the way they want.

Young employees have grown up with technology and so the idea that you can select your flexible benefits ONCE A YEAR seems backwards when they know that outside the workplace they can buy what they want, when they need it, when they can afford it.

And that’s the second point – affordability. Access to information on how much things cost is widely available and when people make a purchase many will have done some homework beforehand. If something is too expensive or not competitively priced, people will not buy it.  They will know far more as to whether they’re getting a good deal or not.

When a HR Director reviews their benefits and the way they offer them to employees, they should always ask themselves:

  • Is this the kind of thing people actually want?
  • Is it relevant and will people find it valuable?
  • Are we offering it to employees in a way that makes selecting it easy and convenient?
  • Is it affordable or will employees be able to get a better deal elsewhere?

Get any one of these elements wrong and you risk employees switching off.  The total solution of what we offer to employees has to therefore be greater than the sum of its parts. It has to be unequivocally in their interests.

Introducing Back Me Up

Insurance may not seem like the most exciting thing in the world, but without it we end up either trying to live without the thing we’ve lost or broken. According to research conducted by Motorola and published by Digital Trends, many of us are currently trying to get by with cracked screens… 29% of people in the UK say they currently have a cracked smartphone screen and 19% of Brits say they have continued to use their phone despite cutting their fingers on the broken screen!

So why do we do it…? Motorola found that 45% of people in the UK said that the expense of fixing their cracked screen was the biggest barrier.

We would also throw in convenience and the actual act of getting this sorted as well as initially setting up a contract and reading the T&Cs. We then have to do this for every single thing that we insure (think laptops, jewellery, handbags, cameras, bikes, etc), leading to multiple direct debits coming out of our bank account which we may tend to forget about, until we decide a refresh audit would be a fun way to the spend the weekend. It gets expensive and it feels like an admin burden.

We are really excited to be able to introduce Back Me Up to our benefits offering; bringing an innovative new benefit solution to the market.

You can find out more about this here.


About the author

Charlotte Godley Head of Flexible Benefits

Charlotte Godley

Insight Research

Our research reports are aimed at Pension Trustees and HR Directors, covering topics such as pensions, health, flexible benefits, engagement and wellness. They are free to download!

Find out more

Connecting with you

Get in touch if you have a question or would like to explore how our solutions could help your organisation.

Get in touch