Scott van Dort
HR & Employee Benefits Content Specialist, Benify
Gaining a holistic overview of your global workforce and implementing a benefits strategy to match is a challenge for every HR professional.
First, there are the geographical and logistical challenges of administering benefits across borders, then there are the generational challenges, each with different benefit preferences.
For benefits to be of value, personalisation is crucial. However, knowing what benefits to offer and how to administer them globally is tricky.
Below are four tips for how you can build a global benefits strategy that actually works.
1 – Choose a Benefits Provider
The only way to effectively manage global benefits is with the help of a global benefits platform. In fact, without one, your benefits strategy will almost certainly become an administrative nightmare.
A global benefits platform creates greater employee self-service by digitalising benefit enrolments and reducing HR administration through automation, benefits processing, foreign tax calculations, and more. If your provider also has its own app, employees can enrol in benefits anywhere, anytime, which is especially important for blue-collar workers.
Whether it’s a milk allowance in Botswana, tuition reimbursement benefits throughout South America, or flexible benefits plans in Germany, the UK or the Netherlands, choose a global benefits provider with the knowledge and experience administering complex benefits programs across the globe.
It’s also important to choose a provider that offers a SaaS (software as a solution) platform so that all software updates are made automatically without the need to update or replace hardware when the provider updates their product.
2 – Global but Local
The key to managing any global benefits strategy is adopting a global-but-local approach. This means that while you’re managing your strategy from head office using a single platform, your benefits are localised in each country using local vendors and suppliers.
Let’s imagine you want to offer your employees’ benefits for sustainability mobility; the benefits are offered globally, but with local variation. For instance, in one country the benefit might be a bicycle discount, while in another it might be a discounted public transport card.
Alternatively, you may decide to offer a bicycle benefit in all countries; the details of the benefit would be adapted to the local market, including the use of a local supplier.
3 – Benefits That Reflect Your Organisation
One Glassdoor survey1 reveals that approximately 60% of people say benefits play a significant part in their decision making when considering a job, while LinkedIn reveals2 that 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before applying.
When thinking about your global benefits strategy, what benefits can you offer that are unique and reflect your organisation’s values?
Using the earlier example, let’s say that one of your company’s values is sustainability; you could offer a range of sustainability-related benefits from which employees can choose.
4 – Remove the Guesswork
One Deloitte survey3 found that only 9% of companies reported using data to a “great” or “very great” extent to understand employee benefit preferences.
Unless you’re using data, your benefits strategy is likely based on guesswork, which isn’t the most effective method. With the help of your benefits platform, you can access data and gain insight into your workforce.
In the platform, you can see which benefits are performing, as well as see supplier costs and view benefit and pension costs. As a result, you also reduce the margin of error on benefit spending.
In conclusion, an effective global benefits strategy should be manageable from a single source, reflect the company values, provide the framework for all countries but allow for local flexibility.
Learn more about global benefits management, by visiting Benify Insights where you can download e-books, whitepapers, client cases, read blog posts, listen to webinars, and more.
1 https://media.glassdoor.com/pr/press/pdf/ECS-Q32015-Supplement.pdf | 2 https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/business/talent-solutions/global/en_us/c/pdfs/ultimate-list-of-employer-brand-stats.pdf | 3 https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/at/Documents/human-capital/at-2018-deloitte-human-capital-trends.pdf