As per a report by Advantage Club, 90% of employees have adopted the Flexible Benefits programme.
In today’s workforce, the expectations are changing. It is for this reason that we need to change the way we motivate our employees. Besides salary, what else do employees look forward to? Benefits!
In a world where inflation is on the rise, most employees want a higher paycheck. And with it, a benefits package that meets the genuine needs of people while also allowing them to save money on their regular expenses. In recent years, flexible benefits programs have gained popularity among employees due to their flexibility. There was a recent report by Advantage Club, “Employee Benefits Trends & Outlook Report 2023”. It stated that 90% of employees from participating corporate have adopted the flexible benefits programme.
What is a Flexible Benefits Programme?
As part of the Cost To Company (CTC) components of an employee, companies also roll out certain benefits. They include medical expenses, House Rent Allowance (HRA), Travel Allowance, Dearness Allowance (DA) etc. Organisations that follow a flexible benefits programme give more flexibility to employees to restructure the benefits components part of their CTC. For example, Vinod works in a BPO (Business Processing Outsourcing) company, that follows a flexible benefits programme, and can choose from his given benefits part of his CTC. Earlier, he was getting an HRA, DA and Convenience. A housing allowance was not required for Vinod since he lives in his own residence. The flexible benefits programme gave Vinod the flexibility to choose Leave Travel Allowance (LTA) in place of HRA.
Why the Flex-Ben programme?
A Flex-Ben programme comes with loads of benefits and advantages, both for the employer and the employee.
Advantages for employees
Flexibility A fixed benefits programme does give the power of flexibility to the employees upon choosing their benefits. The needs and requirement of every employee is different. And mostly employees are looking for flexible options to choose and pick benefits from a variety of options and category. The flex-ben programme allows the employee to choose benefits from a plethora of options. The company can provide options such as medical, wellness and health benefits.
Tax saving There are certain benefits which are taxable such as HRA and basic pay. But there others, which are non-taxable in India such as meals, cell phone bills and travel expenses are not taxable. Employees will be able to reduce their tax liability by choosing non-taxable components as part of their CTC. This way, take-home pay will be unaffected.
Better expenditure planning Employee must be aware of the expenses to cover as part of the company benefits and their total CTC. With that they will be able to plan their budgets for the year in a much more effective manner.
Advantages for employers
Enhanced employee satisfaction As the company has given flexibility to employees to choose benefits as per their needs, it will enhance their satisfaction. Since the company is able to cater to every employee’s need the satisfaction level of employees increases. As a result, the organisation will be able to increase the retention level of employees and retain critical talent in the company.
Hire quality talent The implementation of the flexible benefits programme will give a great boost to the company’s employee value proposition (EVP) and the employer brand as a whole. People are often attracted to companies that give better policies and benefits for employees. In fact, even smaller companies can have a flex-ben programme in their organisation and attract quality talent.
Increases transparency Having a transparent benefits policy like a flex-ben programme where employees are aware of the perks and benefits basket builds trust in employees. In many cases, employees do not have a clear picture of what their total CTC includes. There is always a sense of ambiguity between the employee and the employer. This can lead to dangerous consequences as employees have confusion about their total benefits.
The reason some companies vary in implementing the flex-ben programme is the cost of doing so. They will have to implement certain technology to drive the flex-ben programme. The digital recognition and rewards platform that Advantage Club offers comes with a flexible benefits feature. Employees can have various types of wallets such as Food, wellness, clothing and creche benefits. Employer can allocate a budget for the same. Using this, companies can let employees pick and choose benefits while being compliant at the same time.
Kartikay Kashyap is a former journalist and a feature writer who carries more than 3 years of experience in covering HR and employer-employee relationship issues amongst the corporate in India for digital and print media. Currently, he is part of the content and marketing team at Advantage Club as a senior content writer.