Wellbeing is linked to higher levels of labour productivity. This means that physically and mentally well employees can have a positive impact on your organisation’s bottom line. While many industries have embraced this, we explore why employee wellbeing in construction is lagging behind.
Historically a male dominated industry, statistics from the Office of National statistics (ONS) show that only 13% of the construction industry is female. Incredibly, this figure has been constant over the last two decades.
This imbalance in gender equality, and the culture of machismo it fosters, could help explain why employee wellbeing in construction has been so neglected.
A lack of diversity creates an imbalanced and non-inclusive work culture. This has a negative impact on wellbeing for both men and women.
Let’s delve into some issues that women face and how these hinder wellbeing in construction.
Unfortunately, the gender pay gap is an issue in every industry. In the UK, it currently stands at 18%. According to the CIPD, women in construction are worse off, with a pay gap of 23.7%.
Part of improving employee wellbeing in construction is incentivising women to enter the sector. To do this, companies need to ensure pay equality.
In the UK, 43% of women considered leaving their job due to childcare costs, with 40% saying they had to reduce their hours.
As the Harvard Business Review explores, childcare really is a business issue and a lack of affordable childcare doesn’t just harm women.
That’s because almost one in four construction employees said that caring for children during the first lockdown limited their career progression. Of this figure, 20% were men.
The UK has the lowest rate of women engineers compared with European countries. Currently, 16.5% of women in the UK are engineers. For Latvia, Bulgaria, and Cyprus, the figure stands at 30%.
To help solve this, we need to change people’s perception that the building sector is only for men, as well as giving better learning and training opportunities to younger women.
Women working in construction are more likely to face sexist abuse than in other industries. In 2005, 66% reported experiencing gender discrimination in the workplace. This rose to 72% in 2020.
Some suggest this is because of the visibility of the #metoo movement. This may well be the case, but one thing’s for sure; sexual discrimination hasn’t decreased.
All forms of discrimination in the workplace reduce wellbeing and have a negative impact on company culture.
Exploring employee wellbeing in construction wouldn’t be complete without diving into the topic of gender diversity.
While it’s a term that’s been around for a while, there is still much to be done to achieve gender diversity in construction.
But why is it so important? The best argument has to be this; companies that are gender diverse perform 15% better.
So while there’s an ethical case to be made for levelling up the playing field, there’s a business one too.
A diverse worksforce helps create a safer, more inclusive company culture for everyone and could help tackle the construction industry’s mental health crisis.
Studies by the IMF show that economic growth, and private and public sector performance are boosted with a workforce that’s gender diverse.
Young women are currently the fastest growing working group. Targeting women workers could be key in tackling the labour shortage and widening the recruitment pool.
Women and men can think differently, so companies will benefit from having diverse approaches and strategies.
Gender diversity certainly boosts employee wellbeing. Now let’s look at how it benefits business.
Forward thinking businesses introduce wellbeing initiatives because they want to do the right thing by their employees and contribute to supporting happier lives.
But they also understand that employee wellbeing is a significant factor in the business of success.
Below, we’ve listed some of the major benefits of greater employee wellbeing in construction (although this applies to all sectors):
The CIPD found that wellbeing at work led to higher levels of employee engagement, performance and productivity, and reduced sickness absence.
According to the ONS, sickness related absence in construction increased from 1.7% in 2019 to 2.1% in 2021. In contrast, employees who are physically and mentally well are less likely to take time off through sickness.
Companies that foster wellbeing not only retain their workforce, they also attract top talent. In today’s market where the recruitment crisis has led to a shortage of skilled labour, greater wellbeing could help ease the labour and skills shortage.
There’s nothing more powerful than employees’ passion and initiative to make customers happy and to spark long-lasting word of mouth about your brand.
When employees feel good, they bring energy and enthusiasm into their work.
Research from Gallup shows how a good employee experience boosts the engagement, morale, and performance of your whole workforce.
Consequently, it’s a good idea to keep lines of communication open and actively encourage feedback from employees on wellbeing initiatives.
By doing so, it will help HR practitioners to understand which initiatives offer the best ROI. As the saying goes, your company is only as good as its people.
Now let’s look at how employee wellbeing initiatives in construction can help women:
People are working longer than ever before. That means that employers need to focus not only on the needs and interests of Gen Z, but also on the wellbeing needs of older employees.
Menopausal (and peri-menopausal) symptoms can start in women from their mid-thirties, and in rarer cases, from the twenties.
The Menopause and workplace report found that one in four women consider giving up work because of these symptoms and one in ten actually leave because of them.
In the battle to retain and attract skilled employees, neglecting the wellbeing of such a large section of the workforce could have a detrimental effect.
Flexible working, mental health support, and access to information could feature more in employee benefits packages, as the effects of menopause on working women are more widely understood.
Currently, the CIPD found that only 36% of employers have a policy in place to support employees going through a miscarriage or baby loss. These experiences affect fathers as well as mothers.
The CIPD suggests paid compassionate leave in such circumstances.
Again, this affects both men and women. More than a third of employees say that balancing childcare and work has negatively affected their mental health and wellbeing.
Many companies have taken to offering childcare onsite as part of their comprehensive benefits package, as this article in the Guardian explores.
Onsite childcare can help to help reduce the stress and expense for working parents, meaning that employees can focus more easily on their work.
One of the most shocking aspects of the construction industry is that it has the highest suicide rate in any sector.
Poor mental health costs UK employers £42-£45 billion a year and absenteeism costs around £7 billion year. A lack of wellbeing can cost employers more than they realise.
Employee wellbeing in construction that targets men can take many forms, including:
Employers can ensure that managers and employees are trained and educated in how to recognise the signs of burnout and mental health issues.
The culture of machismo makes talking about mental health hard. To help counter this, employers can help improve mental health in construction by leading the way and encouraging more education and discussion around the subject.
One way to do this is by promoting organisations like Mates in mind. This can have a powerful impact if the information is accessible and employees engage with it.
When managers make a point of checking on the mental health of team members, it creates a less toxic company culture where open communication is valued.
For both men and women working in construction, the long hours and rigid work practices undermine the work-life balance which is vital to our wellbeing.
Flexible hours and encouraging workers to take their paid leave are excellent initiatives to promote healthier employees working in construction.
Forward thinking companies understand that employee wellbeing and business success are linked. As a result, many are upping the stakes on employee wellbeing by upgrading their benefits packages.
But while childcare solutions, gym, and healthcare memberships are important, employers are beginning to recognise one of the greatest factors that hinders wellbeing; financial stress.
That’s why here at Openwage, we built a platform that allows employers to easily and securely roll out earned wage access to employees.
Through our app, your employees can benefit from on-demand access to the money they’ve already earned without waiting for their usual payday.
On-demand pay brings an end to rigid paydays that can cause widespread financial stress among employees, which saps their productivity.
Learn more about the benefits of this employee perk for both your company and your people.
Despite the cost-of-living crisis and an impending recession for the UK, it’s certainly possible to achieve our financial goals by building some essential money habits. We’re excited to share these eight financial habits together with expert insights from Octopus MoneyCoach, the UK’s number one provider of money coaching.
Managing your money in a healthy way is much easier when you have a plan on how you’re going to do it.
Many people start thinking about how to manage their money when they’re planning something life-changing. Perhaps buying a property, starting a family, or saving for a wedding or holiday.
Whatever your financial goals, they are more likely to be achievable if you understand what you need to do to achieve them, and how you need to do it. Mix in some determination and a nice reward at the end, and you’ll be on your way in no time.
But strategies aren’t for everyone. So, instead of thinking about complex financial strategies, you could focus on essential money habits instead.
Adopting good financial habits will help bring about long term and consistent progress towards your financial goals by helping you build a positive relationship with your money.
How to budget can be a sensitive topic, and it’s no wonder because so many of us have negative feelings about the word budgeting.
Alec Walsh, Head Coach at Octopus MoneyCoach, explains how altering your mindset about budgeting is the key to success.
Looking at your bank statements regularly is a great place to start when it comes to budgeting. Decide what expenses are necessary, such as regular bills and direct debits. Then find the expenses that aren’t essential.
This honest look at your spending habits can help you stop spending money on things that you perhaps no longer need.
Equally important is the sense of control that comes with knowing how you’re spending your money, as Head Coach at Octopus MoneyCoach Alec Walsh explains:
Once you have your essential spending mapped out, you’ll know how much money you have leftover for other things, like saving.
Budgeting can be fun if you have your goals in sight and can see how you’re getting closer. And remember, there are a surprising number of ways to have fun on zero funds!
Most of us weren’t taught about budgeting and financial wellbeing when growing up.
Unfortunately, the great majority of us leave school with no idea how to save money or how to make money grow (e.g. by investing). In short, we’re not taught how to reach our financial goals.
But what is financial education? Well, it’s not the same as financial literacy. While someone may have financial knowledge, being financially literate is the ability to put this knowledge into practice.
There’s an abundance of financial resources for those who want a financial education. There are books accessible to every level of financial understanding. Why not check out the 14 best finance books of all time for some inspiration?
Alternatively, you can get a curriculum-mapped financial education text book for free. Jointly funded by MoneySavingExpert and Money and Pensions Service, Martin Lewis hopes to make financial education more accessible to people of all ages with the new book.
While it’s aimed at secondary school students, adults can also benefit from the clearly explained essential money habits it describes.
Millionaire and motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said:
“We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with”.
But more recent research demonstrates how we are the average of everyone we spend time with.
Studies by the BMJ show that happiness is influenced by your social network. Interestingly, so is obesity and smoking. That means that who we spend time with really matters.
With this in mind, spending time with those who demonstrate good financial habits makes a lot of sense. People in your network who share your financial mindsets can help you stick to your habits and share money management tips with you.
Being good with money all the time isn’t always easy. Sometimes it can feel restrictive. And when that happens, it’s much harder to stay on track.
Although challenging, staying motivated is one of the most essential money habits when it comes to making financial goals a reality.
Alec Walsh, Head Coach at Octopus MoneyCoach, offers these tips to help with maintaining motivation:
While putting a one-off large purchase on a credit card can be convenient, if it’s not managed responsibly, then credit can lead to unmanageable debt.
In a money.co.uk survey in 2022, 15% of people admitted to relying on credit cards to pay their bills.
Given the evidence that debt and financial anxiety have a negative impact on our mental and physical health, this means that millions of people in the UK are stressed about money.
Paying down debts helps people feel more in control of their money. While debt can feel like an overwhelming problem, there are lots of places that can help.
Knowing where to get free financial help is a step in the right direction for those affected by debt. It’s important to know that support is available, and it’s never too late to get help.
Being organised with your money really helps when either tackling or avoiding debt, as Alec Walsh, Head Coach at Octopus MoneyCoach, explains:
When it comes to forming better money management habits, it’s important to track your progress and celebrate your wins.
When you work towards measurable achievable goals, you see real progress. Much like going on a weight loss program or building muscle in the gym.
Sometimes a simple chart that you tick off every month is enough to keep you motivated. This gives you a visual of your savings adding up, which encourages you to stick with the plan.
Let’s not forget the power of visualisation. Forbes magazine suggests that it not only helps you achieve your financial goals, but can reduce stress as well.
A survey by US-based TD bank found that 59% of those who used a vision board to help achieve their financial goals were more confident.
The same survey found that 82% of small business owners who used a vision board accomplished more than half the goals they included on their board.
As well as visualisation, remember to reward yourself for the progress you’ve made towards your goals. Even a small reward can provide a boost of motivation when levels fall low.
It can be hard to save, especially with rising costs and climbing bills. In fact, having less than £100 in savings is a stark reality for 11 million people in the UK.
Building an emergency fund is an essential money habit for multiple reasons:
Here’s what Alec Walsh, Head Coach at Octopus MoneyCoach, had to say about saving for rainy days:
Most financial experts suggest saving enough to cover a set number of months’ worth of living expenses.
For example, say your monthly expenses are £1800. If you wanted to have 3 months’ worth of expenses saved, you’d need £5,400 (£1800 x 3).
If this seems like a lot, bear in mind that saving regularly doesn’t have to mean putting aside large chunks of income. Even saving a small amount each month will build up over time and give a boost to our financial wellbeing.
It may be tempting to hold off paying bills until the last minute. But doing so risks late fees or penalties, which are expensive and can damage your credit score. This can damage your ability to borrow in the future.
Paying your bills before they’re due allows you to see what’s left of your monthly budget and can help you plan better. It’s also worth considering that if you have a history of paying bills early, this can be used as a way to boost your credit score.
While not a replacement for budgeting, on-demand pay can help with paying bills earlier in the month. This avoids having to pay everything all at once as soon as payday comes around.
On-demand pay gives you access to your earnings when you need it, not just on payday. It won’t affect your credit score, there’s no interest, and you won’t incur debt because you’re not borrowing money.
And finally, it’s always worth remembering the 2mm rule. The smallest changes, done regularly, yield the biggest results.
Larger financial goals take time, but they are fully achievable with sustained effort and the right support.
You could try starting small with one or two essential money habits and build up from there. It won’t take you long to learn the money habits that are essential to create greater financial wellbeing.
Before you know it, you’ll be celebrating the progress you’ve made and be well on the way to achieving a financially healthier 2023!
The information in this article is for general information only. It does not constitute professional advice from Openwage. Openwage is not a financial adviser. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the information in this document relates to your unique circumstances.
Special thanks to Octopus MoneyCoach for contributing to this article. Octopus MoneyCoach (trading name of TW11 Wealth Management Limited) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, reference number 763630.
Providing free green employee benefits could be a real game-changer for organisations.
71% of Millennial and Gen Z employees think their employer should address climate change, so offering green perks has pushed itself into recruitment strategies of late.
Offering a benefits package that includes free green employee benefits can bring multiple benefits for organisations, besides the obvious cost aspect. With tightening budgets, more companies are searching for free employee benefits that have an ROI for the business.
Here are five free green employee benefits that are good for the environment and won’t cost your organisation a penny.
The cycle to work scheme has to be the number one free green employee benefit.
This salary sacrifice scheme works by the employee hiring a bike and cycling equipment from their employer or a contracted company in return for a portion of their salary.
At the end of the scheme, an employee can either renew the agreement, buy the bike, or return it to their employer.
Cycle to work schemes are free for employers to join, and there are also financial benefits.
A study by PJM Economics discovered that increasing employees’ physical activity raises productivity levels, potentially saving UK employers £6.6 billion a year.
Salary sacrifice schemes like cycle to work save both employers and employees money. That’s because the portion of an employee’s salary that’s sacrificed is not subject to tax and National Insurance.
Cycle to work schemes are one of the most popular (and free) green benefits for employees. About 180,000 people currently participate.
Employees can save up to 40% on the cost of a new bike through tax and National Insurance savings. Saving money is particularly valuable right now given the cost-of-living crisis.
Plus, employees don’t have to worry about the rising cost of fuel, which can lead to financial stress.
Cycling to work instead of driving reduces air and noise pollution. Research from Oxford University found that when people switch from driving to cycling for only one trip a day, their carbon footprint is reduced by 0.5 tonnes a year.
Lead researcher, Dr Christian Brand said:
The second most popular free green employee benefit has to be remote working.
During the pandemic, many employers had to adapt fast and roll-out remote working. Today, one in four businesses continue to offer remote working.
Research from Global Workplace Analytics concluded that businesses save an average of £6,810 per year for each employee who works remotely for half of the week.
Working from home can increase productivity because there are fewer distractions than in an office.
It can also improve employee retention and help to attract the best talent, which benefits a business’s bottom line.
Working from home means people don’t waste time sitting in traffic and it gives them more flexibility and control over their lives.
A survey carried out by RADA Business found that 61% of 16-24-year-olds want to work from home.
Providing people with the option to work from home, for at least part of the week, widens the talent pool to those living further away.
This is especially true if your competitors don’t offer home working, so remote working is a great way to create a competitive edge.
Researchers from the University of Exeter found that working from home saves an average of two tonnes of CO2 emissions per person, per year.
The study analysed usual modes of transport and the average commuting distance. Researchers also compared domestic energy use to office energy usage, considering hot water, heating, lighting and more.
Volunteering or charity days have surged in popularity in the last few years. Employers give employees a specific number of days per year to participate in voluntary activities that benefit the local community.
Ideas include helping a wildlife charity for a day, volunteering to clean up beaches and parks, or planting trees.
Offering environmental volunteering days doesn’t cost an employer anything in the traditional sense.
However, it does take employees away from their work for those days they’re absent, so there needs to be a return on investment in the environmental sense.
For example, if an employee is planting trees, are they planting species that encourage biodiversity and reduce air pollution?
In 2021, mental health issues cost UK employers £34.1 billion.
For this reason, employers are looking for ways to help employees manage stress levels, and spending time outdoors has been proven to help people feel more relaxed.
Getting involved in the community and knowing they’re making a difference is beneficial to employees’ physical and mental health.
Offering volunteering as part of your sustainable benefits for employees can help your business to attract talent.
A study carried out by Deloitte found that employee volunteering opportunities improve brand perception.
But be mindful of ‘green-washing’; when marketing or PR is used to give the impression that an organisation is more environmentally friendly than it really is.
The environmental benefits of volunteering days have huge potential. The protection of woodlands, peat lands, and other ecosystems could reduce our current UK carbon emissions by 12% as part of rewilding efforts.
The opportunity to learn environmental skills from peers is one of the best green perks an employer can offer.
Sustainability skills are in high demand today. More and more people want to reduce their waste and live more sustainably.
Employees sharing their knowledge with others through face-to-face workshops or webinars is an untapped resource.
Sharing knowledge on topics like growing and foraging for food, starting an allotment, harvesting rainwater, and composting is a great way to help others live more sustainably.
Learning environmental skills from peers doesn’t have to cost an employer anything. In fact, like other sustainable benefit ideas, it can reap financial rewards through increased productivity and staff retention.
61% of employees say they want to work for a company that offers learning and development opportunities.
Now only do employees want it, but employers stand to gain a lot too, as the HR News article The Importance of Employee Learning and Development explains.
Employees who are better trained are more productive, more motivated, have better relationships with team members, and are more likely to stay longer at the company.
Offering learning and development opportunities is also a strategic move for making employees happy at work.
Equipping employees with the skills needed to make a positive impact on the environment in their home life is good news for the planet, and it costs the organisation nothing.
If more people composted their food waste, for example, it would make a significant difference. A third of the world’s food is wasted and goes into landfill. Once in landfill, it produces methane which traps 25 times more heat in the Earth’s atmosphere than CO2.
You may be wondering what ethical pensions are. Well, you wouldn’t be alone.
Ethical pension providers don’t invest people’s savings in carbon-intensive sectors. Instead, they invest in sectors that directly benefit the environment, such as renewable energy.
This is another area where greenwashing is common. For that reason, it’s important to carry out due diligence on any pension provider before committing.
On the basis that employees are liable for the fees associated with pension schemes, there’s no cost to employers.
While it can be more expensive to roll out ethical pensions, the environmental aspect can make the additional investment worthwhile.
Specifically, employees may pay a little more in fees for ethical pensions than other pension funds.
That’s because fund managers must actively identify companies that are genuinely ethical, which can involve extensive research.
The consumer magazine Which? discovered that 27% of their readers want their pension savings invested in ethical companies. This demand will probably increase as environmentally savvy Millennials and Gen Z become more interested in pension savings.
Choosing an ethical workplace pension scheme is one of the most valuable climate perks for employees. This can translate into feelings of goodwill towards their employer, and this positive perception can bring wider benefits.
Two-thirds of those in the Gen Z age range say they’re extremely anxious about climate change.
So if you’re considering how to attract talent with benefits, then offering free green employee benefits is becoming increasingly valuable.
That’s because candidates are more likely to choose to work for companies that align with their values and act on climate change. They’ll also be more loyal, engaged, productive and less likely to leave.
Businesses can appeal to environmentally conscious employees by demonstrating their commitment to sustainability through the benefits they offer.
In turn, this can translate into a broad range of benefits that can help drive business profitability.
What makes employees happy at work? It’s a big question that HR practitioners, leaders, and business owners ponder over. Given that unhappiness at work costs billions a year in lost productivity, the importance of making employees happy at work shouldn’t be underestimated.
According to research by Oxford University and BT, happy employees are 13% more productive. So, addressing employee happiness is one of the most effective ways to improve productivity.
Happy employees are:
As outlined by the CIPD, the business benefits of workplace wellbeing are well documented, with these three key benefits for employers that focus on employee wellbeing:
When considering what makes employees happy at work, we can find inspiration from our neighbouring countries.
According to the World Happiness Report 2022, Finland and Denmark have the happiest people in the world.
These two Nordic nations have small populations relative to their geographic size, low crime rates, generous social security, and excellent childcare for working parents.
With such impressive investment into reducing day-to-day challenges, it makes sense that Finnish and Danish people enjoy high levels of happiness.
The Global Workforce Happiness Index ranked Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden at the top for employee satisfaction. These countries have a fundamentally caring culture, and they realise that happy employees bring benefits for everyone.
In Denmark, they have a specific word for happiness at work – arbejdsglæde (pronounced ‘ah-bites-gle-the’). It’s about being happy to get out of bed and go to work each day, no matter what, because a job is energising (rather than draining).
A short swim away from Finland is Estonia, where the term töörõõm translates as ‘work fun’. In essence, it’s about finding satisfaction and enjoyment in everyday tasks.
Ikigai is a Japanese word that means ‘a reason for being’. This word encapsulates employee happiness. Someone’s work must give them a sense of purpose and a reason to get out of bed.
But here in Britain, how can we recreate this same happiness with a completely different culture around work? Well, many organisations are turning to higher levels of pay and/or employee benefits to boost employee morale.
A study by Instantprint found that out of 10 locations in the UK where weekly wages are below the national average, eight had the highest levels of job satisfaction.
For example, in Sunderland, where the mean weekly salary is £513 (16% below the national average), 38% of employees said they were satisfied at work.
Elsewhere in London, where the average weekly wage is £820, just 26% of employees said they were happy at work.
However, as with all studies, a critical eye is needed. Although people in Sunderland earn less than those in London, the cost of living is 64% higher in London.
People must earn a fair wage for their work, or they can feel exploited and undervalued by their employer. However, salary is only part of the happiness story and offering employees more money doesn’t necessarily lead to greater job satisfaction.
According to Liselotte Jensen, CEO of Great Place to Work, here’s what makes employees happy at work.
A healthy company culture is built on mutual trust and respect, and a real sense of community.
Employees trust their managers who:
Managers can show trust in their employees by:
Managers can foster a sense of community by encouraging teams to work together to achieve shared goals. That way, everyone feels the sense of satisfaction of succeeding together.
Studies show that when people have the time and energy to spend with family and friends, they’re happier. Research carried out by Aviva revealed that most employees prioritise work-life balance over salary (41% compared to 36%).
Offering employees thoughtful benefits communicates that your organisation cares about them.
It’s important to survey employees first to find out what benefits will be truly valuable to them. Some employees might want childcare vouchers, whilst others may want supermarket discounts or gym membership.
The key to making employees happy at work is giving them what they want.
A study by SHRM found that 80% of employers believe financial stress decreases productivity at work. That’s because it’s almost impossible for someone to focus on work if they’re losing sleep over their finances.
With the cost-of-living crisis, supporting employees’ financial wellbeing has never been more important. For this reason, increasing numbers of employers are choosing to offer their employees access to earned wages (also called on-demand pay).
On-demand pay brings an end to rigid pay cycles and rewards them with the flexibility to access their earnings at any time in the month. It’s a practical way to support employee financial stability.
So if an urgent bill takes them by surprise, they don’t need to resort to expensive borrowing, which can create financial stress that inhibits their ability to perform at work.
Openwage can bring substantial benefits to your business too, so it’s win-win.
A survey by the learning platform Udemy revealed that 80% of employees feel happier, more engaged, and more motivated at work when they have learning and development opportunities.
Making sure employees can advance their careers is vital. According to a poll by Go1, 60% of employees who left their jobs said it was to find better career prospects.
A happiness poll found that out of 4,000 employees in the UK, most said doing meaningful work that has a real purpose was the most important factor in their happiness.
To feel a sense of purpose, employees need to see the impact of their work and how they’re helping an organisation to achieve its goals. All employees need to know what the organisation’s goals are and to believe in them.
When employees receive recognition for their efforts, it boosts morale and motivates them to continue to work hard. However, research by Quantum Workplace revealed that 53% of employees would like more recognition at work.
According to Gallup, recognition should be genuine, authentic, and personalised. It’s about considering what approach will be most meaningful to an individual employee.
Would they most appreciate a personal thank you from the CEO or a real-world reward with monetary value?
Understanding what makes your employees happy is the first step. The challenge is planning and implementing strategies to build a happier workforce–but the effort is worth it.
You don’t have to do everything all at once. Start by making small changes.
For instance, if your focus is to improve work-life balance, you could encourage staff to leave on time by asking managers to set an example. Every improvement drives big business gains.
On the stock market, companies with happy, engaged employees continually outperform those with unhappy employees. The Investor Institution even recommends that people looking for the best-performing stocks seek out the happiest companies!
Since happier employees drive profitability of the companies they work for, it really is worth investing time and energy into making your employees happy.
Knowing how to launch a new staff benefit can be daunting. Employee benefits are a key part of your organisation’s compensation package, and what’s included has a significant impact on your ability to hire, retain, and engage employees. We’ve compiled the ultimate guide on how to launch a new benefit, so you and your employees can reap the rewards.
It’s a situation familiar to thousands of HR professionals.
You spend ages choosing a new benefit, assessing multiple providers, and working with stakeholders to get it approved. Finally, the contract gets signed.
You put together a load of information about the benefit and share it with your employees. And then.…..nothing. Zilch. An eerie silence fills your inbox.
Putting benefits in place is one challenge, but ensuring employees engage with them is a whole new minefield.
Given all the hard work that HR teams put into offering a new employee benefit, it can be incredibly frustrating when it seemingly goes unnoticed.
So what’s preventing employees from engaging?
The reason could be that employees don’t know about the employee benefits that are available to them.
If they do know about them, they might not understand how the scheme works. This can make them reluctant to take advantage.
If you offer innovative perks like work from anywhere or unlimited annual leave, for example, employees might have unanswered questions that prevent them from taking action.
Some benefits incur a cost to an organisation even if employees don’t make use of them. So it’s vital to ensure that the benefit you choose is used by as many employees as possible.
Today’s workforce is a mix of boomers, Gen X, millennials, and Gen Z. That means that the needs and wants of employees range hugely, given the different stages of life they’re at.
This can make it hard to create a benefits package that appeals to everyone. Many of the top companies have opted for flexible benefit schemes that give employees more choice over their benefits.
Ben and Perkbox are examples of flexible employee benefits platforms that allow for greater personalisation of benefits.
If you’re unsure how to prepare to roll out a new employee benefit, then here are some pointers to help you.
Start by introducing the benefit to employees before the official launch date.
Make people aware of the benefit that will soon be available by clearly communicating what it is and how it’s useful to them.
Giving them bite-size pieces of information over time can make the information easy to digest, and gives employees multiple opportunities to learn about it.
By laying the groundwork, you create an early buzz around the launch, so employees are already interested before the benefit is even available.
Teaser campaigns can be super useful and they don’t have to be complex. A simple graphic posted on Teams can be enough to spark someone’s interest.
In a nutshell, rolling out a benefit slowly can increase engagement by making the process more effortless for employees. Absorbing a few details over time is much easier than being bombarded with a barrage of information and being expected to take it all in.
Ease of access is imperative for the success of a new benefit. So before launching, be sure that the new benefit is easy for employees to activate and use.
For instance, can they enrol on the scheme online at a time that suits them? Is the signup process straightforward with plenty of additional information if employees have queries?
Having a clear idea of what success will look like when it comes to the new benefit will make it easier to evaluate the ROI.
For example, is the objective to decrease staff turnover in a particular sector of the business within six months? Being very specific about your goals makes it far easier to measure success once the benefit is active.
Knowing what you want to measure is just as important as how you’re going to measure it. Some employee benefits have built-in platforms that your HR team can use to monitor data, such as whether employees are using the benefit and how they’re using it.
There are usually many stakeholders in an organisation when it comes to launching a new employee benefit.
Communicating with those affected and the leadership team ensures they understand the benefit and why it’s important to the business’s goals and to staff. It’s also a chance to discuss everyone’s role in implementing and managing the new benefit.
Don’t underestimate the importance of having all relevant teams involved from an early stage. HR, payroll, Finance and even IT teams will need to know the ins and outs of the new benefit.
By ensuring everyone is properly briefed on the new benefit, it means that when employees do ask questions, everyone gives the same answers, creating an environment of trust and certainty.
Carefully consider when to launch your new benefit. What else is happening in the business at the same time? Is there a ‘quiet’ time when employees are likely to have more time to delve into the details?
This is especially true for particular benefits that coincide with your financial year, or with other specific dates in the year. Be sure to plan your launch with plenty of time to avoid a last-minute scramble that can discredit your efforts.
If you set yourself a target launch date, you can then plan towards it by setting deadlines for the tasks that need to be completed before the launch.
It’s a good idea to think well-ahead about how you’ll present the benefit to employees.
While an email with an attachment is pretty standard, it’s not necessarily the best way to engage employees.
In general, a multi-channel approach works best when communicating a new staff benefit. But consider different formats too that convey information clearly.
You could consider sharing videos, using graphics (often your benefits provider can supply materials), or even games to bring your new benefit to life.
Question and answer sessions are a great way to open the conversation. If you have office-based employees, consider a lunchtime drop in session or having an information stand in a prominent place.
Consider how you can demonstrate the relevance of your new benefit to people’s lives with real-life examples. Make sure they’ll leave with a clear understanding of the advantages for them and how to take action.
Benefits that aren’t relevant to someone’s specific circumstances won’t get that person’s attention. Speak in terms of your employees’ concerns and needs, and you’re more likely to get them interested.
Prepare handouts so people can digest information in their own time. This is especially important when it comes to complex information relating to salary sacrifice schemes.
Being clear about how and when employees can get more information or support related to the benefit can give employees the reassurance they need to activate their new benefit.
Those introducing a new benefit to employees need to show an enthusiasm that’s infectious to those around them.
Excitement breeds interest from others, and indicates that the new benefit is worth knowing about.
Having a couple of clear messages to hand that resonate with your employees based on their particular requirements will do wonders for spreading the word.
The launch of your new employee benefit shouldn’t be limited to a single day.
Why not have a launch week? This helps spread the workload for HR teams and other stakeholders and reduces the pressure to get the message out to everyone in a single day.
Spreading the launch also makes it more achievable to deliver your communications in multiple formats. Below are some ideas:
A good benefits provider will assist with some of these, for example, holding webinars, providing visuals, and materials like FAQs you can circulate.
Some benefits will be more relevant for people at certain times in their lives, so it’s worth reminding them at those moments.
Below are some big life moments that may lead employees to engage more with specific benefits:
Giving employees a total reward statement (TRS) with their payslips means they can see what benefits are available to them and which ones they use.
Most people look at their payslip so it’s a great way to remind employees of the benefits they receive. You may also be able to use payslips to raise awareness of unused or new benefits available.
Some employees also need this information to help with tax returns and usually show similar information to the HMRC-friendly P11D forms.
With the launch complete, now’s the time to consolidate all your hard work by measuring how successful your employee benefit is.
By monitoring its success, you can assess the ROI of the benefit. Based on the information you gather, you might decide to adapt the benefit or offer something else that suits your employees better.
Evaluation can be based on multiple metrics and here are some ideas below.
Through a focus group, survey, or informal discussions, you can find out whether employees feel the benefit is useful to them. They may also share what improvements they think could be made to enhance the experience.
It’s common for benefits providers to supply key data that helps you understand how your employees use the benefit. They may be able to send you monthly reports or digest emails summarising usage trends.
Correctly offboarding employees is really important for your business. It’s also very useful because employees leaving a business are often the most honest. Find out what perks and benefits exiting employees valued most and what they think could be improved.
Consider some of your key HR challenges, like turnover and employee absence rates. Have these changed since introducing the new benefit? Benefits are a key aspect of recruitment and retention strategies, so it’s important to tie them all together.
Has the amount of time between a candidate contacting your company and accepting an employment offer decreased since the benefit was introduced?
If it hasn’t, are you doing enough to advertise to candidates the benefits your company offers? It’s easy to forget to update adverts when you introduce a new benefit.
Employee benefits are an important way to attract the best talent.
Knowing how to launch a new staff benefit is easier when you understand all the moving parts. Careful planning, diligent implementation, and a retrospective focus can help you increase the chances of a successful new benefit.
With the cost-of-living crisis, the financial wellbeing of employees has moved up the agenda and most companies are now looking to include a financial wellbeing offering.
Worryingly, one in four employees say they’re unable to focus on work because they’re worried about money. To alleviate financial stress that leads to decreased productivity, many organisations are paying more attention to the way they pay their employees.
Openwage is an earned wage access platform that empowers employees to access their earnings before payday. For a low, transparent fee, employees can access a portion of their earnings at any time in the month.
For employers, it’s an easy to roll-out solution that requires minimal maintenance. Automated deductions mean there are no payroll headaches. And best of all, Openwage costs employers nothing.
To find out more about Openwage, you can request a demo today to see how our app and employer’s portal work.
Understanding the business benefits of HR data creates opportunities to make meaningful gains in areas like employee retention and engagement.
Given that 78% of all companies are having recruitment difficulties, employers are turning to technology-driven HR data to create happier, more productive employees and an improved bottom line.
To understand the benefits of HR data, and how it could help HR navigate one of the tightest labour markets in decades, we need to understand what HR data is.
Also known as people analytics, it’s the process of gathering and analysing data about employees. The data it provides can help HR put in place strategies to improve the employee experience.
Maximising the employee experience is a key strategy to boost employee retention. This can reduce high turnover and minimise recruitment costs.
That’s because having specific data about why employees leave provides invaluable insights into how to increase retention. Armed with this data, HR teams can make informed, data-driven decisions that can have a positive impact on the organisation’s bottom line.
The business benefits of HR data become clearer when we take a deeper dive into how the data is collected and analysed.
It goes without saying that the more evolved the capacity for acquiring and analysing HR data, the greater the business benefits of HR data become.
Let’s break it down:
1. Descriptive analytics
Most organisations have the capacity to perform descriptive analytics. This is data that pinpoints a specific problem at a precise moment in time.
2. Predictive analytics
Taking descriptive data HR can create a predictable model for the future.
3. Prescriptive analytics
This is where the benefits of HR data really come into their own. Here, the results of predictive and descriptive analytics are used to recommend specific courses of action.
The CIPD also breaks down the data into:
As we can see, people analytics is something of a science. It goes far beyond simply monitoring employees and collecting statistics.
Ever since Google used analytics to pioneer people focused HR thinking, this employee-first approach has infiltrated HR on a global scale.
Google itself stands by the notion that people analytics allows for more accurate management decisions. As a result, Google has been rewarded with more engaged employees with an average participation rate of 90%.
Many forward-thinking companies have followed suit. Cisco, Amazon and Microsoft are just some examples.
Before we take a deeper look at what each of these benefits are, let’s revisit the core principles of HR data.
The whole concept behind people analytics is to use data acquired to constantly improve and enhance the employee experience.
Data can be collected on often neglected areas of the employee life cycle, like onboarding and offboarding. Understanding why people leave, what drives engagement, and how to reorganise a company to get the best out of employees is essential.
One of the business benefits of HR data is that it allows HR teams to assess the effectiveness of different solutions in a specific area that needs improvement. This is crucial if leaders are to get the best ROI on HR strategies.
Research by the CIPD shows that employee wellbeing and happiness hold the key to a thriving and successful business. This highlights the importance of succeeding in employee wellbeing.
Let’s explore the business benefits of HR data in greater depth.
In 2020, The Consultancy Group conducted a survey of HR professionals from the world’s largest economies. They found that 50% had made bad hiring decisions and suffered the consequences. In the UK, that figure was a whopping 62%.
It’s estimated that the replacement costs for a bad hire come in at around £115K. But let’s not forget that the effects of bad hires are not just financial.
A Pulse article on LinkedIn reveals wide-ranging consequences of poor hiring decisions in detail, including:
Using people analytics in your hiring process can help you avoid these costly mistakes. For example, using algorithms, analytics can sift through many more potential candidates than an HR team can.
This can make finding the right hire easier. Furthermore, analytics software can:
People analytics don’t replace the role of HR, but they do save time, allowing recruiters to play a more strategic role.
One of the many companies that use people analytics in recruiting is Unilever. By using AI-driven assessments in recruiting, Unilever achieved £1M annual cost savings, a 90% reduction in time to hire, and a 16% increase in hiring diversity.
Statistics from research by McKinsey & Company found that 60% of employees would consider leaving their current job without the prospect of a new one.
This startling statistic means organisations have to work extremely hard to retain talent. One way of doing this is by focusing on improving the employee experience.
Employee wellbeing has become something of a buzzword, but the positive impact of employees with high levels of wellbeing speaks for itself.
Actively working towards a more positive employee experience has a beneficial effect on retention rates. In addition, even when employees do leave, they’re more likely to speak highly of their experience. This can enhance your organisation’s brand and reputation.
Another business benefit of HR data is in identifying skills gaps and training.
Skills gaps can negatively impact employee morale. This is because undue stress is often placed on existing employees to fill those gaps. If left unresolved, this can heighten the risk of burnout among employees.
The impact of burnout on the workplace has been in the spotlight ever since the pandemic. Employee burnout will ultimately have a negative impact on productivity. Where burnout is a consequence of skill gaps, then it’s possible to avoid it.
By using analytics to identify these skill gaps early on, it’s possible to prevent the spiral of negative consequences that occur when these gaps go unrecognised for too long.
HR data can help by analysing your team’s skills and comparing them with ones you require. This allows HR to quickly and accurately identify employees that are most suited to areas where gaps have been identified.
In addition, one of the benefits of HR data is allowing HR to identify employees who are ready to upskill in a certain area.
This has the knock-on effect of reducing recruitment costs, decreasing turnover rates and boosting the potential and overall working experience of existing employees.
Research by Willis Towers Watson found that 75% of employees are likely to stay with their employer because of their benefits program. According to Glassdoor, a further 80% of employees would choose additional benefits over a pay rise.
Great benefits packages drive recruitment, reduce turnover and improve retention.
But putting great benefit packages in place is only half the story. Measuring their engagement and ROI among your workforce is crucial.
Using analytics HR can ensure that the benefits offered are the ones that offer the best ROI both for the organisation and for its employees.
Without a quantified link to value, new offerings may not show early gains or build momentum. Analytics can help HR make sure that they do.
Data can be used to improve DEI by identifying existing gaps and biases so that strategic plans can be made to close them.
It’s not just ethical to improve diversity; it also makes good business sense. The benefits of HR data to improve diversity can manifest in a several ways:
Not to be confused with simply collecting statistics, HR data can be a powerful tool in solving today’s organisation challenges to drive business benefits. That’s because HR data delivers a level of understanding that allows HR leaders to plan, strategise, and take decisions that offer the best ROI.
Part of that strategy involves using data to offer benefits packages and perks that drive recruitment and promote retention. According to the CIPD, 65% of employees want a financial wellbeing policy at work.
Yet, the CIPD also found that financial wellbeing is one of the most overlooked areas of the employee experience. That’s why here at Openwage, we’ve built a platform that promotes financial wellbeing in a meaningful way that has zero cost and zero impact on employers’ cashflow.
Openwage enables employers to easily and securely roll out earned wage access to their employees. For employees, Openwage gives them instant access to their earnings.
The financial flexibility that on-demand pay brings helps reduce employee financial stress that drains their productivity. Learn more about the business benefits of on-demand pay or request a demo.
3D printing could change the construction industry as we know it. It offers the possibility of affordable, sustainable, unique housing and brings financial and practical benefits to the sector. However, there are fears that 3D printing replaces people with robots and there are other concerns too. So, let’s delve into the real impact 3D printing in construction may have on HR.
3D printing turns designs created on a computer into physical objects. The process works by layering materials on top of each other to create a 3D object.
The technology was invented in the early 1980s in Japan and has developed rapidly in the succeeding decades. During the Covid pandemic, 3D printers manufactured PPE equipment and ventilator components out of necessity because of supply chain issues.
The pandemic highlighted the importance of 3D printing technology. It’s now estimated that the 3D printing market will be worth a staggering $40 billion by 2024.
Construction is becoming highly customised as more people demand unique homes built to their requirements. This contrasts with the building boom of the 1950s to the late ’70s, when each construction was a carbon copy of another, and design flaws were rife.
The World Economic Forum and B1M say 3D printed houses are an innovation to watch. In fact, 3D houses are already being built all over the world.
In Dubai it’s expected that 25% of buildings will be constructed in some part using 3D technology by 2030, as part of Dubai 3D printing strategy.
In 2021, a retired Dutch couple, Elize Lutz and Harrie Dekker, became the first people to live in a 3D printed house. Their dome-shaped house is spacious and light, with an open-plan kitchen, dining room and living area, and a large double bedroom and a bathroom.
To make the house, a 3D printer poured cement into layers in a factory in Eindhoven. These parts were then transported to the site and constructed by Dutch building firm, Van Wijnen.
3D printing has enabled Elize and Harrie to live in their uniquely customised home, which they describe as ‘safe’ and ‘beautiful’.
More than three quarters of buyers in the UK now want green homes. The good news is that 3D printing technology can help construction firms meet consumer demand.
To date, many environmentally friendly materials have been used in 3D printed homes. This includes concrete, bioplastic, soil, straw and even rice husks.
In Italy, 3D printing firm WASP teamed up with Mario Cucinella Architects to create a low-carbon prototype house from clay.
The home consists of two dome shapes and combines the best of modern and ancient architecture. Incredibly, it took just 200 hours and only six kilowatts of power to build it.
3D printing in house building has significant advantages. That’s because it could help to address the housing shortage by making homes quicker to build and more affordable to buy.
Building a traditional house today takes an average six months, and sometimes as long as a year.
In contrast, building 3D printed homes can take just hours or days, which lowers construction costs. Homes should be more affordable, especially for first-time buyers struggling to get on the property ladder. This could create a housing boom.
Storms and high winds increase the chance of accidents on construction sites. In addition, poor weather costs the construction industry billions in lost man hours.
For example, when the ‘Beast from the East’ cold weather front hit the UK in 2018, delays cost the economy over £1 billion a day.
With 3D printing, a large part of the construction process can take place in factories. This mitigates financial damage and reduces the likelihood of accidents.
The construction industry produces over 30% of the world’s waste and is responsible for more than 40% of carbon dioxide emissions.
In Dubai, they predict that using 3D printing in construction will reduce construction waste by 60%. That’s because with 3D printing, manufacturers print components to order, which decreases waste.
In addition, the materials produced for building in this way can usually be recycled. Local sourcing of materials reduces the carbon footprint of distribution and transportation.
In 2021/22, about a quarter of all fatal injuries at work were in the construction industry. Injuries cost the UK construction industry around £1.29 billion a year.
Technology is making construction safer, and wearable technology helps reduce health and safety risks associated with active sites. With 3D printing, fewer employees need to be present on a building site. This reduces health and safety risks, like working at height and moving heavy materials.
If your company isn’t using 3D printing technology yet, this may soon change. According to a report from Sculpteo, 90% of businesses think using 3D printing will give them a competitive advantage.
But how will the widespread adoption of 3D printing in construction impact the HR function? Read on for insights into the impact on the industry and key things to consider:
Job losses caused by 3D printing are a concern for many people. Some jobs, such as those in distribution and transportation, may become obsolete because components will be printed on demand.
However, 3D printing won’t replace traditional manufacturing, instead it will complement it. This technology is a long way from being able to print every type of object, and it isn’t designed to replace traditional manufacturing. In addition, 3D printing will increase the need for people with particular skills.
3D printing technology will transform the workforce, but change will be gradual. The cost of investing in new equipment, hesitancy to invest in equipment that isn’t yet established, and the need to address skills gaps will slow progress.
3D printing creates the need for specific jobs. This includes designers to create computer models, skilled technicians to maintain equipment, and teachers to train people to use new 3D printing technology.
3D printing training courses are starting to emerge to address skills gaps. Courses aim to provide people with the highly technical knowledge they need to work in this new field.
Technology is constantly evolving, so businesses need to continually invest in keeping employees’ skills up to date. That means learning and development budgets need to be set accordingly.
Working on your training budget for next year? You may want to think about including training courses related to 3D printing in construction.
Firms that adopt 3D printing technology will have a competitive edge when it comes to recruiting the best talent.
Over half of Gen Z employees polled by digital product studio, PLAY, said they would rather work for a company that’s sustainable. Using 3D printing technology reduces waste and favours sustainable materials and local production.
Technologies like 3D printing eliminate repetitive work and increase the need for a skilled workforce. Skilled work is more rewarding for employees, so firms that automate through technology are more likely to attract ambitious, future-focused talent.
3D printers are expensive and can cost currently up to $1million. The cost of employing skilled workers to operate and maintain equipment further increases the cost.
Companies may look for short-term solutions before making a huge financial commitment. This could include using contract workers rather than permanent employees.
Hiring contractors affects your recruitment strategy, so it’s worth bearing in mind.
We’re in the midst of the fourth Industrial Revolution. Artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), and 3D printing are transforming the workplace as we know it.
It’s vital that leadership teams embrace new technology and understand both the threats and opportunities, so they can support the workforce to navigate this unfamiliar terrain.
3D printing in construction has an enormous HR impact, but early preparation will ease transition. As the cost of equipment comes down and the benefits outweigh the advantages, more companies will embrace 3D printing as a technology.
3D printing has the potential to provide people with the bespoke, environmentally friendly homes they want, at a price they can afford.
The question is, will the adoption of 3D printing technology run smoothly? Or will there be a bumpy adjustment period while the workforce upskill?
Retirement planning and pensions might not be at the top of everyone’s agenda. In fact, over 20% of people in the UK don’t have any pension savings. Yet 45% want a retirement income of £20,000 or more per year.
Having a pension is a critical part of financial wellbeing in later life. So when employees are absorbed in the demands of daily life, how do you encourage them to think about retirement planning and pensions? Let’s talk about ways you can motivate them to save for tomorrow.
Most workplace pensions and self-invested personal pensions (often called SIPPs) are defined contribution pensions.
With a defined contribution pension, money is invested in a diverse range of assets, such as bonds, commercial property, gold, shares, and stocks.
Typically, an employee makes contributions to their pension each month. This is normally a percentage of the employee’s salary.
Employers must also make contributions. The minimum contribution for employers is 3%.
Most employees are eligible to join a pension scheme through their employer. Their employer must enrol employees into the scheme, and this is called automatic enrolment.
Find out more about auto enrolment on the Gov.uk website.
Pensions are a key part of an employee’s overall compensation package, or benefits package.
Some people don’t see the benefits of joining a pension scheme or think their money is safer elsewhere.
But according to MoneySavingExpert, a pension is simply ‘…a tax-efficient savings option that isn’t implicitly risky. The risk comes from the investment choice.’
Employees can opt out of their company’s pension scheme or delay their enrolment for a limited time. So why do some people choose to opt out of their pension?
It’s never too early to join a pension scheme. Contributing towards your pension early means not having to put as much money into a pension pot every month.
Starting early also means your pension pot (which is money that gets invested) has time to grow. The idea is that by the time you reach state pension age, there is a substantial pot of money to support you through retirement.
Some people choose to invest in property instead of joining a pension scheme. That’s because property has historically always risen in value over time, even when prices have dipped in the short-term.
However, the spread on an investment that focuses solely on property is limited. With a pension, money is invested across different types of investments, thereby spreading the risk.
Property sales are subject to capital gains tax, income tax, and inheritance tax. In contrast, pensions have huge tax advantages.
The information surrounding pensions can be complicated, so it’s easy to put it off.
Many people are ‘time poor’, meaning they don’t have much opportunity to make sense of difficult financial information. Time poverty is an issue that particularly affects those with young children who have 14 hours less free time a week than people living alone.
On top of this, many people are consumed with more immediate financial concerns, so wading through pension information isn’t a priority. Most people in their 20s, for example, were struggling to pay their rent well before the cost-of-living crisis hit.
To address this issue, information needs to be easier to understand and digest, more engaging, and give greater clarity about the benefits of a pension.
We talk about how to make pensions interesting later in the article.
People are concerned about high pension charges, but this is more likely to be an issue with older pensions.
According to ProPensions, an annual charge of less than 1% is reasonable. It’s important that employees keep track of their pensions and understand the charges they’re paying as it can impact retirement income.
Money invested in pensions can go up and down, and it’s the same with any kind of investment. However, it’s the pension provider’s professional duty to monitor people’s pensions and move investments if needed.
If the pension provider is found to be negligent, customers have some protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS will pay £85,000 for each firm where money is invested.
If a pension provider goes out of business, people can usually claim back 100% of their pension savings from the FSCS.
The information surrounding pensions is often full of jargon and difficult to understand. To encourage people to start a pension, it’s important to address their concerns.
It’s also vital to bring employees’ attention to the benefits of a pension for them. Government research found that just 44% of people aged 35-49 thought they needed to find out about retirement planning and pensions.
The main advantages of contributing to a pension include:
Pensions need reframing in the eyes of some employees. When people hear the word ‘pensions’, they often glaze over. The word ‘investments’ conjures up a very different image, with words like risk and expensive coming to mind.
But, there are ways employers can encourage more engagement from employees with pensions.
People can’t be expected to engage with a subject they don’t understand. Simplifying the information around pensions and delivering information in an engaging way can make a huge difference. Visual images aid most people’s understanding, so you might consider using videos and animations to explain concepts.
Start by selling the benefits of pensions and addressing people’s concerns. Help them understand why retirement planning is for everyone of any age, not just those approaching their golden years.
People are more likely to increase their pension contributions if they can see their investments grow.
Most pensions can be tracked and managed through a mobile-friendly portal or app. The convenience of an app is likely to appeal to younger employees and those with busy lives – so that’s most people!
Instead of talking in abstract percentages and statistics, help people to picture their investment.
Show employees the companies where their money is invested. Is their investment helping a company to design new equipment for hospitals, build a new transport system or do something else that’s interesting?
Once people are engaged, you can introduce more detailed information to help them understand how their money is working to meet their goals.
When people care about their pension pot, they’re likely to have questions.
Make sure they can easily get in touch with well-informed pension champions at your organisation. An FAQ sheet can be good for some, but others want to speak to someone face to face, so be aware of different employees’ communications preferences.
Pension Awareness Day takes place every year on 15th September. One of the aims of this national day is to encourage employers to share ideas about how to engage employees with pensions.
For many employees, a pension is something intangible and potentially low priority. However, by taking a fresh approach you can help them visualise their future and motivate them to start saving towards a healthy retirement income.
The information in this article is for general information only. It does not constitute professional advice from Openwage. Openwage is not a financial adviser. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the information in this document relates to your unique circumstances.
Staying in control of our finances is a hot topic right now. To help you do just that, we’ve put together the 8 best Twitter profiles to follow to help you save money. These carefully selected profiles offer impartial, independent advice that can bring you real financial advantages.
As we emerged from the economic shock of the pandemic, we were hit with a war in Europe, which has slowed global economic activity even further.
The war in Ukraine has led to further supply disruptions and high commodity prices. This has increased food insecurity and poverty as well as skyrocketing fuel and gas prices.
For many of us, the financial burden of higher food prices and energy bills has been compounded by soaring inflation. This, coupled with higher interest rates, has driven up mortgage premiums to levels where some can no longer afford their payments.
If you’re struggling, or concerned about the future, you’re not alone. We’ve scanned Twitter for the best money-saving tips out there.
While social media can be a trigger for shopping and spending, if used correctly, it (or more specifically, Twitter) can be a useful tool to save money.
That’s because certain Twitter accounts focus specifically on sharing advice, tips and info that can translate into discounts, deals, and even cash in your pocket.
Here are our best Twitter accounts to find ways to save money:
Find them at @pensiongeeks
Number of followers: 8,919
Activity: 12.7K tweets to date
Pension Geeks is on a mission to demystify the jargon and improve financial capability for everyone across the UK. Anyone who wants to use Twitter to save money should definitely check it out.
They deal with questions like what to do with extra cash, should you pay off your student loan or overpay your mortgage, and whether to pause your pension contributions to help combat the cost-of-living crisis.
We love that Pension Geeks focuses on health and wellbeing. The link between mental health and financial wellness is clear and taking care of our mental health is a vital aspect of our financial lives, too.
Twitter handle: @MartinSLewis
Number of followers: 1.8 million
Activity: 86.8K tweets to date
It’s probably safe to assume Martin Lewis is something of a household name. If anyone knows how to use Twitter to promote ways to save money, it’s him.
A British broadcaster and financial journalist, Martin founded the website MoneySavingExpert, one of the UK’s biggest consumer finance websites.
But his personal Twitter profile is also worth following. Martin’s experienced analysis of the financial landscape is always worth a read. Plus, his conversational manner helps break down financial jargon, making his money-saving tips accessible to everyone.
Twitter handle: @MoneySavingExp
Number of followers: 536.4K
Activity: 58.3K tweets to date
The MSE website pitches itself as dedicated to cutting user’s costs and fighting their corner using journalistic research. MoneySavingExpert has over 16 million unique users a month and is a definite go to for impartial, independent tips on making big savings.
MoneySavingExpert can help with the best deals on everything from mortgage rates and energy bills to pet insurance and contesting parking tickets. Other topics MSE provides valuable tips around include claiming tax refunds and compensation for travel delays.
The site reveals everyday money-saving tips such as a simple boiler hack that can cut bills by £112. Given the current cost-of-living crisis, it’s one of the best Twitter accounts to follow for money-saving tips.
Twitter handle: @MSE_Deals
Number of followers: 139.5K
Activity: 21.3K tweets to date
MoneySavingExpert Deals are a roundup of the UK’s best deals, discounts and vouchers taken from the MoneySavingExpert website. We’ve given it its own place in our top 8 Twitter accounts because it’s such a good way to hear about great deals.
MSE Deals range from discounts with everyday retailers to short-lived (and often little-publicised) deals from big names like Ikea.
The deals listed also include getting a free lunch and even how to haggle on the high street. According to MSE Deals, in some larger stores, it’s common for shoppers to be given a 10% discount just for asking.
If you’re looking for a cheap day out, MSE Deals is a great place to find discounted days out for all the family. Having fun is an essential way of taking care of our mental health. But it’s also good to remember that we can still have fun on zero funds.
Twitter handle: @WhichMoney
Number of followers: 57.8K
Activity: 32.5k tweets to date
Which? promotes informed consumer choices when buying goods and services. It does this by testing and reviewing products, and raising awareness of consumer rights.
Because it’s a not-for-profit organisation, they’re not influenced by third parties. Which? tests over 3,600 products a year so they can help consumers make cost-effective and sustainable choices.
Which? also offers money-saving tips from experts to beat the cost-of-living crisis like researching the cheapest UK supermarket and helping you save on fuel while driving.
In addition, they put their money where their mouth is when it comes to defending consumer rights.
Follow their Twitter account for free money-saving tips, especially if you’re in the market for a new appliance.
Twitter handle: @DWPgovuk
Number of followers: 234.2K
Activity: 9,975 tweets to date
Looking at how to use Twitter to save money wouldn’t be complete without including official government accounts. Everyone can benefit from keeping up with official Government policy, especially in times of financial instability.
From help with heating bills and caps on certain services to changes in budget and tax rates, the Department for Work and Pensions is a useful resource to have at your fingertips.
Twitter handle: @MoneyHelperUK
Number of followers: 52.7K
Activity to date: 12.9K tweets
MoneyHelper.org.uk offers free independent advice to everyone, no matter what their circumstances.
Knowing where to go to get free financial advice in the UK is vital because financial advice is accessible to everyone. MoneyHelper (backed by the UK Government) can point people in the direction of trusted services when it comes to financial matters.
So whether you’re looking for help to budget, clear debts, understand student loans or see what childcare support is available, MoneyHelper can help.
Twitter handle: @MoneyPensionsUK
Number of followers: 4,691
Activity to date: 5,523 tweets
The Money and Pensions Service (also called MaPS) exists to develop and coordinate a national strategy to improve people’s financial capabilities. It was set up by the UK Government and is an offshoot of the Department for Work and Pensions.
MaPS offers free and impartial advice about pensions, savings, and financial wellness.
It also champions more honest discussions about money between employer and employees. Using the hashtag #talkmoney, MaPS has helped bring financial wellbeing into the spotlight.
As well as discussions about finances, employers might also consider other ways of helping employees though the cost-of-living-crisis. Making employees’ earnings accessible ahead of payday is a great way to give employees greater financial flexibility.
In addition to opening up the conversation in the working landscape, MaPS also champions increasing awareness of financial education into schools.
It’s important for people with families to give their children the best chances when it comes to effective money management. Understanding the difference between financial literacy and financial education is a great place to start.
According to the Office for National Statistics, 44% of us are finding it “very or somewhat difficult” to keep up with the rising costs of energy bills. In addition, 28% of UK adults are finding rent or mortgage costs “very or somewhat difficult” to meet.
Using social media, and these Twitter accounts, could make a worthwhile difference to your budget, and how much spare cash is left at the end of the month.
The nature of Twitter means that short bursts of information are available all the time. So if used correctly, your phone could give you the missing piece of the jigsaw needed to help you save money.
The information in this article is for general information only. It does not constitute professional advice from Openwage. Openwage is not a financial adviser. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the information in this document relates to your unique circumstances.
The tech industry, like the construction sector, faces an acute skills shortage. To address this difficulty, many tech companies have implemented creative solutions.
So, what tips on talent attraction and retention can the construction sector take from tech? Let’s find out.
The issue of how to attract talent is one that faces HR managers across most sectors. Not only must employers compete for a smaller pool of talent, but millennials (who constitute over a third of the workforce) expect more from their employers.
As well as the challenge of recruiting talent, both the construction sector and the tech industry face the problem of how to reduce turnover.
Average staff turnover in construction is 21.4%, compared to 18% in the tech sector and 15% in other industries.
To address these matters, many tech companies have transformed their recruitment and talent attraction strategies. Let’s look at some talent management approaches and explore how these could be applied effectively in the construction sector.
During the pandemic, many tech companies started allowing employees to work from anywhere (WFA). Today, Airbnb continues to offer their employees the opportunity to work from home, the office, or wherever in the world they choose.
Airbnb found that over 1 million people have visited their jobs website since they introduced WFA. That’s because people don’t need to live near Airbnb’s offices to apply for jobs.
It’s also because WFA is attractive to employees as it gives them control over their lives. If an employee wants to move nearer to their family or explore foreign lands, this policy makes that possible.
Of course, in the construction sector, it’s not possible for site-based employees to work from anywhere. However, introducing this policy where feasible to those that don’t need to be onsite could give your business an edge over others competing for the same talent.
Another top tip for talent attraction in the construction sector is to fuel your people’s career aspirations.
For millennials, training and development is the most important benefit an employer can offer. A whopping 76% of all employees say they’re more likely to remain with a business that ofers training and development opportunities.
Many tech companies place learning and development (also called L&D) at the heart of their talent management strategy and have built a strong reputation in this area.
After asking their employees about the training they wanted, Salesforce started offering personalised learning that employees complete independently at their own pace.
Software company Monzo stands above its competitors by giving each employee a learning budget of £1,000 for books, conferences and training courses. They promote this generous benefit on their jobs and careers webpage.
Construction companies can attract and retain the best talent by offering outstanding opportunities like these. If your employees can learn new skills and progress in their careers, they’re more likely to stay because they feel motivated, happy, and fulfilled.
Pay transparency is more than just publishing salaries on job adverts. It’s also about holding regular pay reviews and doing away with ‘gagging clauses’ that stop employees discussing their salaries with co-workers. In the UK, one in five workers are bound by gagging clauses.
According to the European Commission, the gender pay gap across the EU is 14.1%. In the UK, in 2021, the gender pay gap was a shocking 15.4%. Across the same period, mixed-race people earned 16% less than white British people (Ethnicity Pay Gap Report 2021, Strategy& – part of PwC).
When the social media company Buffer introduced pay transparency, they saw applications for jobs more than double. Buffer publishes salary details of every role on their website for everyone to see. That’s quite astonishing.
Employees at Buffer reported that they were 110% more likely to remain with the company because of pay transparency.
That’s because pay transparency promotes fairness and equality, which builds trust in a business. Pay transparency can enhance the reputation of your business because it shows a commitment to equal opportunities and genuine care for your employees.
Deep employer branding connects employees to the ethics and purpose of a business. Employees who truly connect with a brand are more likely to be loyal, motivated, and productive at work.
So it makes perfect sense to carve out your company mission and build your culture around that, tapping into people’s desire to find a sense of belonging. Creating an intentional culture is a great tip when it comes to talent attraction in any sector, including construction.
IT company Paltron aims to attract employees who share their passion for technology that changes the world for the better. The company believes these employees are more likely to “find meaning and significance in their work.”
Interestingly, 83% of people working for the best companies in tech say they “feel good about the ways their organisation contributes to the community.”
That’s according to the report ‘Insights and best practices from our 2021 Best Workplaces in Tech’ by Great Place to Work. This shows how important it is for your employees to share common goals with your business and to know their work is meaningful.
Prioritising employee wellbeing is vital to retain and attract talent in construction. Offering perks and benefits shows that a business values its employees.
The best perks to attract talent are those that offer real value. Everyone has different needs at different stages of their lives. For example, someone with young children might value childcare vouchers, whereas a graduate could be more interested in subsidised gym membership.
When considering perks, it’s essential to think about what your employees really want. Tech company AND Digital provides a £1,000 Flex Fund for each employee, so employees can purchase the benefits they choose. Not surprisingly, AND Digital is named by Glassdoor as one of the Best Places to Work in the UK.
Octopus Energy is also on the Glassdoor list. They offer Octopus Money Coach to support employees’ financial wellbeing with a financial coach.
In the construction industry, financial worries are the number one cause of stress. Providing access to financial advice and perks like on-demand pay can help relieve financial pressure.
People with a healthy work-life balance are happier, less stressed and more productive at work. According to Glassdoor, work-life balance is even more important than pay for job hunters.
Employees in the construction industry work, on average, 5 hours a week more than those in other sectors. But poor mental health in the construction sector is a serious problem.
The technology company ServiceNow allows employees to decide where they want to work. They also give employees the freedom to decide how and when to collaborate in the office.
This promotes a culture of flexibility and trust. As a result, the company has received outstanding reviews from employees.
An outstanding hiring process is essential for ensuring a business attracts people with the right skills.
Transparency from the start is very important. Being open and honest about a job role, salary, and benefits during the recruitment process establishes trust. If a new starter is disappointed, there is a real risk of that person leaving quickly. This increases recruitment costs and can also damage a business’s reputation.
Amazon.com prioritises transparency in their hiring process. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos believes their recruitment strategies are the reason for their success:
“Setting the bar high in our approach to hiring has been, and will continue to be, the single most important element in Amazon.com’s success.”
When there are upwards of four interview stages, it’s more likely that highly skilled applicants will pull out and accept a job with another employer. This is especially true in the construction sector, where employers compete for talent.
Remember, interviews are a two-way process. A job interview is not just about an employer assessing an employee. It’s also about an employee assessing an employer, especially during a talent shortage.
Good recruitment practice is a streamlined human experience, but technology also has a role to play. Artificial Intelligence can make the recruitment process quicker and more efficient, which leaves candidates with a positive impression of a business.
Top employers in the tech industry are pulling out all the stops to attract the best talent. Taking a creative approach to flexible working, learning and development, employee wellbeing and hiring practices means they’re attracting skilled employees who share their vision and goals.
By considering talent attraction tips from other industries like tech, the construction sector can benefit. Effective talent management in construction boosts productivity, enhances business reputation, and significantly reduces the cost of recruiting, onboarding, and training new staff.