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How To Run A Simple Benefits Scheme

You’ve read the news, seen a whitepaper or two, and now you’re convinced that you need an employee benefits scheme to bring your HR offering into the present day and compete with those 78% of companies that have a rewards strategy in place already.

But where do you begin?


We’re here to help. We know that starting a whole scheme from scratch can be a daunting task, and that you may not want to outsource it from the off. This guide should help you on the path to employee benefits greatness, so hopefully in no time at all you’ll be reducing turnover and improving employee satisfaction (as well as work output quality) in no time at all!

Identify your budget

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We’ve no doubt you know this already, but just like with any new business venture you’ve got to start out on employee benefits with what you can afford, or at least what you’re willing to spend.

The easiest way to do this is just to multiply your number of staff by the amount you think you could give each one, provided you want to give annual benefits to everyone.

(That’s not to say the alternative is just giving benefits to your favourite colleagues(!), but if you can’t afford a lot each year then perhaps you could stick with long service awards instead, where you calculate when your employees will hit certain milestones and thus only budget for a handful of staff each year.)

Employees x reward cost = annual benefits budget

Choose your benefit

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You’ve already worked out your budget and individual employee costs, so now you just need to figure out what you’re going to do with all that money. If you’re going to give it to your staff as cash, great. It’s easy, straightforward, but in no way guarantees that your staff will spend it on what you might hope.

If you’ve a specific reward in mind, then vouchers or gift cards are the way to go. A lot of restaurants now offer gift cards and gift certificates, as do many high street stores. Some of them can even offer a discount when bought in bulk, so shop around to get the best for your colleagues!

There’s also the experiential side of things, which is ever-growing in popularity among UK consumers (which we can only assume includes a bunch of employees). If you think your staff might like a white-water rafting trip or 5* Michelin meal, these experiences are the way to go.

(if only there was a company out there that offered all sorts of benefits…)

Benefit Delivery

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Now you know how much it’s going to cost and what you’re giving your hard-working staff, but how are you going to give it to them?

If it’s cash, you can add it to the given month’s payslip, but be warned that some members of staff might not look at their payslip as closely as you might think. An email or personal message will work best when communicating the benefit.

You can also give your benefits to each employee on their desk, assuming they have one of course! An envelope’s the best way to go (especially if it’s cash, as you don’t want notes or cheques just lying around), and some kind of accompanying letter or note will make sure the employee knows why they’re getting their benefit. If you’ve got a small team, you can have a meeting together so everyone can share in the joy of receiving the benefit, and you can also get some immediate feedback as to whether they want what you’re giving them.

For the larger teams, or even separate offices, you’ll want to get someone there who can hand out the benefits on your behalf.

Reviewing your scheme

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Chances are there’s someone who might like to see results on how the scheme has gone, possibly when the next year rolls around and you’ve got to justify the budget again.

First year’s always going to be something of a trial, but by the time the second year comes around you should be in a position to tell anyone who asks whether it was worth it or not. It’s a bit of a pain, but in the future you’ll be in a much better position if you’ve asked everyone what they thought, collected the results and then analysed them.

Remember: You should start out on a benefits scheme with the knowledge of what you want to get out of the end of it, and plan accordingly.


Want some help with your burgeoning benefits scheme? Give us a call at 0844 272 0002, or email us at Contact@virginincentives.co.uk, and we'll guide you through everything you need to start boosting loyalty, morale, and all-around good times for your employees!


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