Leadership team

Benefits : A (Slightly) Different Approach

Tracey Foulkes
Written by Tracey Foulkes

I’ve always been curious about benefits. Frankly, what might work for you is of little interest to me and very likely visa versa. So you then try and lure me with the promise of a shiny MacBook pro (they really are gorgeous) and a cell phone contract when honestly these are just tools for me to do my job, and I’m feeling slightly peeved that you consider this otherwise. And then you want to set up a provident fund for me, well thank you very much, that’s kind and I don’t want to sound ungrateful but …

So it’s been a loooooong time since I worked for a corporate and honestly, I didn’t question the list of benefits offered to me then, nor ask if I could take the cash instead. But now that I’ve been tasked with setting up a benefits programme for our growing team, I’m feeling morally compelled to take a different approach. Now of course I’m liaising closely with our finance department, there has to be budget to match the lavish ideas swimming in my brain, but for a benefit to be of benefit to my team of differing genders, culture, age, social standing, geographies, etc etc, it needs to give the old traditional approach a rite ‘ol punch in the you-know-where.

So this is what we are playing with right now as we dream up our list of “real” benefits. No smoke – no mirrors – just good stuff that really can be meaningful for our tens or hundreds or even thousands (watch this space) of team all with a different set of purposes + alternative ideas of meaning.

We’re breaking benefits into options and placing them under three broad categories:

  1. HEALTH: think medical insurance or gym memberships
  2. LIFESTYLE: think hobbies + spa treatments (I’m fantasising about a massage right now) or meal vouchers
  3. FINANCIAL: think pension schemes + provident funds or maybe even a donation to your chosen charity

Under each category we’ll have options, some set, most choices. We’re thinking, choose one benefit from each option category (depending on budget, you might even be able to choose two).

But what we’re scheming are benefits might not be what our team think. So we’re getting our fantabulous team involved in the process too.

  • Step one involves them jotting down a list of what they’re looking for in each category on a typeform questionnaire. We’ll give a category explanation and a budget (realistically I very much doubt that our budget will stretch to romantic trips for two to Mauritius, but it might stretch to something else we haven’t even thought about, and that’s what really excites me muchly).
  • Once we have this list of desired benefits, we’ll pop together a questionnaire on survey monkey or the like and get to voting. I’m imaging that this will give us what we need to move forward. Easy-peasy.

And then we’ll have it there for all, a list of benefits that are indeed beneficial. I’m hoping dancing lessons make the cut, or painting or trampolining, zip lining, hot air ballooning or high tea vouchers at a hotel of my choice.

The mind baffles … I’m excited.

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