Employee Benefits: Shifting from Provision to Impact

By Lara Wayburne, Executive Head: Solutions at NMG Consultants & Actuaries (Pty) Ltd

Employee benefits provided by employers come in various shapes and forms typified by retirement fund plans and medical plans aimed at providing financial security for the individual and their family. Sound familiar?

One could argue that not much has changed – core needs for financial security remain. They do. One could also argue that South African employers have been instrumental in bringing voluntary social security benefits to their workforces for many years. And they have.

Looking at employee benefits through the lens of provision is a good place to start. The basics are important. But how can employee benefits make an impact?

The emergence of flexible work practices together with a technologically empowered and socially engaged workforce mean that the perception of benefits is changing. For example, retirement is no longer about stopping work but enabling a lifestyle or getting out of the sandwich generation trap. Employee benefits can be a key lever for talent attraction, retention and improving productivity. Employers are needing to weave these pieces together for employee benefits to be relevant.

At NMG we work with organisations on a top down approach to employee benefits. We believe that strategic alignment is essential – employee benefits should enable and not hinder an organisation. Employers that are then further able to sharpen the execution and operational sword will invariably have a competitive advantage over those that bumble along.

We also take an all-around approach by benchmarking employers with those in similar industries or those aiming to achieve similar objectives. This gives a full picture of the employee benefit offering in the right context.

The combined result is better alignment with strategy, execution excellence and benefits that are valued.