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  • Writer's pictureMark Harbottle

Launching Benefits

Updated: Jul 14, 2022

We've just launched a new benefits package for our entire team at Cronofy, and what I thought was going to be a straightforward task turned into a 6-month journey. I've learnt a lot along the way, and truly believe we've found a package that suits all our team members' needs.


Setting the scene


I had a lightbulb moment at the end of Q3 in 2021, as I was questioning how - coming up to a year in this role - I could understand how happy our people were in the business, and if there was anything they needed to do their job better. As we were entering a new phase of growth there were some post-covid hangovers, and even a desire for a recognition following a tough couple of years. I decided to run an employee satisfaction survey which on reflection sounds like a no-brainer, but hey I'm still new to this People / Culture thing.


I proposed this with our CEO who was all for it, but we needed the right purpose. I decided I wanted to run a survey to understand people's satisfaction, and get an idea of what we're great at (to keep doing), and any areas that need improvement so we can increase the likelihood of retaining our great people. This ties back to our EVP (employee value proposition) and trying to understand it better.


It would also be an anonymous survey to encourage people to be open and honest.


We grouped our questions into 5 categories:

  • Environment (how we work together)

  • People and Culture (what it's like working at Cronofy)

  • Work (what we do day to day)

  • Career (opportunities)

  • Reward (salary, benefits, recognition)

All topics included 4 questions (with strongly disagree, disagree, neither agree or disagree, agree, strongly agree as the options), and a final question 'are there any other comments you'd like to make on this topic'.


I won't reel off all our questions, but we avoided asking people about potentially leaving us as this wasn't the purpose of the survey. The final question though was:


We're currently reviewing our benefits package. Our focus is on offerings where group purchasing allows us to give you access to benefits at a much lower cost than if you purchased them direct. Can you suggest any benefits we should be investigating that you would value highly?


We worked hard on this question. We wanted people to know that benefits need to be financially suitable, and needed to be highly valued.


Results

Really really positive. It gave us some things to think about too. On the whole everyone enjoys working here, they feel valued, they feel there are opportunities within the business. I presented the results back in an All Hands, and acknowledged we need to take more responsibility for affecting positive change (communicating it better, more feedback), and we had to reinforce the importance of speaking to a Manager and being open about any concerns.


The benefits were really interesting - there were loads of responses from more holidays, to gym, discounts, pension and various types of medical. It was a bit of a minefield because there was such a variety of responses. How do we please everyone?


The challenges

I set to work looking for new benefits to roll out. There were some SaaS platforms which offered flexible benefits, but ultimately they were costly and unreliable. We looked at some perk-type benefits but we didn't feel they'd add value. We also looked at increasing our holiday allowance and even allowing people to 'buy' holidays, but as a small business it because too complicated and relied too heavily on our (already fully utilised) Finance department.


Our new benefits package

Below are all the things we've rolled out and the reason why:


  • 5% matched pension (previously 3% contribution). This brings us up to the average for our sector, so we're competing

  • Enhanced Maternity / Paternity leave: 100% salary for 3 months for maternity, and 100% salary for 4 weeks for paternity (previously statutory). We're bringing this leave up to EU standards and, as company growing in EU, this is really important to us. It also contributes to our commitment to ED&I

  • Private medical cover: it was the most requested benefit, and we've gone for the best in the market

  • Medicash: reimbursement for day to day dental, optical etc. and also offers gym discounts, cinema tickets, the general perks that people asked for

  • EAP - Employee Assistance Programme, offering 24/7 counselling for any type of issue or mental health. This wasn't requested, but is a really important benefit and in line with our Principles


So we're really proud of this, we feel it covers everything that was mentioned in the survey. We're giving people the option to opt out (as there are tax implications to these benefits).


What's next?


I need to be keeping a close eye on how people are making the most of these benefits. Towards the end of the year I'll be running another employee satisfaction survey because we got so much out of it and no doubt will be presenting this back to people.


We've left the door open to other benefits such as holidays, more focus on our corporate social responsibility, but I'm delighted with the benefits we have now. We are competing in our space, and rewarding our staff for their hard work. It's also a huge step forward in our EVP, all we need to do now is shout about it online!

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