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What Are Flexible Benefits And How Do They Benefit Your Company?

Flexible benefits are essential to improve employee retention, reduce staff turnover, and increase productivity. This post discusses the importance of implementing flexible benefits into your corporate benefits scheme and why doing so is essential.
Published on October 21, 2022

What are flexible benefits?

Employee flexible benefits refer to various lifestyles and preferential benefits available to employees. In today’s shifting employment environment, we see various new employee benefits options as companies have started responding to individual employee needs. While offering employees a wide variety of benefits that meets their specific needs is essential, it is equally important to employ suitable systems and processes so that organisations benefit from this flexibility while ensuring benefits remain easy to administer.

How do flexi benefits differ from general healthcare benefits?

1) Set a pool of benefits for your employees.
Say you offer health screening, gym membership, and transportation as flexible benefits and each of them has a spending limit per year or month.

With flexible benefits, you can set a spending limit per benefit or to the total amount in the benefits pool. Suppose you group all your supplementary health benefits under one roof and cap them at RM10,000 yearly. Employees can choose which benefits to utilise: a screening test, vaccination, or intervention program.

It’s up to them how much they spend as long as they don’t exceed the total limit or pay off any outstanding balance if they do exceed the total limit. The most significant difference between these methods is how you set the limits. Both still gives employees control over their funds, but with different budget control levels for employers.
2) Give them the flexibility to spend the money however they want.
Your employees can choose how to spend their funds within limits set. Do they buy gym memberships? Get their teeth cleaned? Purchase a family trip? These are all excellent options.

The reason why flexible benefits are beneficial is simple, and it gives you the ability to increase employee engagement by providing choices. You have the best chance of winning with engaged employees in a competitive market. The more your workers feel like their work matters, the more effort they will put forth to ensure it does.

To summarise, flexible benefits allow your staff to decide what to buy and allocate their funds accordingly while your employees reap the benefits of better morale and productivity.
Kickstart your flexible benefits program with this free checklist.

Why is it important to offer flexible benefits?

To attract and retain top talent, you should expect to compensate them accordingly. In a study by MetLife, 72% of employees said customised benefits increase their loyalty to their employer. This is a big deal because employees who feel valued and appreciated are more likely to be engaged at work, which leads to higher productivity.

With the dawn of the new age, your workforce will most likely be full of millennials. These millennials are more likely to be tech-savvy, innovative, enthusiastic, and confident. By 2030, 75% of millennials will likely make up the workforce. According to a study from Forbes, 89% of Millennials said they would stay longer at their jobs if provided with more benefits. In addition, 83% said a robust benefits package is essential when considering whether to accept an offer from another company..
Carla Yudhishthu, the Vice President of ThinkHR and Mammoth HR, said flexible benefits take many forms. Still, they generally pertain to employee needs associated with work, home life, and future planning. The following list describes some of the more common flexible benefits:

1) Operational benefits (work) include commuter benefits (reimbursements for parking or mass transport costs) and flexible scheduling (flex time, compressed workweeks, shift flexibility, or job sharing). 

This can help cut down on travel costs for employees who must drive long distances to get to work every day, and it may also help them save money on gas, car maintenance, and other expenses related to commuting. Whereas offering flexible working hours allows employees to choose their daily start times. There can be many various incentive programs offered as flexible employee benefits, and they often act as an incentive for employees to keep them thinking about staying with the company.

2) Health and wellness benefits (home life) include employee assistance programs, which provide confidential counselling, self-help, development content, and referrals. Employers may also offer a tax-free reimbursement option for dependent care expenses through a flexible spending account.

3) For retirement and savings benefits (future planning), employers can offer their employees various flexible benefits, including retirement and savings plans such as Malaysia’s EPF (Employees Provident Fund) or Singapore’s CPF (Central Provident Fund).

Automate your flexible benefits with the HealthMetrics Flexible Benefits Module

In today's world, HealthMetrics is constantly looking for ways to make your lives easier. When managing your flexible benefits, we want to avoid unnecessary complicated administrative work. Leave all the heavy-duty administrative duties to us; our NPR (Non-panel reimbursement claim) module aims to provide simple and convenient claim submission through our intuitive portal and mobile application.

For example, if you have a budget of $10,000 but find it challenging to cater to multiple needs such as fitness subsidies, Chinese Traditional Medicine (CTM), dental, optical, etc.  You can now easily create a separate benefits pool and limit the number of people eligible for the benefit, or you can determine the total amount of the benefit and allow your employees to receive it in one lump sum. 
Case study: Company saves 32% of their annual medical utilisation 
Discover how to expand your benefits while keeping them affordable.
Here are the advantages of using our platform, which can be summarised with the HealthMetrics CASE

Customisation: Create custom benefits polls based on your employee needs
Automation: Save time and allow us to approve claims based on your corporate policy
Simplicity: Upload your receipts to the HealthMetrics application to begin the reimbursement
Ease Of Accessibility: Track and manage benefits with HealthMetrics's portal.

Our flexible benefit module plan will enable your organisation to decide what Flexi-benefits best cater to your needs. Here is a quick preview of what you can expect from the Human Resource portal claim submission.
On the employee submission side, employees must snap a photo of their receipt of that particular benefits group, and HealthMetrics will automatically process it. Here is a quick overview of the process of claims submission.

Conclusion

In conclusion, flexible benefits are a great way to attract and retain the best employees and encourage them to stay with your organisation for a long time. 

As an employer, it's crucial to create a workplace that provides your employees with flexibility and a culture that encourages them to take advantage of these benefits. It's also a good idea to communicate to your employees the importance of using their flex time wisely.
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