Home Lifestyle Why the employee benefits revolution is an opportunity to better retain talent in the workplace

Why the employee benefits revolution is an opportunity to better retain talent in the workplace

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Since the first quarter of 2022, we have been experiencing a ‘significant resignation’ episode with the number of people leaving permanent contracts at the highest levels in over 20 years. Faced with this observation, companies must find sustainable ways to attract and retain talent. In this context, employee benefits (meal vouchers, gift vouchers, etc.) have become one of the pillars of the company’s attractiveness as well as a key component of the reward strategy, particularly in sectors under high pressure.

In this inverted balance of power where the employee benefits, we’ve seen a whole new wave of innovation emerge in recent months, revolutionizing the way those benefits are leveraged; Which makes it easy to implement on the business side and above all easier to use on the employee side. Thanks to new solutions such as May or Sesame, it is now possible for an employee to be reimbursed for his restaurants, cinema tickets or train tickets without any action on his part.

A context conducive to reinventing employee benefits

The French state has gradually granted more and more exemptions so that companies can have a positive impact on the purchasing power of their employees. Since the simple meal voucher created in the 1960s, the system has been enriched and today covers eight different universes with vouchers for gifts, culture, holidays, commuting, telework … the whole can represent up to € 10,000 per year per employee in exempt from All social benefits and employer fees. A real asset at a lower cost for corporate social policies.

The employee benefits market has adapted to use: first by moving from paper checks to dedicated payment cards such as the “restau” card, and then to multi-benefit cards such as Swile or Worklife. But the regulatory complexity of the sector remains a major obstacle to its implementation, and the proliferation of benefits and cards has become a real problem for employers.

But in 2019, the entry into force of the second European Directive on Payment Services (PSD2) changed the situation by allowing the opening of bank statements (Open Banking). Some players have seized the opportunity by offering new employee benefits solutions that are completely immaterial and more simple and simply based on the employee bank card. This is the case in May, but it also applies to Sesame or Open Eat, whose offers are currently limited to restaurant vouchers but are gradually expanding to include new benefits.

Towards excessive allocation of employee benefits

With the arrival of this new financial technology, and the days of benefits limited to restaurant vouchers and gift vouchers are over, the offer is made even richer by the gradual incorporation of all the benefits available under French law. Furthermore, some offerings now allow employees to customize their own benefits package. It is a concept known in the sector as ‘flexible utility’ and is already widespread in the Anglo-Saxon and Nordic countries.

This system allows personalization of benefits at the employee level. This is May’s particular value proposition, which has created a universal amount of benefits from which an employee can choose the ones he really needs. Thus, a young working person may choose to spend their cat on a restaurant and telework equipment while a young parent may prefer to pay for their own foster care expenses.

This over-allocation is also a structural change for companies. No need to find the right balance between different benefits, they can simply set the total budget and let their employees choose what they need, thus ensuring their satisfaction. In addition, these new solutions take care of all the complexities of regulatory regimes that must be adhered to.

This table makes it easy to compare different offers on the market according to the number of benefits offered, different means of payment and the freedom that employees leave in their choice of benefits (flexible benefits).

In conclusion, dematerialization and over-personalization mark a new era that makes employee benefits more modern, easier to use, and a key differentiator from the compensation package in employment. And in the face of a persistent inflationary context, there is no doubt that the latter can act as a shield against the erosion of purchasing power. Perhaps we will see a boom in the next few years of new energy systems, basic necessities, and sustainable consumption?

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