Flexible scheme provides an ideal 'carrot'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 November, 2007, 12:00am

Corporations have always been effective at communicating their brands to external customers but championing the brand within the company has largely been left on the backburner.

But the flexible benefits scheme is now providing a viable platform on which organisations can effectively promote their ethos to their workforce.

'Anyone recruiting in Hong Kong or China will understand how critical it is to find a 'carrot' to hold out to a prospective or current employee - beyond monetary inducements,' said Debora Chatwin, an HKIHRM Annual Conference speaker and managing director of Enterprise IG in Hong Kong, a specialist in brand building.

'The greater the understanding of the organisation on the part of the employees, the greater the chance of creating what is referred to as internal brand champions, the type of employees who possess an ability to build relationships with customers.'

Careful design and communication of the scheme lie at the crux of making the programme a success, said Rajesh Daswani, another HKIHRM Annual Conference speaker and a Singapore-based senior consultant at Towers Perrin, a consultancy specialising in improving the performance of companies through people, risk and financial management. 'The impact of getting these things right is that employees see more relevance and attach more value in their benefits.'

Technology is pivotal in fuelling growth of the scheme through personalised information to employees on rewards and benefits, the provision of tools and support to help staff make decisions, the automation of transactions and collation of data that enable employers to understand more about the needs of employees.

Marcus Underhill, head of consulting at Vebnet, a British-based provider of technology and services for flexible benefits, said the financing model there used to be based on a large systems set-up cost, often accompanied by a large consulting cost. Now the model is a low set-up cost, productised consulting (consulting based on specific products focusing on a specific area) by providers or consultants with a license fee for systems provision. Mr Underhill will also speak at the annual conference.