Myth 3: Work and life patterns remain constant

The reality…

Work and life patterns have never been more unpredictable and have probably already changed more in the last decade than at any other time. The patterns vary greatly within organisations according to business need and within an employee’s own life circumstances.

Far fewer people have a nine to five, Monday to Friday job these days and this needs to be recognised.

Glenn Coleman, International Benefits Manager at Worldpay, says: “Your circumstances can change on an annual, monthly or even daily basis. The expectation now is that your employer will help you through those times – 20 years ago this wasn’t the case.”

Employees move through different phases of work and life and to retain talent, benefits must be flexed to support them through these changes. Just as the needs have become more varied, so have the options on offer in the form of healthcare, pensions, part-time and flexible working, childcare and many other offers.

Kate Innes, Head of HR at Vertas Group, puts it well: “Benefits shouldn’t be a “one-size-fits-all” approach because again depending on where you are with your career and your lifestyle might depend on which benefits are more attractive to you.”

Expectations have changed and there is a pressing need for employers to respond. It is now understood that good work-life balance delivers engagement, loyalty and productivity. This will mean personalisation of the offer to the employee – personalisation is no longer a choice for employers. It is a necessity in the war for talent.

The lack of diversity within many businesses, particularly at the highest level, shows that there is a key role for HR and payroll to demonstrate flexibility and imagination to keep their best people on board.