Benefits used to have clear goals and objectives: to create comfortable conditions for teamwork, thereby increasing loyalty, work satisfaction and efficiency; in turn, boosting the company's competitiveness in the labour market.
However, since the start of a full-scale war, the meaning of benefits has shifted. Based on our experience, they have become indispensable, at times offering crucial assistance to specialists. Additional support for employees is much-needed. They can be a decisive factor in evaluating and choosing a company. It appears necessary, therefore, to approach their development, or creation from scratch, with maximum responsibility.
Now is the time to work on the system of benefits
Our internal statistics show that with the outbreak of the full-scale war, the demand for company benefits has increased by at least 20%. It hardly comes as a surprise that in difficult times people want to use all opportunities available to them to improve their situation and that of their relatives, loved ones, and country.
The growing demand for benefits shows that professionals are seeking support. They are particularly expecting it from the companies to whom they give their resources and time. That is why we believe that after the first chaotic months of the full-scale war, focusing on the systematic support of their teams is now perhaps the most important task for businesses. The provision of a safe environment, relocation, assistance to families and so on is of paramount importance. This investment will be duly appreciated and is certain to pay off in the long term.
Ask your team about their desired benefits
We have not once witnessed companies offering only what might be considered textbook benefits: insurance, training, standard corporate events, etc. While some of these are indeed indispensable, we should reassess their relevance and also demand additional opportunities. It’s all about timing: the team will not only ignore superfluous benefits but may also find them irritating, as they are presented as great opportunities but are actually of little practical use.
Asking people directly about their needs is probably the best solution. Don’t be afraid to encourage as many people as possible to come up with the most daring suggestions. It might take some time to process all the answers, but the results are sure to amaze you. This approach will make it possible to formulate a genuinely relevant offer, eliminating the benefits that seemed to be important but, in reality, were irrelevant to the team.
Just as people change over time, so do their needs. This also goes for professionals and their needs for benefits. When you have a family, you need to care for their health and well-being. When you relocate to another city or country, you need new knowledge.
The benefits system should therefore adapt to the people it serves, not the other way around. To track these changes, you need to look carefully at opportunity usage statistics, consider the overall context, and, most importantly, constantly ask for feedback. The success of the first iteration does not guarantee long-term quality.
Consider the local context
Our experience shows that most new benefit requests currently relate to relocating to another country. Mobility needs, additional learning, financial and legal consultations, and therapy sessions are all becoming increasingly relevant. At the same time, geographically expanding the available opportunities is vital so that people do not feel deprived just because they have been forced to abandon everything.
When scaling the benefits system, it is necessary to account for local conditions, particularly the market and relevant legislation. For instance, certain medical services or rental properties may not be available in some countries.
In addition, it is worth exploring what competitors offer. If there seem to be certain standard offers established in the market, they should also be considered in your benefits system to remain competitive.
Parimatch Tech Experience
Last year, we at Parimatch Tech completely reformatted our system of additional services and created the Benefit Cafeteria, where each specialist can choose personalized opportunities. The program includes sports, medical compensation, massages, dentistry, car maintenance and insurance, cleaning services, sports equipment, kindergarten, legal assistance, therapy sessions, security services, veterinary clinic services, and an additional budget for education. Novel options within the Cafeteria include co-working and the PM Rocks Music club expense compensation.
These services are tailored to each specialist in addition to existing common internal corporate benefits and activities, including lectures on the history of Ukraine and financial literacy, English-speaking clubs, first-aid training, etc.
By taking the number of available options, our teams have begun to use their benefits more often. Their satisfaction with the services has increased accordingly. It has undoubtedly affected both the quality of work and the overall team spirit.
Since the start of the full-scale invasion, the needs of our specialists have changed significantly, and we have reacted quickly. We saw that the demand for mobility among specialists has greatly increased. Therefore, car insurance and servicing have seen a corresponding increase in demand.
Health insurance, a basic package before the war, has become another challenge. It turned out to be extremely difficult to provide a similar service to specialists abroad. This is why we initially compensated the costs of treatment and also later added travel insurance for 30 or 90 days, which covers emergency cases. This was considered necessary, as our internal statistics show that healthcare has remained a clear priority for many people.
As part of the Benefit Cafeteria, health insurance is available for those in Ukraine. It is possible to choose from two insurance companies (each providing basic and premium coverage).
The current goal is to consolidate the Benefit Cafeteria’s offerings across all of our locations. They will not be 100% similar due to the specific local legislation and cultural differences, but it is our top priority, however, to provide equal opportunities for all of our teams, regardless of where they are based.