Valuing staff benefits at just one click of a mouse

Employees don’t come much more financially astute than those at the London
Stock Exchange (LSE). And in a highly competitive recruitment marketplace, the LSE
knows that if it is to attract and retain top calibre staff, it must have a
benefits package that lives up to the expectations of such a dynamic and driven
talent pool.

"Benefits ownership is extremely important to us as an
organisation," says Tim Wright, head of HR at the LSE. "We need to
communicate our benefits effectively to ensure employees know exactly what
their benefits are worth, now as well as in the future."

Communicating the value of its benefits-rich package lay at the heart of the
LSE’s move to an online system, which also assisted the transition to a
flexible benefits system for more than 500 staff in January this year. The
system is designed and powered by 4th Contact, a benefits management technology
provider, and is based on its ‘Working Wealth’ software.

"The LSE had an admin-heavy, paper-based, one-size fits-all benefits
scheme that didn’t communicate its total rewards scheme well to
employees," says Richard Blundell, executive vice-president sales and
co-founder of 4th Contact, who has been involved with the LSE’s implementation
from the beginning. "The business was aware that full remuneration over
and above the salary was significant, but staff weren’t aware of this."

Employees can now see the value of their package at the click of the mouse
and can choose the benefits that best suit their lifestyle each year, all from
the privacy and comfort of their own PC. Benefits include a discretionary bonus
linked to individual and company-wide performance, a non-contributory pension
scheme, a season ticket to cover travel expenses to work, private healthcare,
life assurance, 25 days annual holiday, gym membership, company cars and season
ticket loans.

There are also a number of share plans for employees and the Working Wealth
software will pull the values directly from the LSE’s stock prices on the
internet. "Feedback has been excellent, and the take-up more than 95 per
cent (ie, 95 per cent of staff changed the make-up of their previous package).
This suggests the system is both informative and intuitive," says

The system runs on 4th Contact’s servers and is hosted by Star Internet at a
secure data centre. Employees log in using a unique username and password from
work or home via the internet. Based on the log-in, the system builds the
content specific to that employee in the brand of ‘Select Plus’, which was
specifically designed for the LSE. The data is maintained by interfaces to the
internal HR and payroll systems and to those of external providers such as the
save-as-you-earn administrator. Pension fund prices are updated daily and the
share prices three times a day.

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