Why should companies tailor employee benefits to reflect the changing landscape?

The world is evolving – as a result of technological advancements, this has led to unlimited access to information and exposure to trends, cultures and influences – all at the touch of a button.

This global awareness has resulted in individuals asking more questions and pushing back against the stereotypes they have previously been subjected to – ultimately reshaping societal ‘norms’.

This has had a significant impact on business operations as many corporates are increasingly focused on providing meaningful benefits that are appealing to all age groups, across various demographic profiles.

The traditional ‘one size fits all’ approach fails to meet individual needs and thus fails to foster any real meaningful impact.

The traditional remuneration and benefits model has shifted significantly. Reassessing benefits programmes on an ongoing basis not only strengthens a business’s value proposition to prospective and internal employees, it also ensures an individual’s needs are met – leading to increased retention.


Benefits should reflect a company’s intrinsic values, but it should also be tailored to an individual’s needs. For example, within a South African context, women have generally been at the receiving end of maternity leave (in some cases, unpaid), while men are granted about two weeks – if they’re lucky.

Should this still be standard practice? Are women still considered the child’s primary or sole caretaker? What about same-sex couples? When Ackermans noticed an increase in same-sex parents who adopted little ones, the retailer relooked its maternity leave structure and now provides extended dual-parental leave, which can be shared equally among new parents.

Flexi-hours & working remotely 

Households comprising of two working parents means that more individuals are demanding a better work-life balance.

Presenting employees with the option to work flexible or staggered shifts gives them the freedom to – for example – drop their kids at school, which is not always possible for those tied down to a strict 8am – 5pm work day.

The adoption of work laptops and iPads has also led to more conversations about the reality of working remotely. People want to be valued for the standard of work delivered, rather than the amount of time spent glued to their seats – this means more productivity and time with their families.

Employee growth 

According to an article in Fortune magazine, 40% of America’s Baby Boomers stayed with an employer for more than 20 years – which is no longer the trend with today’s workforce. In order to decrease turnover, it is integral that businesses offer employees growth opportunities like training programmes or mentorships.

Value means different things to different people.

Fred Prince is the Remuneration and Benefits Manager at Ackermans.

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