How P&V Cafeteria Plan supports stronger employee engagement
For the Belgian insurance company P&V, its cafeteria plan was a way to kill more than two birds with one stone. It allows the company to distinguish itself on the labour market, to harmonise its Comp & Ben policy and to introduce a new mobility policy.
And it did so successfully. At the end of 2019, P&V won the Corporate HR Award in the Employee Engagement category for its cafeteria plan. Ann Van Buggenhout (pictured), HR Manager Compensation & Benefits, explains how P&V’s plan is different.
“The plan is based on the idea of continuous shopping,” she said. Employees can make their choices on an online platform at any time of the year. This online platform resembles online shopping websites.
The cafeteria plan tool was developed by Unbox, a company that has since been taken over by SD Worx.
All bonuses and benefits have been transferred into the tool and new ones have been added. The car leasing option proves to be particularly popular but leasing bicycles and IT devices also features high on the list, as does the option to buy additional holidays and trainings.
Public transport is not included in the cafeteria plan as P&V already provides full reimbursement for public transport, a strategy the company has chosen to continue. Picking a mobility option in the cafeteria plan does not affect eligibility for public transport reimbursement.
As the introduction of the cafeteria plan entailed a big cultural change in how bonuses and benefits were to be paid and spent, it was essential to get everyone on board.
“In all steps of the process,” said Ms Van Buggenhout, “we included HR, Legal, Procurement, Fleet, Accounting and Corporate Tax. Internal Communication also soon became an important actor.”
Before the launch, a large-scale communication campaign was set up, including a real-life marketplace where staff could discover the new benefits and the new tool.
Car leasing soon proved to be the most popular option. As sustainability is an important overarching objective for P&V, powertrain options are limited to petrol cars or plug-in hybrids.
“Fully electric cars are also an option, but they’re still in the low numbers,” said Ms Van Buggenhout.
That may change once charging stations have been installed at the company’s offices. “There’s more to it than just installing charging stations, though. We also need to instate a policy determining who can use them, how long people can occupy a spot at a charging state, where they should move their car once it is fully charged, …”
Introducing a cafeteria plan was never about savings, explained Ms Van Buggenhout. “The aim was to make it a powerful tool that helps us achieve higher employee engagement.”
Winning the HR Excellence Award certainly suggests it was the right strategy to get there.
P&V's cafeteriaplan provides staff with a credit that can be spent freely in an online tool. The credit is made up of all previous bonuses and benefits. Spending options:
The options in the cafeteriaplan are reviewed regularly. Public transport is not part of the plan as it is always fully reimbursed for all staff.