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Wellbeing should be "at the heart" of employee benefits, says Samsung VPHR

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Speaking at HR Tech Europe, Samsung Electronics UK VP HR Tess Smillie said that wellbeing “needs to be at the heart of your benefits strategy”.

She said with the increasingly blurred boundaries of work life and personal life she encourages business to “push your employees to look after themselves”. 

Samsung Electronics UK has launched an employee-led benefits scheme that allows staff to take ownership of their benefits package. Smillie said the company wanted to show its employees that they take benefits seriously. 

“When you ask your employees to work hard and long hours – which we do as a technology company – you need to show them that you care and want to take some of the pressure off them,” she added. 

Smillie said that Samsung Electronics aimed to create something that would make its employees lives easier. It wanted to provide workers with a diverse range of benefits to support the different demographics in the workforce.

“Generations X and Y are increasingly joining us through the graduate scheme and we have a high population of older workers. They are at different stages in their lives and value different benefits,” she said. 

Samsung Electronics’ benefits package became a “pick and mix” system where employees would choose the benefits to suit their current situation. They can then review and change their selection on an annual basis. 

Smillie said: “We knew it had to be a menu approach, and it had to be timely and tailored.” However, she said the company was mindful that it didn’t get to a point where employees are overwhelmed with the amount of choice. 

For businesses wanting to create an employee-led benefits offering Smillie said it has to be a “very detailed two-way communication and multi-channelled approach”. 

“It can’t be an HR strategy or an HR solution, it has to be embedded in the business,” she added.