We live in a world of convenience, where everything is available to us at the touch of a screen and to millennials, who make up 50 percent of the workforce in India, age-old practices like filling up forms are grossly unappealing, to say the least. This is probably why employee tax benefits programmes aren’t finding too many takers.
It is estimated that of the 4-crore salaried employees in India, of which millennials constitute over half the population, only about 10 lakh avail these benefits. To a millennial who’s used to getting instant results without putting in too much effort, it’s almost as if losing money to taxes is worth not having to save bills and fill up claim forms every month.
Millennials are attracted by two things—anything “smart” and the money they get at the end of the month. There is huge potential for a slew of smart benefits that can move employee tax benefits to the digital age. Easy to use benefits can keep millennials happy by helping them save taxes and increasing their yearly take-home by Rs 80,000. Benefits programmes like these can also be used as an effective bargaining tool while hiring millennials.
Imagine for instance a system that allows you to send meal vouchers to your employees’ meal voucher accounts in the cloud meal vouchers being stored digitally in your account in the cloud and employees spending them with a card not very different from their debit or credit cards.
Filing reimbursements can also be entirely digitised, to the point where all an employee will need to do is upload a picture of the bill and key in the details of the purchase, if necessary, into an app. Not only will a system make filing claims easier, when paired with computer vision and machine learning, information can be gathered by studying images phasing out the entire back-end process of manually verifying bills and preparing statements.
Smart benefits would be designed by identifying the root of the problems experienced by employees, and developing digital solutions that allow them to take full advantage of these benefits.
We also estimate that by making employee benefits “millennial-friendly”, HR managers, who are usually in charge of handling these tasks, can save up to 90% of their time and resources. No more paperwork, no more logistic hassles and instant distribution of grants. If you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of the millennials in HR roles cheering.
Making employee benefits millennial friendly is an inclusive process. It gets the rest of the organisation to adapt to newer, more-efficient practices. It won't be long before smart benefits programmes that require little effort from the employee or the employer become the norm and next generation of employees enter the workforce to shake things up again.