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The Emotional Impact of Company Car Benefit Design

The Emotional Impact of Company Car Benefit Design

When we talk amongst ourselves about company car fleet and discuss the rewards and challenges of working with car fleets, we often describe it as an emotive subject. We kind of just know that it is emotive. We have been involved in car fleets for so long we are conditioned to accept that it is emotive. But what does this really mean? What emotions are involved and how does it impact the fleet and the way in which it is supplied?

Natural human emotions can be laid very bare when discussing company car reward. The most base emotion tends to be status and recognition. A company car is a very obvious reflection of status. Downplay the importance of this and you could enter a very dangerous place, where competitors will be quick to pick up on a weak car policy and exploit it to their advantage.

Studies by Lex Autolease show that the company car remains an important recruitment tool. Their research found that 64% of employees say the company car is important in their decision to accept a job offer, with nearly 1 in 3 saying it is very important. Indeed, our own clients tell us that the company car element of a total reward package is extremely important and is being increasingly used a recruitment differentiator. In some cases disruptors in the technology sector are offering company car packages in the 95th centile and using it as tool to shake up the market place.

Generating a sense of worth amongst employees is a powerful consequence of a valued company car programme. The same study highlighted that 45% of company car drivers expressed getting a company car as a mark of achievement. Capitalising on this emotion can be a powerful addition to an employer brand. Company cars can be such an emotive subject that failure to acknowledge its impact can easily lead to disharmony in the team. Striving to offer best-in-class car reward can be a valuable aid to recruitment as well helping to manage retention. Why would a company looking to be an employer of choice not want the best reward package that they can deliver? Being seen to take a proactive and progressive approach to company cars can be a powerful tool for retaining key talent and satisfying their wanderlust.

Although we understand the need to manage the emotions around the company car fleet, we also acknowledge the need for cost containment: the sweet spot of actual value balanced with perceived value. This is why we have produced a guide for HR departments to improve the company car offer without increasing the cost. The guide is based around 5 smart policies that will help a company increase the value of the cars they can offer by as much as 50%, but with no additional spend. Now that’s emotional.

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