In the fast-paced business world, successful companies are paying more and more attention to the well-being of their employees. The international tobacco company JTI (Japan Tobacco International) is one of those companies whose philosophy is based on the belief that the employee is the most important asset of a company.
JTI has been implementing various innovative projects focused on employee welfare for years. In this article, the compensation and benefits manager, Tamar Butsashvili, tells us about the new project called “Flexible Benefits,” which was launched in the company on July 1. The new approach offers employees a different and varied package of benefits and allows each of them to create a combination tailored to their own needs.
“The company’s approach to compensation and benefits is based on two main criteria: external competitiveness and internal fairness. In the compensation part, we ensure compliance with the labor market standards through an annual revision of salaries. However, we believe that in order to ensure a healthy organizational culture, additional benefits are needed, which, like compensation, should be in line with the highest standards, and we think that this is exactly what “Flexible Benefits” helps us with,” she says.
Over the years, JTI employees have enjoyed benefits that included a standard package (see chart 1)
“Despite the fact that the given package of benefits is quite comprehensive, we still had 30% of employees who only used their health insurance, probably the reason behind this was that they were not interested in sports or did not need to activate insurance for their family members additionally. That is why we started working on a new project that aimed to diversify the benefits package so that each employee could find an offer tailored to their interests and needs,” notes Tamuna.
A list of additional benefits was determined directly through employee involvement. An internal survey was conducted throughout the company, according to which it was clear what offers most employees would prefer to be added. Transportation and lunch were highlighted as the most urgent demand.
After the introduction of Flexible Benefits, our benefits package looks like this (see chart 2)
Due to the fact that the health of employees is the number one priority for the company, the principle of optionality did not affect insurance. Therefore, from an employee’s first day working for JTI, the company provides 100% health and life insurance.
It’s worth mentioning here that all employees have the same fixed budget, and together with the standard package, by combining the elements listed above, they can create a desired combination or spend their budget in one direction.
The Flexible Benefits package at JTI has been in place for five months now, and so far, there has been nothing but positive feedback from employees.
“I am satisfied that the model we introduced has been well adapted to our basic principles. On the one hand, it increases our external competitiveness by offering employees a variety of choices. On the other hand, the flexible approach ensures internal fairness because the resources allocated to benefits are distributed equally among employees,” tells us Tamuna.
After the implementation of the project, almost every employee fully utilizes the budget allocated to them, which means that in the updated package, every employee finds an interesting offer.
In the future, the company plans to increase the budget of Flexible Benefits and add various offers to the list according to the wishes of its employees.
JTI is a leading international tobacco company that is present in more than 130 countries and employs more than 46,000 people. In Georgia, JTI has approximately 100 employees. JTI’s portfolio includes the following brands: “Sobranie,” “Winston,” “Camel,” “Winchester,” and “LD.” JTI is also a major player in the vape category with the Logic and Ploom brands. The company’s head office is located in Geneva, Switzerland. www.jti.com