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Focus on Benefits: How To Keep Staff Happy

On15/ 03 /16

How important are work benefits really?

Whilst salary is the key consideration for many workers when choosing a new position, it seems that benefits can't be ignored. According to the latest ‘Voluntary Work Benefits’ survey, 75 per cent of respondents viewed a company's benefits package as either 'extremely' or 'very important' in their decision to take a new job. 

But that's not all; good benefits package have also shown to help companies retain happy, committed workers for the long term. 

So how should businesses go about shaping their benefits package?

Selecting the right benefits

First of all, employers need to consider the demographic profile of their workforce. Clearly, not everyone is looking for the same benefits and workers will have different priorities at different times in their lives. Companies therefore need to devise a package tailored to their workforce.

1. Health and wellbeing

It will come as no surprise that healthcare tops the list of most desirable benefits. After all, health problems can have serious implications on a worker's security, financial and otherwise. Whilst, healthcare packages can be costly, they give employees peace of mind and consequently can act as a trump card when it comes to hiring.

Health benefits don’t have to stop at private plans or insurance. Many firms use schemes to actively encourage exercise, offering subsidised gym membership and cycle to work incentives. Elsewhere, perks such as free fresh fruit support healthy eating. When all is said and done, shaping your benefits package with health in mind sends a clear message that you care about the well being of your employees.

2. Security

A good pension plan also comes high on the list of desirables. A change in the law means that it will be now compulsory for employers to offer a work pension, however the generosity of packages will vary.

Young workers may not be quite as concerned by the particulars of their package as older workers. Nevertheless, companies looking to encourage retention should ensure their pension plan supports this aim.

3. Family Benefits

The pressures of juggling work and family are high these days so anything that lightens the load can be very attractive to employees. A generous maternity packet and childcare vouchers can make all the difference when it comes to choosing a new position. Additionally, it shows the company supports working families.

4. Flexible Working

Thanks to technology, the way we work is constantly evolving and flexible working is becoming increasingly popular. 

It may not be appropriate for every industry, however in theory flexible working can make a tangible difference to the lives of your employees with no additional outlay. What is more, firms with flexible work policies can really stand out from the competition.

5. Benevolent Schemes

If you're looking for a benefit that cultivates good feeling and makes a difference, then charity schemes and volunteering tick all the boxes. 

Benevolent schemes not only make your employees feel good, but also create great positive PR for the company. Volunteering on company time also allows your employees to learn new skills and enrich their lives.

Pulling it all together

When it comes to formulating your benefits package, achieving balance is key. 
It's all about taking a detailed look at the needs and desires of your staff and where possible trying to satisfy these within your available resources.

Overall the package you chose needs to demonstrate that you appreciate your employees and are keen to reward them. At the same time, you want to put your best foot forward as a company, showing the organisation's values.

Creating an attractive benefits package will take time and thought, however the potential rewards are huge. Get it right and you could make your company a truly desirable place to work!
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