A Business Leader’s Guide to Putting Employee Benefits at The Front of Everyone’s Mind

Employees are arguably the backbone of any successful business; they are crucial in supporting an organisations growth and prosperity. What business could thrive without its loyal staff?

Therefore, employee benefits are paramount in the attainment of your company’s goals. Many businesses offer some form of benefit package, be they costly such as paid sick leave or somewhat inexpensive such as casual dress or flexible working hours.

What Are Employee Benefits?

Benefits – also known as perks or fringe benefits – are provided in addition to salaries or wages. They are often non-cash provisions that do have some cost for the employer. They can include things like overtime, medical insurance, and retirement schemes to name a few – a more exhaustive list can be found here.

Offering benefits shows employees that they are valued, it can also help to attract and retain talent. This results in a lower turnover meaning that although there is a cost to a benefits package, it will be largely offset in the money saved on hiring and training new recruits as this will not happen as often. The employee loyalty that comes from this means that the team you have built will be deeply knowledgeable within their roles, often more productive, and there is usually better attendance from staff.

What To Consider When Choosing Benefits for Staff:

Firstly, why offer that specific benefit? Does it support business goals? Is it an appropriate reward for employees? Secondly, how does it fit into HR or current reward strategies? Will it be valued by those implementing and receiving it? Thirdly, how will it be launched? Who is involved? Does the launch team have the skills required to successfully introduce the benefit scheme?

If you don’t have the time to manage employee benefits in-house, then outsourcing is always an option. You can simply use flexible employee benefits providers such as Zest, an employee benefits platform with over a decade of experience. They can help you to find innovative ways to enrich the working lives of your team while saving you time and effort.

Lastly, do the employees have the knowledge, skill and attitudes needed to make informed decisions on the receipt of this benefit? It is vital that employees understand what they are being offered as benefits only serve to incentivise when they are known to staff. The two biggest reasons why staff do not take advantage of benefit packages are lack of interest – they feel the benefit is irrelevant to them and their needs – and a lack of information as to what is available to them. This stems from a disconnect between the staff and the business leaders.

There are a few ways to ensure that your staff are educated on their entitlement:

  • Have a benefits communication plan crafted in plain language or provide training and education on the benefits offered for those that may need it.
  • An annual assessment of the usage of a benefit and whether it is still useful and important to employees.
  • Minimise paperwork on accessing a benefit as much as possible as paperwork can be seen as an obstacle in obtaining the benefit.
  • Cater your benefit package. Benefits do not always match the needs or wants of employees. Listen to what your employees want when designing your offering. Conduct research within your organisation. Utilise benefits technology that makes enrolment and tracking easier.

In Summary

Overall, employee benefits are not simply beneficial for the employee, and employers also profit when they provide employee benefits. Providing benefits boosts morale, leads to higher retention within the workforce and also bolsters productivity. Therefore, it is deeply important to educate the staff on what is available to them, so that they can keep this in mind.