Employee Benefits

Although many organisations believe that they will incur significant costs if they offer employee benefits, the reality is that the more benefits an employer takes, the more savings the company can generate for its business and employees James Malia, head of P&MM employee benefits explains.

The future of business
I suspect that too many organisations are overlooking the future of their staff at present.

Today, attracting and retaining staff may not seem to be high on the agenda with the economy and job market static.

However, as prospects for growth emerge and employment also grows, employers need to be ready for these changes. As research from the CIPD suggests that more than a third of employees plan to leave their current employment when the job market lifts, the result would mean a bill of more than £63 billion for employers to foot.

Therefore in order to retain those they want to keep and to be highly competitive in attracting new staff, employers need to have the best employee packages in place well before the market turns upwards.

Whilst investing in staff may seem to be a costly overhead, it is actually an investment. Motivated and valued staff are more likely to remain loyal to their employer and are less likely to leave.

Businesses must consider creative ways to retain key staff, attract new talent and maintain a motivated workforce – without them costing much money. In turn, this will support the organisation by improving morale and reducing sickness and absenteeism.

Pay rises and bonuses are becoming increasingly rare, meaning smaller sized enterprises often miss out on the best staff, either by not attracting them in the initial stages or by losing them to those businesses which do.

Companies can increase the value of the overall package offered to staff by adding employee benefits. These can be used to retain existing staff and attract new talent by hooking them in with valuable, everyday benefits that other employers may not match. This enables businesses effectively to give their staff a pay rise, yet one which is cost neutral and could even save them money thanks to the National Insurance (NI) savings.

With many smaller employers traditionally ignoring employee benefits due to perceptions of them being too expensive, not relevant to their staff, or just too complicated, invaluable opportunities to help staff save money, and also generate employer savings may be missed. New products have recently been introduced to enable smaller organisations to offer benefits at virtually no cost, and compare with deals offered by larger employers. The key is in the tax and NI savings.

The range of employee benefits available is now extensive and there is something to put a smile on every employee’s face, regardless of their personal interests. Products and schemes available include corporate gym memberships, employee discount schemes, travel clubs, and even new salary sacrifice schemes that offer reduced priced smart phones or state-of-the-art laptops and these can make a noticeable difference to an employees’ lifestyle.

The more benefits an employer takes the more savings the company can generate for its business and its employees. Many employers are surprised to learn that delivering employee benefits costs them little or nothing to implement, meaning the advantages are far reaching.

Businesses should consider their own and their employees’ needs to establish the most appropriate benefits to offer.

The recent emergence of low cost, off-the-shelf reward and benefit solutions designed to suit smaller organisations and emerging businesses mean that rather than trying to manage the different component benefits – which can prove surprisingly costly, particularly in terms of time – a packaged employee benefits solution can ensure that benefits become accessible. New ranges such as Essentials now mean that smaller sized organisations have flexible access to different levels of employee benefits, whilst having the advantage of monthly payment plans and no long-term contracts or set-up fees.

A competitive employee benefit package has significant power not only to attract the best, but also to retain the best. For businesses today, loyal and productive employees are vital weapons in their armoury and can impact on a company’s chance of survival.