A massive 78% of candidates looking for work rate employee benefits highly in their decision making to take a new role and 75% of employees are more likely to stay with an employer due to their benefits package. Only large organisations can afford to provide this sort of thing for employees, right?.........Not necessarily, there are lots of benefits you can put in place without breaking the bank that your employees will appreciate.

Here are three key things to consider if you want to put something in place but don’t know where to start:

1 – The importance of Employee Benefits

2 – Budgeting and establishing what to offer           

3 – Tell your employees all about it!

1 – The Importance of Employee Benefits

Gone are the days where just offering a good salary was enough. A survey by Aviva found that whilst salary is still important, annual leave levels matters the most to employees with 44% of those surveyed identifying it as one of the workplace benefits of greatest interest to them. This was following closely by a good Company Pension (41%) and flexible work options being available (39%).

Less popular options included workplace social events which were things employees said would happily go without. On that basis, it does make you wonder why so many organisations spend a small fortune each year on things like this which employees say they don’t add anything for them.

It will probably come as no surprise that employees are now favouring wellness based benefits such as subsidised gym memberships, mindfulness courses and work flexibility to help them achieve a better work life balance in the “constantly switched on” culture we now live in.

2 – Budgeting and establishing what to offer

Whatever the size of your organisation and budget, it’s important to make sure that whatever you invest in is what your employees WANT so that you get value from your investment. My simple top tip is to get employee input - ask them what they want with a view to provide those things, rather than wasting money on initiatives that won’t add any value.

Once you know what your employees would like, you can evaluate what you can offer, planning out the costings and timescales for implementation. Remember, if there are things that you are not able to offer now (or at all), give that feedback so employees can see that full consideration has been given.

Remember, not everything that is a considered an employee benefit must carry a direct financial cost to the business. For example, you may look to implement a lieu time scheme or a flexible working approach such as working from home as a couple of examples if your business can accommodate them - flexibility outside of working a fixed 9-5 day is high on many employee agendas these days, as is having the flexibility to work somewhere other than in the office.

3 – Tell your employees all about it!

Lots of employees in businesses will tell you they don’t have any employee benefits on offer. Many may do but they aren’t aware of them due to lack of communication. It isn’t the best strategy to keep your employee benefits as your best kept secret - tell everyone about them to enable all employees to be aware of them and choose whether to take part or not. There are lots of ways to do this at different touchpoints with your employees such as during your recruitment and/or induction process, as part of your internal communications or as a note on payslips amongst others.

To bring things to a close, I hope this blog has given a different perspective around the topic of employee benefits. If you would like to explore this subject further, get in touch with Kat on 07738 050147 or email to kat@blackkat-hr.com.