In today's competitive and global marketplace, employees have more choice when choosing what job they'd like to commit to. There are many questions to consider: is it purely money driven? Do they consider the holistic remuneration package including employee benefits, or are they altruistic and want a job that is for the greater good of society? In addition, how do you retain your top talent and avoid them jumping ship?
Are employee benefits the bee end and end all of a job or job prospect? When looking for a new role, should these benefits or perks be the make or break deciding factor? Or are employee benefits just a nice thing to have? Many small businesses and start-ups, with obvious reason, adopt a penny-wise approach which may be short sighted and initially boost their bottom line, but they fail to look long term at the many advantages and competitive edge which they may actually be known for.
So, what exactly are Employee Benefits?
Employee Benefits are additional non-wage incentives and compensation provided to employees by an employers in addition to regular salary and wages. These benefits are designed to help attract, retain and engage your staff and ensure they are motivated within their role. Employee benefits are also designed to help give an organisation a competitive edge over other similar companies in the industry as well as can show your team that you care and value them.
Different types of Employee Benefits
Employee Benefits come in many different forms and can be packaged in a bespoke way to compliment a particular business offering. There is no "one-size fits all" employee benefits package, so companies can pick and choose which elements they'd like to include when designing and building their employee benefits strategy.
There are both common and comprehensive benefits which can be offered. Common benefits may include flexible working hours, additional holidays and time off, healthcare, enhanced maternity pay above SMP and a well-contributed pension scheme. An employee discounts and savings portal can also fall under common employee benefits where employees have access to discounted offers on high street brands, retail offers, cheaper cinema tickets as well as travel and finance packages.
A more comprehensive employee benefits scheme may include voluntary benefits which can include cycle to work schemes, car leasing options, childcare vouchers, technology savings and Employee Assistance Programmes. These may often also be referred to as Salary Sacrifice benefits / schemes as they offer both the employee and employer discounted pricing and convenience. Employees can contribute to these products and packages via discounted monthly deductions through their payroll so they can enjoy the benefits of what they would usually be spending on.
Why should I offer Employee Benefits?
Some start-ups and businesses may view these benefits as an unnecessary cost which they can't afford or justify... however the pros definitely seem to outweigh the cons. There are a host of positives such as improved employee recruitment and retention, improved wellness, performance and productivity, adding value to your employees' disposable income, increased engagement and motivation during working time as well as the opportunity to create a coherent and passionate corporate culture.
And yes, there are also benefits for the employer! Think reduced employee absenteeism, staff turnover and churn, having an engaged workforce who enjoy coming to work and a motivated corporate culture.
10 companies offering innovative employee benefits
Below are some great examples of UK based companies which offer both common and out of the box employee benefits for their employees:
- Airbnb offers their employees £1,413 travel credit per year so they can travel and see the world. They also offer free meals and the much loved, dog-friendly office space.
- Skyscanner has negotiated amazing employee discounts at local beauty salons and pubs near to their offices for their employees' enjoyment and benefit.
- The Body Shop incentivises and pays their staff for five full days of volunteering at a cause close to their heart per year.
- Opus Professional Services has a villa in the heart of Italy which is on offer to their employees free of charge whenever they wish to use it.
- Visualsoft offers their employees unlimited holidays and unmonitored flexi-time, as and when they need it.
- Allen & Overy provide an on-site GP and dentist to help keep their employees' health in top shape.
- ASOS offer their team 40% off their website purchases.
- Jagex encourages their team to cycle to work and keep fit by offering free bicycle repairs at the office.
- Holiday Extras loves their family days and hires our a cinema every year and offers free films to their staff and their extended families.
-John Lewis' employees are all partners and have incredible benefits. One to highlight is the option to join a sailing club where members have access to 5 Partnership owned yachts on the Solent.
Staff Treats is a leading Employee Benefits provider offering over 3,000 exclusive employee benefits and perks which are brilliant for engagement. If you'd like to find out more, simply download our exclusive e-Book on Employee Benefits with a case study from KidZania.