Employees are demanding. Fickle. Selfish. And rightly so. If you’re a business owner or a HR Manager, you’ll have negotiated your fair share of benefits, packages and rewards over the years. And you’ll know that some benefits are more valuable than others.
So how exactly do you build a benefits scheme that attracts the best people, breeds loyalty and keeps the finance team happy?
Here’s how to structure a benefits scheme that works for your business and your employees (not one that just ticks a few boxes).
1. Boring is better
Everyone likes a free lunch, right? Or a snack bar? Free drinks maybe? A pool table? These type of quick-fix benefits sound great but they have downsides too:
a) They may attract the wrong kind of employees; people who are motivated by quick-fixes and instant gratification
b) They take time and effort to maintain (think constant stocking up, cleaning out yukky fridges, catering for ALL the dietary requirements)
c) Satisfaction is short-lived and staff start to take the freebies for granted so it fails to act as a long-term motivator
Your team might not get excited about some of the more boring benefits like income protection and life insurance. But long-term, meaningful, ‘in-sickness-and-in-health benefits’ engender loyalty and make employees much more likely to stay.
2. Start with what you can afford
Like anything in business, it pays to have goals and a plan. You may not be able to afford your ideal employee benefits scheme right now. And that’s ok. Start by working out what you can afford and allocate a budget.
Map out a simple 5-year plan and start with the end in mind; in an ideal world what benefits would you LOVE to be able to offer your team? Start simple and then build on it, adding new benefits each year.
Top Tip: Pick benefits you can add new staff to easily (e.g. group schemes that need little or no individual policy underwriting).
3. Start with Life Insurance
According to analysis carried out by The Knowledge Academy’s on data from Capita, 34.5% of UK employees chose Life Insurance as the benefit they’d most like to see as part of their benefits package.
Group Life, also known as Death in Service, isn’t something that anyone wants to think about. Let’s face it, it’s not really a staff ‘perk’, but it does provide a huge amount of reassurance for an employee and their family. It’s also one of the easiest and cheapest benefit schemes to put in place and most schemes come with a complimentary Employee Assistance Programme.
4. Healthy employees mean healthy business
After Life Insurance, we recommend adding health insurance (or group health insurance as it’s officially known) because it benefits your employees and your business. Paid for healthcare gives your employees (and their families, if covered) speedy access to treatment. Which means your employees benefit from shorter waiting lists and you benefit from reduced absence because staff will return to work faster.
Top tip: Health Insurance doesn’t have to cost your business anything. You can set up a voluntary scheme where individuals choose to opt-in and premiums are deducted from their salary. Or you can opt for a paid scheme where you pay premiums on behalf of your employees.
5. Just ask
You might worry about bringing up the subject of employee benefits for fear of highlighting a current lack of benefits. But, asking your team what benefits they’d like to see, shows you’re serious and you care about what matters to them. And you might just be surprised by the results.
Top Tip: Ask all interviewees what their top three employee benefits would be so you can evolve your benefits package over time.
Get in touch today to discuss how we can help you develop a stand out employee benefits scheme for your business.