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  • Oct 4, 2022

  • 6 min read

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What are employee benefits and why are they important?

Your future employees are looking for more than just a good salary, and with ⅓ of the current UK workforce considering a career change in 2022 it's more important than ever to stand out from the crowd. People want to work for a company that genuinely cares about its people AND the planet, and 75% of employees are more likely to stay with their employer because of their employee benefits package.

If you’re keen to attract the best talent, keep them happy, and encourage a workplace culture that aligns with your business goals, then it's time to invest in a great employee benefits scheme. We can help!

What are employee benefits?

Did you know that some employee benefits are required by law, but the rest are completely up to you? Some of the statutory benefits include pension contributions, paid annual leave, and parental leave. Every business will have its own company ethos and unique team requirements, so it's a good idea to offer a more personalised benefits scheme that is relevant to your staff.

A good employee benefits package includes a mix of perks that should appeal to your employee demographics, so consider benefits that cover areas like health and wellbeing, work-life balance, sustainability, the environment, travel, and pay awards.

Why are employee benefits important?

Employee benefits make your team feel engaged and encourage a positive workplace culture that aligns with your company’s values and overall business mission.

What is the purpose of employee benefits?

Employee benefits also attract new staff. More than ever, talent is looking for companies that offer attractive benefits as well as a good salary. They want to feel part of a business that genuinely cares about its people, will help them grow and succeed, and cares about doing good in the world too. This includes greener business practices and encouraging environmental changes. Let’s outline how employee benefits help your business:

  • They attract and retain top talent and showcase your modern company that understands what’s important to your employees.
  • A team with a good benefits package feels appreciated and will stay engaged, be happier, more productive and work better together overall. By providing well-considered and varied benefits you’ll show your employees that their contributions are noticed and valued.
  • Employee benefits are important to maintain a great team culture and to reflect your company values. Are you committed to net zero? Are you serious about promoting good mental health? Are you on a mission to be the best at what you do? Benefits that encourage staff to engage and contribute towards these goals help your company's mission.

Why should employers offer a benefits package?

You might think that benefits are just an added bonus for companies that can afford to splash some extra cash. But, a small investment in a benefits scheme now can reap huge rewards in employee recruitment, engagement, and business success for years to come. And some benefits don’t even cost your company anything at all, like salary sacrifice schemes that come out of your employee's paychecks and only require minimum admin from your side.

What should be included in an employee benefits package?

When thinking about what to include in your employee benefits package, it’s important to ask your staff what they value so you can make it beneficial to them. You might want to ask questions on benefits as part of staff surveys or create workshops or online forums to collect opinions on employee benefits.

Also, think about what’s important to you as a business and what sort of company culture you want to see, and choose benefits that align with both your company's needs and what your employees want. Some suggestions on benefits include:

1. Health and wellbeing

Looking after the health and well-being of your team is key to a healthy, happy, and engaged crew. Think about what you can offer and what your staff might like. This can include perks like a gym membership, private health care, mental health days, or free, healthy lunches.

2. Sustainability and environmental issues

Employees really connect with companies that are just as passionate and committed to environmental issues and sustainability as they are. Show off your green credentials by adding more eco-friendly benefits and you’re good to go.

This can be anything from volunteering days for environmental charities, a cycle-to-work scheme, to an ultra-modern EV salary sacrifice scheme. Not only will you and your team save big money on tax and national insurance contributions (see more on Benefit in Kind for electric cars) but you’ll give your team access to top-quality electric cars while helping to save the planet at the same time. Find out more on the cost savings of EV salary sacrifice compared with a petrol car on a personal lease.

3. Work-life balance

A good work-life balance is a top priority for employees. Benefits that show your staff they are trusted to do a good job and that you care about their personal life will make them feel appreciated. This can include promoting flexible work schedules, unlimited holidays, more generous parental leave or dedicated time for personal projects.

To stay on track, review your benefits package regularly through ongoing staff surveys and feedback channels. This will help you offer work perks that continue to be effective while improving your benefits scheme for future recruits.

If you want to attract and retain top talent, engage your team, and align workplace culture with your company goals, investing in a wide range of employee benefits is necessary. By adding perks like health and wellbeing, sustainability, and work-life balance, your team will feel appreciated. A well thought out and well rounded employee benefits scheme can make a huge difference to your people, the planet, and ultimately the success of your business.