Unemployment in the UK is currently at its lowest since 1974. That’s just 3.8% of the labour market, according to the Office of National Statistics. Demand for particularly skilled roles is more competitive than ever, we know first-hand!
For business owners, finding and retaining great employees is becoming more challenging. Today, getting the right people involves much more than throwing big numbers around. Of course, pay needs to be competitive to make a role attractive, but retaining the best requires more.
We won’t go into detail about leadership styles and culture, which are of course incredibly important. Today, we’re going to discuss using employee benefits to build a great team and help you stand out from the crowd when it is time to recruit. We’ve broken them down into six sections.
Healthcare and wellbeing
I don’t think anyone would argue against prevention is better than cure with our health!
Offering gym membership has been a popular incentive for larger business for some time, but hasn’t quite crept into all SME culture. For what is ultimately a trivial amount of money every month, everyone can keep fit, stimulated and healthy. There is a strong positive link between good health and employee performance and it might help reduce the number of days people are off sick.
Another simple, cost-effective solution is to try and ensure a positive work-life balance. This can be achieved with additional holidays, such as an extra day off for birthdays. Or, why not let your employees buy and sell holiday as they need it? For each additional day that an employee buys, your salary bill is reduced, saving on national insurance contributions.
Allowing flexible working hours, depending on your industry or profession, can also be beneficial, especially for employees with children or other demands.
But, should something unfortunate happen, offering protection policies can help ensure financial security for your employee and their family.
Income Protection can provide a financial benefit and rehabilitation support if an employee is unable to work due to long-term illness or injury. As an employer, you can arrange a group policy, to simply cover everybody. This can offer real peace of mind for your team.
Death-in-service is an employee benefit which pays a lump-sum, whilst they are in your employment. Of course, they don’t have to be physically at work at the time! The pay-out is typically between two and four times their annual salary.
Enhance their pension
The minimum auto-enrolment pension contributions increased recently from 2 to 3% of relevant income for employers and 3 to 5% for employees. But, why not exceed this and help your team build a secure retirement?
Depending on the structure of your business, you could set up an employee share scheme. This can really help boost morale and productivity of employees as they’re directly invested. Share schemes also have the tendency to increase loyalty and employee retention, but as an employer, you would need to consider dilution of ownership and associated administration costs.
There can be some tax advantages for the business, such as corporation tax relief on the cost of setting the scheme up, as well as the cost of providing free or matching shares. No national insurance is due on the shares either, if particular conditions are met.
It doesn’t just have to be a company car allowance, for the health and environmentally conscious there are cycle to work schemes. Employees get a discount of around 25-39% on the cost of a new bike and accessories and can spread the cost over 12 months.
Again, cycling can improve health and wellbeing, but there are benefits for your business too, such as a reduced need for parking and an obvious environmental benefit.
Depending on where you are located, subsidised travel might be more appropriate to help your employees get around without having to spend their salary income.
The smaller gestures
Can sometimes really add up! Schemes like Perkbox, for example.
Sometimes it’s the little things that make a bigger difference than you realise. A simple Perkbox membership that offers hundreds of discounts and freebies, like a coffee from Caffè Nero can turn into a mini team outing on a Monday morning. It’s social situations like this where really important conversations can happen, the modern-day water-cooler moment!
Benefits for all
Your employees save money, add to their disposable income, improve wellbeing and maintain a better work-life balance. You can boost employee retention, attract the best people, increase morale and build a positive workplace culture. It makes good sense to us, but if you’d like to chat about implementing some employee benefits, please do get in touch.