Employee benefits – are they up to the job?

As the way many of us work has changed and so should the workplace policies and employee benefits that help to attract and retain employees.

Working out what is important to your team now and in the future will help them to feel valued and appreciated.  Also, with many people working from home or hybrid working arrangements continuing, making sure employees have equal and fair access to benefits is important, therefore flexibility is going to be needed.

Greater flexibility could include allowing people to pick and choose from a range of options, especially health and wellbeing related, to build their own benefits portfolio which can be updated as their life changes. Programmes such as this are best delivered with technology platforms and can be combined with news and information to ensure employers are communicating effectively and to help employees to feel a greater sense of belonging.

Before making any considerable changes to existing employee benefits, it is sensible to consult with staff to gain feedback on the benefits on offer, what they would like to see remain and what other options would be helpful to them in the future.

Employee benefits and working arrangements should work hand in hand. For example, offering an annual rail season ticket loan, cycle to work scheme or company car to employees working from home won’t be seen as a ‘game changer’ in their decision to stay or leave.

What are some of the other benefit options you could consider?  The answer is there are many and some have tax implications which should be made clear to employees before they access them.  Modern benefits include:

• Bonus / share / profit share scheme

• Health benefits such as dental, eye care, health screening and private medical insurance

• Gym membership

• Extra holiday / unlimited holiday / holiday time purchase schemes

• Subscriptions to wellbeing and other health related apps

• Freebies and discounts to brands via Perkbox and other online platforms

• Childcare vouchers

• Enhanced maternity / parental leave

• Car allowance

• Cycle to work scheme

• Commuting discounts / season ticket loan

• At home entertainment subscriptions

For businesses keen to encourage staff back into the workplace then enhanced workplace benefits could be considered such as:

• Food and drink in the workplace

• Concierge type services – parcel collection, dry cleaning drop off etc

• Free parking

• In work entertainment such as pool table, computer games

• Learning and development talks and events

• Allowing pets in the workplace

Ultimately it will come down to cost but reviewing the benefits you offer could provide a great opportunity to engage with employees, retain them for the future and stand out from the crowd to attract new recruits.

Amanda Finn can be contacted at a.finn@gullands.com