Whether it’s a range of nice coffees, a membership at a fancy gym or even unlimited annual leave – what’s the actual point of employee benefits?
We all love them, especially when we’re on the receiving end of them. However, from a management standpoint, employee benefits can look very different. The main concern around implementing employee benefits is the cost. At the end of the day, you’re managing a business – can you really justify further expenses on your employees?
The answer? Yes. First things first, providing your employees with benefits, be that a 40% staff discount like ASOS or offering your team £1,500 to travel and see the world like Airbnb, is one of the biggest factors that employees consider when they’re offered a position at a company. In fact, 68% of employees who took part in a study have said they’d take a job with an employer that offers good benefits – even if this meant a lower salary than they would like.
But that isn’t the only upside to staff benefits. Not only are additional benefits more enticing to future employees, but they also keep your current employees happier and more satisfied with their place of work. 69% of staff who took part in the same study also said they would be more likely to stay with an employer that offered good benefits. This means not only do staff benefits increase the appeal of working for your company, they can also increase loyalty and focus in your employees.
One of the biggest positive aspects that come with additional employee benefits is the improved well-being of your employees. Don’t forget that your team are people too, and can be distracted at work due to worrying about things in their personal life – such as childcare, healthcare and financial problems.
Implementing employee benefits, such as adequate childcare or dental and optical insurance, can be a saving grace for your employees, and can lead to higher levels of focus and productivity. It’s important to take into consideration how health and wellbeing benefits can have a positive impact on productivity and improve the overall mental and physical health of your employees.
These can include:
– Mindfulness time, allowing your employees to have time to realign themselves physically and mentally.
– Yoga classes
– Regular HR catch ups, providing employees with a chance to talk through professional or personal issues they may be experiencing.
– A flexible working policy, offering employees an opportunity to work at times that best suit them.
What benefits should you be offering?
Now, we’re not telling you that you have to install a ball pit or put in a snack cupboard like some digital marketing companies (wink, wink). Even the simplest of benefits are seen as an advantage by most employees, such as the suggested health and wellbeing employee benefits mentioned earlier. For example, defined contribution pensions are a great starter benefit, as they allow an employee to contribute to their pension with the knowledge that their employer will also be contributing.
There are some other additional practical benefits that you can offer your employees, such as:
– Dental and optical insurance – this can reimburse costs and help to pay for eye tests, glasses and contact lenses.
– Life insurance – in the unfortunate event that an employee dies, this can provide support for people who depend on them financially.
– Childcare vouchers – a great way to make childcare more affordable, as it’s one of the top concerns for working people. 50% of single parents who were surveyed said that they had to borrow money to pay for childcare.
– Sick pay – which can either cover employees’ statutory sick pay for longer, or offer them a larger amount of sick pay.
– Income protection – which pays a percentage of an employee’s monthly income as regular income if they are unable to work due to injury or long-term illness.
– Gym membership – a discount for a local gym can make keeping up your health and fitness more feasible for employees.
– Car or mileage allowance – this provides an employee with additional payment to purchase a work car, or you can reimburse for a percentage of mileage.
However, not all companies have to go down the practical route. Are you looking for benefits that are a touch more relevant to your workplace, or maybe a little more exciting? How about some of the UK’s top employee perks and benefits:
– Providing employees with £3,500 to build their own home office space (Like Hotjar)
– Offer employees ‘paid puppy leave’ – a week-long paid holiday to help employees dogs settle into their new home (like BrewDog)
– Move all of your employees to a renovated castle with a built-in Star Wars themed cinema (Like Money.co.uk)
– Take your employees on secret holidays across Europe and North America (Like Cloudreach)
– Offer a self-management structure where your employees can come in when they want to, and decide what they’d like to work on (Like Smarkets)
– Unlimited annual leave (like they do at Virgin, and, of course, here at Sleeping Giant Media!)
Or, take a leaf out of our book! We offer our employees a variety of unique but productivity-boosting benefits. These include our heavily stocked snack cupboard, as it can be difficult to concentrate when you’re hungry, a creative office environment we want to be in, and beer o’clock on Fridays as a way to wind down after a hard working week. We also offer our employees a chance to bond with activities such as laser tag, team lunches (where each team goes for lunch that’s paid for by us) and our recreational area complete with games consoles, pool table, ping-pong and foosball.
Of course, employee benefits cannot ever be considered a solution to a bigger problem, and a lot of consideration should be involved! However, with the right employees, benefits are not only a motivational tool that can inspire a work hard ethic, but also a reward for when they inevitably do deliver that fantastic work.
Staff benefits are all about motivation rather than a way to entice employees to come into work, which is why it’s important that benefits aren’t seen as some kind of magic potion to make an office run smoother. Some can, and will, put across the point that benefits are not effective, but from our experience, we’ve definitely found otherwise! Learn more about this in our blog on how you don’t have to have an office like Disneyland to motivate your people. Remember that putting time into your employees and their wellbeing is a step towards a better working environment.
Interested in joining our team? Check out the recruitment roles that we’re currently offering here!
To learn more about how your employees are your biggest asset, check out our blog on how employees can help to boost your digital presence.