Five reasons why you should offer employee benefits

Your workforce is your greatest asset and a motivated, engaged employee is a gift that will keep on giving. Having a diverse range of employee benefits will help you not only retain your best staff but also attract fresh talent from outside your business.

In this blog we’ll go through some of the key advantages of having employee benefits.

Recruiting the best talent

It’s been said before but the modern day employee is looking for more than just a salary when looking for a new job. Alongside things like work-life balance, flexible working and a pleasant working atmosphere, the importance of an employee benefits package should not be underestimated. It’s a fantastic way to stand out from the competition in a saturated market and attract the best talent.

Retaining your employees

With the estimated cost of losing a key employee standing at £30,000, it seems a no-brainer that you’d want to keep your best staff. A comprehensive employee benefits package can play a big part in that and companies that offer employee benefits have far less employee turnover than those that don’t. If you want to keep your best employees and build a real team of experts around you, make sure your benefits are up to the mark.  

Happy employees are productive employees

Employee benefits can do wonders for staff morale too. You can offer them the latest technology, holiday trading, discounts on everyday essentials, the list goes on. The key to a happy workforce is asking your employees about the benefits they’d like, and tailoring your package to suit their needs. It shows that you’re willing to invest in their wellbeing and future success.

Savings

Employee benefits are also a great way for you and your staff to make real savings. You’ll save money on your tax and National Insurance (NI) contributions depending on the schemes you offer - which can be reinvested elsewhere. And your employees can save hundreds of pounds a year on everyday essentials, one-off purchases and even health care.

Employee wellbeing – work-life balance, health and financial

Offering employee benefits that promote the health and wellbeing of your employees is fast becoming a vital part of any company’s strategy. Dental plans, health insurance and gym memberships do more than just attract employees, they’ll keep your workforce healthier, happier and more productive.

The same goes for their financial health. Share plans, pensions and a money advice service can help them save for the future, and give them peace of mind.

Introducing policies that encourage a healthier work-life balance will help you to reap the benefits of higher productivity, lower absenteeism and a happier, less stressed workforce.

For more information on the best way to get started, email us at salary-extras@computershare.co.uk.

Five top tips to keep your employees engaged and motivated

With the estimated cost of losing a key employee standing at £30,000*, can you afford not to keep your employees engaged? It’s no secret that engaged and motivated employees are productive employees. And with UK productivity falling behind other western countries, it’s time to give employee engagement more of the spotlight.

With this in mind here, are five top tips to get you started…

1.    Have a tailored benefits package to suit your workforce. Everywhere we go, we expect choice, convenience and a personalised experience, and employee benefits are no different. Get to know the people that work for you and find out what they like, that way you’ll design the best package for them.

2.    Acknowledge employees who ‘go the extra mile’. Employees want to be recognised for their hard work, and often it’s something as simple as a ‘thank you’. Make sure you have a variety of rewards too - big or small they can make a big difference to morale.

3.    Communicate with your employees effectively. Having good two-way channels of communication at company, team and individual level is crucial. Helping your employees understand their role in company performance and how they can contribute will create a sense of inclusivity.

4.   Set clear objectives.  The objectives of your employees should align with those of the business. That way, there’s a greater connection between an individual’s actions and company performance.  

5. Be flexible.  We all strive for that perfect work-life balance. Allow your employees a degree of flexibility around their role. For example working from home, or changing their hours to fit around family commitments, study, or phased retirement will make them feel more valued.

You don’t necessarily have to use these five tips and you may feel there are other options better suited to your company, but having key areas to focus on can help you develop a happy workforce.   

Benefits_of_having_an_engaged_workforce.2018.png

An engaged workforce is the gift that keeps on giving - it can improve morale, boost productivity and create a better working environment. Your employees will feel valued and motivated, and genuinely know that they contribute to the overall success of the company they work for.

*According to Recruiting Times, it costs the average company over £30,000 to replace a key member of staff - you can lose £5,000 during the recruitment process, and once you’ve found them, you’ll need roughly £25,000 to get them up to speed.

Four steps to keeping older employees happy and motivated – both now and in the future

With an ageing population in the workplace, promoting policies and behaviours that support health and engagement can lead to a happier, more productive workforce.

Back in 2015, futurologist Rohit Talwar predicted that people born in the early 2000s would live to be 120, and likely work until they were 100.

Whether or not Mr Talwar’s prediction proves correct, it’s no secret that Britain’s workforce is getting older. According to the Office for National Statistics, UK population growth will be weighted towards the older population. By 2030, the number of people in England above the age of 65 will increase by 50% compared to 2014. And, according to the Department for Work and Pensions, in 2014, more people aged over 50 were in work than ever before. The gradually rising pension age over the next decade will also play a part.

So what can be done to ensure older workers remain motivated and content in their roles?

Flexible working

The myth that millennials and young parents are the only demographics who want to work flexibly was debunked long ago. People aged 50 and over are fast becoming one of the biggest groups in need of a flexible approach to work. And, as the forced retirement age no longer exists, many people are choosing to continue working, though possibly more flexibly.

Why? The first answer is probably the most obvious. As people get older, they’ll likely need to reduce the number of hours they work. While this is especially true of manual workers, their office-based counterparts will benefit from being able to work from home more.

Meanwhile, something a lot of people fail to consider is that older people provide a great deal of care for relatives. Carers UK estimates that, by 2037, there will be 9 million people providing unpaid care in England and Wales, and that this is “likely to be more common among older workers”.

A study by the Trades Unions Council shows that women over 50 have extensive caring responsibilities, with more than 50% caring for at least one of their parents, 39% for their children, 21% for their grandchildren, 13% for other elderly relatives and 9% for a disabled relative. Taking this into consideration, offering employees help when navigating the care system will pay huge dividends, not only for your employee and your company, but in a wider social sense, too.

Financial education

In our experience administering employee benefits packages, we’ve found that older employees are more interested in financial education than any other group.

The process of providing guidance on pensions and savings feeds through to other aspects of financial education, which most employers don't have the resources and skills to provide. But research shows individuals want to use a third party, such as the government's Money Advice Service which offers free and impartial money advice, tools and calculators, online and over the phone.

While pension planning should be done carefully, and throughout an employee’s working life, as they approach the point when they draw their pension, it’s important that employees are given as much guidance, education and support as possible around their options.

Ageing workforce strategy

It’s also important to remember not to overlook older employees when recruiting. Whether internal or external, there are a lot of highly skilled and well experienced employees out there. Remember, if you lose older employees, they take a wealth of experience with them, which can have a negative impact on your business.

For these reasons, it may be wise to devise an Ageing Workforce Strategy. Just be sure to think of older people when you have a recruitment drive, offer your older employees retraining opportunities and train your managers to avoid bias towards younger older employees. Of course, if you’d like to do more to help your older employees to thrive, so much the better!

Wellness initiatives

A comprehensive set of health and wellbeing initiatives is the cornerstone of any good employee benefits package. Much like pension planning, health programs are important to your employees for the duration of their working lives, whether they know it or not.

As well as offering things like subsidised gym memberships, bike schemes, and a good work life balance, it may be worth targeting certain initiatives specifically for the benefit of your older employees. Health assessments and screenings, health cash plans, gym classes specifically for the older generation, and on-site education about ailments typically suffered by older people will help keep your workforce happy and healthy. This will also reduce absenteeism and presenteeism, which is no bad thing.

If you use the Salary Extras platform, or you’re interested in employee benefits, get in touch today to see how we can help you.

30,000 reasons employee engagement is more important than ever

Regardless of their contracted hours employees should find their time at work rewarding, challenging and engaging most of the time – if it’s not don’t be surprised if your staff turnover shoots up!

The cost of replacing a key member of staff can be astronomical in comparison to the cost of some small tweaks you can make to your company ethos to ensure you retain them.

30,000.jpg

According to Recruiting Times, it costs the average company over £30,000 to replace a key member of staff - you can lose £5,000 during the recruitment process, and once you’ve found them, you’ll need roughly £25,000 to get them up to speed.[1]

 

So what does employee engagement mean, and why should I care about it?

An engaged employee is someone who is passionate about their work and believes in the company they work for. In short, this means they are enthused about doing their best for the company, but will also embody the brand’s core values, as well as extolling the virtues of the company to anyone who’ll listen. This is not only good for productivity, but also for your bottom line.

Employee engagement is a by-product of job satisfaction, so if your staff turnover is high, this is definitely an area you should look at closely. Ask yourself:

> How many staff have you lost in the last year and what were their reasons for leaving?

- Was it lack of opportunity to move up or around within in the company, or lack of challenges and motivation?

> Do your line managers understand how to retain employees?

> Are your staff willing to ‘go the extra mile’ or do they just turn up, clock in and clock out?
 
> Are your staff happy and satisfied with their roles?

By asking these questions, you should be able to see if your staff are truly engaged.

 

How do you make it happen?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, employee engagement is closely linked with reward and recognition. Do you have processes in place to make sure pay, benefits and recognition are regularly reviewed and fit for purpose? If staff feel they will be rewarded for their hard work, whether monetarily or through a simple ‘well done’ they are much more likely to be engaged.

Having the opportunity to learn and develop is also crucial to engagement. Making sure your staff have access to training can make the difference between someone leaving to find the development they need and sticking where they are.

It’s also important that managers have good leadership skills and know how to successfully motivate and support their teams. A bad manager can wreak havoc on employee engagement, and will always be high on the list of reasons for people leaving a role.

If you’re still unsure if your employees are engaged, ask them! Short surveys, one to ones and employee focus groups can have a really big impact, and may shed light on areas you didn’t know were a problem. These often include things like work-life balance, the ability to work flexibly and employee benefits. For more on how to do this, and measure it, take a look at our blog post from 2016.

Remember: Employee engagement is a mutual relationship. It simultaneously meets the needs of the company to be successful, and the needs of the employee, for whom work should be both satisfying and rewarding.

 

Six_benefits_of_employee_engagement.png

 

[1] http://recruitingtimes.org/news/5316/replacing-staff-costs-businesses-4-1bn-a-year/

Why you should be tailoring your employee benefits to each generation

Look around your office. Is everyone the same age? Does everyone have children? What stage is everyone at in their career? What are their hobbies and interests? 

Even in the smallest offices, it’s obvious that no two people are exactly alike. For this reason, taking a one-size-fits-all approach to employee benefits just isn’t going to work. Taking the time to get to know your workforce and find out what makes them tick will pay huge dividends.

Birds of a feather flock together

While everyone’s different, in our experience administering employee benefits packages, we’ve noticed that quite often people of the same generation or experiencing the same lifestyle trigger (buying a house, getting married, having children…things that don’t necessarily follow age…) tend to go for similar benefits.

Generations.png

How can I tailor my benefits?

Get to know your workforce!

> How old are they?

> How many of them have dependents?

> Do they have a lot of disposable income?

> What do they value most?

> What are their worries?

> Are they comfortable with technology?

To help you get started, I’ve highlighted a few of the main considerations and priorities of the four generations who are still in work:

Baby boomers – 1945-1960

> May need to work into retirement to sustain their desired standard of living

> Their focus is on phased retirement; think part-time roles, non-exec roles and mentoring roles

> Biggest users of financial planning

> Biggest using of education services

> Along with Generation X, they are biggest users of wellness initiatives

Generation X – 1961-1980

> Career active

> Biggest users of flexible working due to raising families

> Value the chance to be part of community volunteer programs

> Biggest users of career development services

> Along with Baby Boomers, they are the biggest users of wellness initiatives - yoga, fitness etc

Millennials/Generation Y – 1981-1995

> Along with baby boomers, they are the biggest users of flexible working

> Appreciate mentoring services

> Value a good work-life balance

> Relish the chance for overseas assignments above financial rewards

> More loyal when they feel supported, appreciated and part of a team

> According to Anthem, 35% of millennials have turned down job offers because they were dissatisfied with the benefits, compared to 27% of all other age categories

Generation Z – Born after 1995

(Generation Z will share a lot of needs with Millennials as well as the following)

> They have the most global awareness

> Will value flexible working to allow them to study

> Will want to access benefits through apps and easy-to-use online platforms

> Are used to technology providing immediate, consistent communication without regard for distance

Okay, so what are the next steps?

> Make sure you ask your employee benefits provider what packages they can offer you. They’re the experts and should be able to suggest a great tailored bundle

> According to Investors in People, 44% of employees said that good benefits were a main consideration when choosing a new employer. So be sure to mention them in your recruitment ads. This rarely gets addressed in job ads but it can quickly set you apart from the competition

> Whilst it’s important to remember that, while generational differences will give you a flavour for the kinds of things that will work, there’s no substitute for good old fashioned feedback. So, even once your tailored benefits are up and running, ask your employees for feedback to ensure you’ve got it right. They’re your quickest and easiest way of measuring your ROI

> Challenge yourself to review your benefits every few months, and don’t be afraid to change anything that isn’t working, as well as building on whatever’s performing well.

Want to know more?

Our employee benefits packages are hugely varied - you can pick and choose as few or as many as you want, as well as build upon them over time - allowing you to truly tailor your offering to your employees’ needs.

Sources:

https://www.recruiter.com/i/what-each-generation-wants-from-employers/

https://www.worldatwork.org/waw/adimLink?id=28411

The importance of a positive work environment

The importance of a positive work environment

At some point in your career it’s likely you’ll have worked in a place with a negative, maybe even “toxic”, atmosphere. If not, chances are you’ll know someone who has. Remember the groans as people filtered in on a Monday morning?  People complaining of being overworked and underappreciated, not knowing where they’re headed, or what their objectives are, with the stress and bad feeling seeping into their home lives and affecting their health. Who would want to work in a place like that?

Read More