Over the past decade, employee benefits have been on the rise. Increasingly, employees and prospective recruits in the UK expect a comprehensive benefits package included in their compensation.
But in the context of an ongoing global pandemic, with unemployment soaring worldwide, are employee benefits still a priority?
The short answer is: yes. Failing to provide truly valuable benefits to support the health, wellbeing and livelihoods of your employees can have a number of detrimental consequences to your business. At worst, you could see job offers declined, staff resigning, and your remaining workforce becoming disengaged and less productive.
Protecting your human capital should be an integral element of your business strategy. With the right benefits package, you can help drive your business forward with top talent performing at their best. Here’s why…
Attracting the Right People
If you want to recruit the best people for the job, you need to make them the best offer. Of course, there are many different facets to this – employee benefits alone won’t necessarily make the most talented and skilled candidates keen to join your organisation.
However, benefits are undeniably a significant part of your overall employer proposition. In fact, a recent study found that a massive 78% of employees believe benefits are an important consideration when accepting a job offer – with 69% saying they’d choose one job over another based on benefits alone.
This holds true even as unemployment soars in the UK. According to the government’s economic watchdog, in 2021 unemployment could reach 7.5% of the working population: that’s around 2.6 million people out of work in the UK. But with hiring rates already rebounding – rising by 6% from September to October – you can’t afford to become complacent if you want the best people to join your organisation.
Often, you’ll be competing with large corporations to attract the best talent. These companies are, generally, able to offer a wealth of benefits and perks that small and medium sized businesses simply can’t afford to match. As the pandemic continues, we’ve actually seen large corporations increasing their benefits offering to provide additional support to their staff. If you neglect your benefits now, you could struggle to hire your ideal candidates in the months and even years ahead.
While you may not be able to match large corporations’ benefits like-for-like, you can still compete for recruits by ensuring your package is cost-effective, fit for purpose, and truly delivering value to your workforce.
Retaining Your Valued Employees
Demonstrating your dedication to your workforce’s health and wellbeing doesn’t end when they sign the contract of employment. If your employees don’t feel valued and supported, they’re at risk of accepting a more attractive offer from one of your direct or corporate competitors.
Again, employee benefits are not the only factor to consider when it comes to retaining staff – you need to consider the holistic employee experience, your culture, and any specific concerns from individuals. However, having the right benefits in place can give employees that extra reason to stay at your company – with studies showing that 75% of employees are more likely to stay with an employer if the benefits are good.
Through helping to keep your employees at the business for longer, the right benefits can improve the return on investment of your recruitment. The average cost per hire in the UK is around £3,223 – so if you have a high employee turnover rate, recruitment costs can soon mount up. In fact, a survey of millennials shows that 50% expect to leave their current jobs in the next three years, so your employee turnover rate could continue to rise as the next generations populate the workforce.
As a result, it can be more cost-effective to invest in employee benefits. Packages that include generous pension contributions, medical care, and support for health and wellbeing can sound costly – but, ultimately, it can cost you much more in recruitment expenses if you neglect to offer such benefits.
Engaging the Workforce
Even if you’ve successfully attracted and retained talent, you still need to ensure you’re getting the best out of your workforce. If your employees are stressed, unhealthy, or dissatisfied, you’re likely to see productivity and performance drop – ultimately impacting your bottom line.
Engaged employees will associate the company’s success with their own sense of achievement, motivating them to perform at their best. Offering the right employee benefits package to suit your unique workforce and culture can help your staff feel recognised and appreciated, while supporting their overall wellbeing.
To achieve this, its crucial you consult with your employees to discover which benefits are really valuable to them and which are being underutilised. Studies show that 60% of employees are unhappy with their benefits package, while just 39% of employers are aware of this dissatisfaction. Having open, honest conversations with your workforce about their benefits can go a long way in ensuring you’re getting the most out of your benefits investment.
Effectively communicating which benefits are available, and continuously monitoring their utilisation, can also help to maximise your return on investment. Research shows that 1 in 5 employees only receive communication about their benefits allowance when they first join the company – resulting in a lack of awareness and, consequently, reduced uptake of the benefits on offer.
Eppione’s integrated HR and employee benefits platform supports managers and HR professionals to maintain visibility into which benefits are being used, while giving employees continuous access to their allowance. So, you can simultaneously ensure you’re only investing in the benefits that will help to engage your workforce and increase employees’ uptake of those benefits.
Defining the right benefits strategy for your business can be a delicate art. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution – it all comes down to what matters most to your workforce. However, organisations who successfully implement and communicate the right employee benefits can bolster their efforts to attract, retain and engage employees.
At Eppione, our dedicated team of employee benefits experts can support you to tailor your benefits package to meet your unique needs. Taking a range of influencing factors into consideration, such as workforce demographics, industry and location, we can define a strategy to maximise your benefits ROI. With improved employee wellbeing, engagement and satisfaction, we can empower your business to motivate and support the workforce to drive your business forward in 2021.
Want to find out more about tailoring your employee benefits package, maximising uptake, and maintaining visibility into usage? Get in touch with our team of employee benefit consultants today, and start making the most of your benefits spend.