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4 ways employee benefits could improve your business

Employee benefits matter. Following the pandemic’s impact on our wellbeing and the upheaval to our working lives, the influence they have on employees and the boost that popular benefits can give to employers is as powerful as ever.

Benefits that offer financial peace of mind in the event of illness, injury or even death have taken on even more importance. At the same time, physical and mental wellbeing support has also come into sharp focus for businesses keen to look after their people – whether they’re in the office or working remotely.

However, many businesses have had to battle hard just to keep the lights on. So why should businesses potentially invest time and money on exploring employee benefits? Well, it may actually not take much of either and the returns can make it more than worthwhile.

Here are four good reasons why employee benefits can improve your business.

1. They can help you retain people and boost productivity

Providing the right employee benefits can make all the difference as to whether your people stick around or vote on your benefits package with their feet. Capita found 76% of employees were more likely to stay with their employer because of their employee benefits package1, while our own War for Talent2 research found:

• 59% of employees receiving benefits felt positive or very positive about loyalty to the business
• 55% said it made them positive or had a very positive impact on their motivation to work hard
• 59% said it had a positive or very positive impact on their mental wellbeing
• 58% said it had a positive or very positive impact on their financial wellbeing

Offering employees a benefits package can clearly mean much more to a business than just a box-ticking exercise. Introducing a competitive set of benefits shows your people you’re committed to them in the long term and have their wellbeing at heart. In return, they’re more likely to stay, feel good and work hard for you.

Where to start?

If you're considering introducing benefits, but are unsure about what to offer, think about asking your employees. An online survey or even face-to-face meetings can really help you understand what kinds of benefits they might prefer.

2. Your business could benefit from reduced costs

Advances in tech are opening doors for businesses to potentially save money, improve benefits administration and enhance their employees’ overall experience. Almost three-quarters (70%) of organisations are set to prioritise focus on online portals or apps, while two-thirds (66%) will implement or enhance employee self-service3.

Time-saving digital benefits platform

Not only can a digital platform (provided by some employee benefits providers) offer you a slick way of managing benefits, they often have built-in time-saving functionality including online payslips and voluntary benefit contributions. This could help keep your HR admin costs to a minimum.

Reduced National Insurance costs

Certain employee benefits could deliver financial efficiencies for both the business and employees.

Salary sacrifice – where an employee gives up part of their contracted salary in exchange for a non-cash benefit – can mean they might not have to pay tax or National Insurance contributions on the value of the employee benefits they select. As a result, your lower wage bill could also see you benefit from reduced National Insurance contributions overall.

Tax and National Insurance exempt benefits4 currently available through salary sacrifice schemes are:

• Employer-provided pension saving and pensions advice
• Contracted childcare and childcare vouchers
• Cycle-to-work schemes
• Workplace nurseries
• Ultra-low emission company cars

Please note, salary sacrifice needs to be allowable under an employee’s contract. Speak to your accountant or other qualified expert or find more information at:
www.gov.uk/guidance/salary-sacrifice-and-the-effects-on-paye

3. You could find it easier to recruit the best people

Salary is no longer the be-all and end-all when it comes to choosing an employer. It’s also worth remembering that while you’ll have a list of interviewees, potential candidates are likely to be looking at more than one company. Just as your existing employees value the benefits you offer, so will potential new ones.

Before the pandemic, 89% of employees believed benefits were important when deciding who to work for5 and 74% of employees were more likely to join a business for a good benefits package6.

That’s particularly the case with younger employees and those just entering the workforce. 36% of Gen Z respondents (16-23) told us that they had left or thought about leaving a job solely because of the employee benefits package on offer7.
So if your business is in a highly competitive sector or location, adding some benefits could make recruitment a lot easier and quicker.

Using benefits to attract the best people

Whatever benefits you offer, don’t forget to shout about them in the recruitment process:

• Showcase them on your website – write up everything employees enjoy at your company and add it to your career page
• Build them into job advertising – add a solid section about what the applicant can enjoy if they work for your company, and use it in every job ad you post
• Mention your benefits on social media – people who aren’t even looking for a job may run across your posts and decide to apply if they like what they see
• Explain them at interview – take a few minutes and discuss all employee perks and benefits

4. Employee benefits can cost next to nothing

Smaller businesses in particular may worry they can’t afford a range of employee benefits, but in fact, providing benefits can cost very little. Voluntary schemes are paid for by employees and deducted from their net salary, and can enable you to complement existing flexible benefits schemes, or introduce benefits without blowing your budget.

[1] Capita’s Workplace Benefits – Employee Insight Report 2018

[2] The War for Talent report published by Benni reported on a survey in February 2019 of 2,004 employees in companies with 100 to 1,000 employees, who earn between £15,000 pa and £55,000 pa.

[3] Willis Towers Watson - Benefit trends report 2019

[4] www.gov.uk/guidance/salary-sacrifice-and-the-effects-on-paye

[5] Willis Towers Watson Employee Health, Wellbeing and Benefits Barometer 2019

[6] Capita’s Workplace Benefits – Employee Insight Report 2018

[7] Benni - War for Talent research 2019

 

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