• The improved economic position may be great for business but it does mean that recruiting really good talent can be harder. Businesses are therefore starting to look again at their benefits packages not just in order to attract the right staff but to ensure those they already have, are happier and more engaged. Engaged employees make better decisions, work harder, and are more innovative and more productive, which creates stronger organisations.

    Increase your appeal

    To attract those with the skills and dedication to create a strong foundation for your business, it helps to have good tangible benefits that differentiate your business from others. Businesses may want to consider sabbaticals, flexible benefits arrangements, health plans, and flexible working which may make your business more attractive. Offering solid benefits demonstrates that you believe in your company enough to invest in your employees.

    Better morale

    Another advantage of offering benefits is the boosting of employee morale. By understanding and addressing the needs of your workforce, it is likely that employees will be dedicated and take their jobs more seriously. Showing that you care about your workers is a natural way to increase their loyalty and often to get their best work in return. By providing adequate benefits, you can help keep your employees happy.

    Healthier employees

    In offering some type of health/dental plan and sick leave, your workforce should be in relatively good health. If your employees have solid health insurance plans in place, there is a better likelihood that they will have regular check-ups and take preventative steps.

    Better job performance

    By offering benefits, you give employees more of a reason to care about your company and remain loyal. As a result, they should be willing to work harder, which can lead to greater productivity and higher quality work.

    Minimise your turnover rate

    It’s difficult for a business to make serious progress when employee retention is low, offering benefits packages will help increase the retention. By investing in your employees it will show that you have their best interests in mind and value their input.

    This can help you build a strong team of professionals that will stay for years. Long term incentive plans are on the increase with the idea of tying key performers into the business longer term.

    While offering employee benefits may cost a bit more initially, the long-term advantages can greatly outweigh those costs and contribute to your overall success. Your business will be better placed to attract true professionals who are in it for the long haul. This will help create a stable workforce and position your business as an industry leader.

    Health benefits can break even or even save the company money in spending terms i.e. lower sickness absence, better productivity and reduced HR time. Benefits are not always about cost and the implementation of benefits should be continually measured to ensure the desired results are achieved for both employer and employee.

    Top Tips:

    1. Be transparent about benefit arrangements – Explain why the benefits have been chosen and how they support the business goals and reward the values and behaviours that the organisation needs.
    2. Provide employees with benefit statements – Most employees do not appreciate their benefits, but that may be because nobody ever tells them what the costs are.
    3. Do not offer unwanted benefits – You can survey employees and have them rank benefits in terms of desirability. Typically, medical and financial benefits, such as retirement plans, appeal to the broadest cross-section of workers.
    4. Offer flexible and voluntary benefits – Not everyone wants the same benefits, so offer options.
    5. Keep benefits under review – Consider how you will assess whether the benefits are successful in supporting your organisation’s goals. Once benefits are in place for a while the perceived value may lessen. Businesses will therefore want to keep them under regular review to ensure their value is appreciated by employees.

    Michelle is Senior HR Consultant at Kent HR, for more information please contact her on 01622 776445.

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