Research has shown that employee benefits really do matter to staff and many will consider choosing one job over another because of the benefits it offers. In a survey, the most important employee benefit was listed by jobseekers as a company pension, closely followed by private medical insurance. Over half of those surveyed said they would be more likely to accept a job which offered a private healthcare plan over one that didn’t.

Other important employee benefits were listed as:

• flexible working hours
• performance-related bonuses
• a company car
• subsidised gym membership
• childcare vouchers

Publicize your benefits package

Many companies have a strong benefits package for staff in place, but employees don’t know about it. Make sure current staff and prospective employees are aware of what your company can offer them. Include the information in a handbook, on your website and at interview.

Make sure staff understand the benefits package too – make it easy to understand and straightforward. You could hold sessions with staff to outline the benefits you provide. Employees might not appreciate what private healthcare plans could do for them and their families or they may not fully understand how childcare vouchers work, for example.

Flexible packages

In order to attract and retain the best staff, you should consider offering a flexible benefits package which meets the needs of individual staff. For example, some staff may be most interested in subsidised healthcare plans and free gym membership, whilst others would find a company pension and car most attractive.

Offering choice means your company will have a wide appeal. Additionally, it will prevent you wasting money on offering all benefits to all staff.

Managing employee benefits

One thing that puts businesses off offering flexible employee benefits such as healthcare plans is that they worry it will be a headache to administer. This doesn’t have to be the case, though.

You can manage employee benefits schemes internally, via benefit providers or through employee benefit management companies. However you choose to manage your employee benefit scheme, it is highly likely that the advantages will by far outweigh any disadvantages.

More advantages of employee benefits schemes

As well as attracting and retaining the best staff, there are even more advantages to you offering an employee benefit scheme:

• Productivity: Staff who are happy and feel valued are likely to be far more productive and motivated.
• Health: Businesses with staff healthcare plans and other health and well-being initiatives are likely to have less staff illnesses and absences.
• Reputation: A flexible benefits package will help you gain a good reputation as a fair employer. Social responsibility is increasingly important to consumers and many would prefer to buy from a business with good employment practices.

Employee benefits offer advantages to both employer and employee. They can help businesses to attract and retain the most talented staff and also improve motivation and productivity.

Why not look into employee benefits such as healthcare plans and childcare vouchers for your business?

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