Employee Benefits – Think they have to cost lots?

The success of any business depends on the leadership and its staff. Keeping staff motivated and happy are key, not only to their retention and productivity but the continued success of the business.  Your staff are a long-term investment in your team worth making and benefits help make them feel more valued, but they don’t have to be expensive.

These benefits don’t have to be huge either. And they do have the potential to make your existing staff feel valued and draw in new team members.

Simple things really can make a difference

As a start-up or SME with major ambitions to grow, you may think that you can’t deliver on staff benefits but you’d be quite wrong.

You can ensure that the workplace is a happy one where your staff are relaxed and comfortable. Plus the great njews is it’s not that hard for you to achieve. By making the workplace a comfortable one, you’ll have a happy team! With 8% of all new starters leaving because the work-life balance isn’t right, getting this right is important. Support your career opportunity and salary with a benefits package and you’ll potentially have a more motivated team.

  • create an area for break times where staff can relax or take time away from their desks. This will help keep them fresh and does not need to cost you lots.
  • encourage your staff to have regular breaks and not eat lunch at their desk.
  • have free tea and coffee available (and make it nice tea and coffee or invest in a decent coffee machine; you’d be surprised at how many people love the fact their company has decent coffee on site).
  • once a month have a free Friday sandwich run or Friday or free fruit for all.
  • let staff leave early on a Friday, especially on weeks where they’ve all pulled together on a major project; this is an easy, cheap way to show them you care and appreciate them.
  • give them their birthday off

Simple things can really go a long way to building a happy, committed, productive and valued team.

Create loyalty

Create an environment where your staff feel valued and secure. In return, they’ll give you loyalty and commitment. It’s estimated that 66% of all employees remain with their current employer because of the benefits.  This is, therefore, something that you can’t afford to overlook. regardless of how large or small your team is;

  • As part of their offer when they join your company, give them their Birthday off (as an additional day off, not as a compulsory part of their holiday allocation).
  • Add an extra holiday day to each year of employment, or indeed, if someone is joining you and they get 22 days holiday elsewhere, perhaps you can match it instead of paying them slightly more on their salary to compensate.
  • If the business can support it, actively encourage flexible hours or finish early on a Friday.
  • Make sure you reward staff who do regular unpaid hours with an afternoon off in return, or a free lunch, or even a card and a box of chocolates.
  • Create a culture of great customer service; reward outstanding customer service with a spa or hotel voucher or a meal at their favourite restaurant.

Other benefits that don’t cost a fortune

  • Consider the cycle to work scheme helping promote a healthy lifestyle; this has a low cost to the business but a big impact for the employee.
  • Providing Life cover will only cost in the region of 1% of your payroll.
  • Healthcare plans (not to be mistaken with private healthcare plans) and it’s proven those companies with private health or health care cash plans for their staff have lower incidents of long term staff sickness so if you’re small company, it may feel like a cost but if Shane in Sales needs some counselling or breaks his leg, then you’ll thank the fact you covered this with a £20 to £45 per employee per month health cash plan policy.
  • Offer more than the Statutory Sick Pay.
  • Look at supporting training for career progression.
  • Allow staff to ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ extra holiday; so if they want to sacrifice some salary to take an extended trip or ensure they have time to host the in-laws when they visit, this can help you too.
  • Companies such as Perkbox can help you offer your staff more benefits such as free cinema tickets too.

Review but avoid reducing benefits

Provide a good benefits package.  It doesn’t have to have a negative impact on the business. Keep it sensible and sustainable, let it grow with the business.

Knowing your team

Just as you need to understand your ideal client, to make the most of the opportunities, knowing your team and understanding what motivates them will reap its own rewards.  Knowing what will motivate your team means you can provide them with the benefits relevant to them.