HR'S GUIDE TO EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

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HR'S GUIDE TO
EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

The world of employee benefits can be a complicated beast for many businesses, and it rightfully comes with a lot of questions. What are employees benefits? How much do employee benefits cost? What are the benefits of employee benefits? 

But rather than burying your head in the sand and not bothering with them, it pays to do your research because there are some serious benefits to having your own benefits programme.  

In short... employee benefits are really important in today's culture - especially to the younger generation of workers. It's what can set you apart from your competition, and a tool that could see your performance and productivity sky rocket. 

So now that you're with us, strap yourself in and we'll cover everything from what employee benefits actually are, to explaining how you can pick solutions based on your business goals.

Let's get started shall we...

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What are Employee Benefits?

Employee benefits are added extras provided by employers in addition to their employee’s normal salary

The term 'employee benefits' has a number of different definitions and can be interpreted differently depending on who you're asking; but to put it simply, employee benefits are added extras that a business will provide to it's employees in addition to their regular salary.

While some of these benefits are legally required, such as workplace pensions and holiday allowances, other types of benefits can be offered as an extra incentive to attract and retain employees, and increase morale and engagement.

Popular employee benefits include: 

- Cycle To Work Schemes
-  Gym Memberships 
- Retailer Discounts
- Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) 
- Holiday Discounts
- Prepaid / Cashback Cards 
- Salary Deduct Car Schemes 
- Annual Leave Purchase

(we'll go into some of these in more detail later...)

Although providing complimentary employee benefits can incur an initial, or ongoing cost to the business, there are a number of ways to offset them.

For example, you can create a cost-neutral scheme by offsetting the costs through National Insurance contributions.

Not only this, but employee benefits can also help to reduce costs associated with recruitment and training of new staff, as 75% of employees are more likely to stay with their employer because of their benefits programme (EmployeeBenefits.co.uk).

When implemented correctly, employee benefits can help to create longer-lasting connections between your company and your people. This means you’ll have a more positive work environment, happier employees and higher productivity, to achieve your goals.

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WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF EMPLOYEES BENEFITS?

Employee benefits are an essential part of building a positive workplace culture.

Not only do they provide staff with more than just a paycheck, but employers are also able to really look after their employees and show they care about their lives outside of work too. 

Benefits are more than just flexi-time or pension schemes. They can also help with things like childcare costs, health and wellbeing support and discounts for every day purchases.

"But whats in it for me" we hear you say.

Well, in addition to all the great things your employees will be able to benefit from, you can also expect a positive response for your business:

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ASSIST IN RECRUITMENT

When you put in place a strong benefits package, you create a good company reputation, helping attract high-quality employees, but that's not all. When employees feel valued, they will also be more likely to discuss their benefits amongst their peers outside of work, which can be useful in attracting new recruits.

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IMPROVE RETENTION

Staff turnover is not only expensive, but it also causes disruption to co-workers and customers alike. So, it’s vital to hold on to good staff when you have them. These benefits can become an essential part of an employee’s life which they may not be able to replicate if they were to move on. 

When it comes to comparing an employee’s role to a new opportunity, it’s no longer enough to focus on the salary you're offering.

These additional extras are what can make a huge difference in their decision whether to stay or go, especially if you work in a competitive industry. Implementing a programme that will resonate with your staff can be vital to your recruitment and training budgets.

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IMPROVE EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

When staff feel looked after, they are going to be more motivated and engaged with their work and the company as a whole. Providing staff with the opportunity to enjoy the things they love for free, or at a discounted rate, can help them unwind from work, as well as save money in their personal lives. 

Although it can be easier to just offer cash bonuses, time and time again studies show that benefits outside of a person’s paycheck are more highly valued and likely to positively impact their engagement with the company.

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IMPROVE WELLBING

By taking a proactive approach to protecting and improving employees’ mental and physical wellbeing, you can not only encourage a healthier workforce, but you will also be able to breed a positive work environment that helps keep staff happier and motivated. 

As both employers and employees wake up to the dangers of presenteeism in the workplace, we have become more aware of how important it is to notice signs of stress and provide the support needed. But, what about when these stresses are outside of work and therefore outside of an HR manager’s remit to help?

This is where Employee Assistance Programmes  can be extremely effective. 

By having an external resource that is able to provide professional support from health and fitness to financial and relationship worries, employees are able to reach out for the support when they need it most. 

Health and wellbeing is going to be a huge trend for HR managers over the coming years. From offering health and wellbeing tips to staff, providing healthy snack options or even starting a running club after work, there are a number of ways to help get your staff moving and improve your culture at the same time through the right employee benefits.

EAP - Providing Support For Your Employees When They Need It Most Employee Assistance Programmes show your employees that you're there for them  and proactively encourage them to take care of their physical and mental  wellbeing. Click here to learn more.

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Employee Benefit Options

BEFORE YOU START TO THINK ABOUT WHAT OPTIONS TO IMPLEMENT, DO YOU KNOW WHAT WILL WORK FOR YOUR PEOPLE?

Whether you’re looking to revamp your existing employee benefits package or start a new offering completely from scratch, there are a number of options when it comes to what to include in and what works best for your employees. 

It is rare that an “off-the-shelf” package will offer everything a business needs and wants from their programme. This is why we always find the best place to start your research is to speak to your team and see what resonates with them. After all, they will be the ones benefiting (pardon the pun).

By running surveys or focus groups, you will be able to understand what motivates them and what could be missing from your current package. From here, you’ll be in a much more informed position to feel confident in your choice and implementation.

When it comes to figuring out the best package to offer your staff, there are a number of questions you can ask yourself, such as:
  • Does it offer a good return on investment?
  • Will it help your people live healthier and happier lifestyles? 
  • Do they improve your employees’ quality of life?
  • Can they be used and accessed easily? 
  • Have you asked for the opinions of your employees?

employee satisfaction survey guide and template

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WHERE DOES COMPANY CULTURE FIT INTO THIS?

Company culture needs to be more than just some corporate values up on a wall or employee handbook

For a successful company culture, HR and management need to make sure it is applied to all areas of the organisation. From hiring candidates that share your company’s values to your employee benefits programme - there should be no stone left unturned. 

When the leadership team embodies the values of the business and provides effective policies, frequent feedback and reacts to its staff's needs and ideas, a positive workplace culture can flourish. 

When there is a positive culture and a healthy work-life balance is encouraged, employees will feel more motivated to not only perform high-quality work, but also to take part within the company and its vision.

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OUR AWARD-WINNING PLATFORM

DISCOVER OUR AWARD-WINNING EMPLOYEE BENEFITS PLATFORM

In the 50+ years we’ve been working with companies to implement successful employee benefits programmes, we have seen the positive impact they can have on employees and businesses. 

If you would like to find out more about how you can make a real difference in your people’s lives, we’d be happy to show you our all-in-one solution. We have worked hard to make sure our platform is easy to use and accessible to every member of your team to help you build long-lasting connections.

Over the years we have learnt that the best programmes incorporate the core values of the business, as well as, really understanding the needs of the people that make up your business. This is why we take a personalised approach to every business we work with. From getting to know your challenges and speaking with your team, we are able to create a bespoke package that meets the needs of everyone involved.

Some of the most popular programmes include:

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CYCLE TO WORK SCHEMES

Not only can you promote a healthy lifestyle and save money on your employees’ daily commute, but cycle to work schemes also help to reduce your company’s carbon footprint. Employees purchasing bikes through this scheme can save up to 42% in tax and NI contributions. 

With a huge range of bikes, including electric, employees can get the right bike for them from Halfords or from our large network of local and independent stores across the UK. The cost of commuting for some can take up over 10% of their salaries, so this green benefit is not only a great way to get healthy but can make a big difference to your employees’ financial wellbeing too.

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EMPLOYEE DISCOUNTS

You can provide access to exclusive money-saving deals, which can include anything from the weekly shop through to luxury holidays. This benefit is a brilliant way for companies to help wages go further without the needs for company-wide pay rises. 

With options across eVouchers, gift cards and employee cashback cards, employees can access the discounts directly through the platform. Employee discounts are also a great way for employers to incentivise and reward staff too.

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SALARY DEDUCT SCHEMES

Salary deduct schemes allow employees to afford both everyday essentials and luxuries by contributing funds from their payslips. Instead of having to save up or take out expensive loans or credit cards, employees can spread the cost of their purchases over a fixed term directly from their payslips. 

Not only does this help improve employee engagement by creating a great workplace culture, but you can also make substantial savings on your National Insurance contributions. Our salary deduct schemes are available for the latest tech purchases, annual leave allowances, new cars and more!

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EMPLOYEE WELLBEING

 

By looking after the wellbeing of your staff, you not only reduce days lost to sick leave but also improve motivation and engagement in your workplace through combating stress, helping people cope with financial struggles and empowering staff to take control of their physical and mental health. 

Employers who take a proactive step to improve the wellbeing of their staff can also help prevent productivity-killer presenteeism by showing that they are a workplace that cares. Employee assistance programmes can provide access to counselling and support services for dealing with every day or life-changing situations. What’s more, gym memberships and health screenings are a great way to help keep your staff in tip-top shape.

Suffolk County Council Employee Benefits Case Study

But that's not all...

Once you’ve decided on an employee benefits package, we’ll work with you to make sure it’s communicated to everyone in the business and provide you with a communication plan that makes it clear what is available and encourages uptake. 

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NEXT STEPS…

IF YOU'VE NOTICED AN AREA  OF YOUR BUSINESS THAT NEEDS IMPROVING, EMPLOYEE BENEFITS COULD BE JUST THE ANSWER YOU'RE LOOKING FOR!

Whether you are looking to improve the health and wellbeing of your staff, or help your team’s wages stretch further, we have a wide range of solutions that you can choose from to improve your recruitment, retention and employee engagement rates.

Our employee benefits platform is not just great for accessing your benefits, our client admin portal also puts everything you need at your fingertips. From managing invoices, users, reporting and insights, we’ve simplified the admin associated with managing an employee benefits programme.

With our simple to use platform, you can be confident that your employees will be able to access all the great benefits you wish to offer them.

If you want to become the company that your employees don't want to leave, get in touch for a no-obligation chat to discuss your needs and challenges, and take your first steps to shaping a more satisfied and motivated workforce. 

By introducing a new programme, or improving your existing programme, you can not only boost productivity and performance, but it will also show that you care as an employer! Win, win.

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WHO WE ARE
AND HOW WE CAN HELP

Part of Sodexo Group, our solutions inspire a successful workplace cultures by incentivising performance and recognising success. We change behaviours and drive outstanding engagement – all focused around your specific business objectives and goals.

Never out of a box, we’re all about the experience, always purposeful and always powerful.

At Sodexo, we have over 50 years’ heritage in creating award-winning experiences that make people’s lives better. From growing employee culture and inspiring success in your workplace, to driving consumer engagement with your brand, we transform the way in which employees and consumers behave or perform, meaning they’ll engage more deeply with you.

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get in touch and discover the power of our employee benefits!

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