How to attract and retain employees with improved company benefits

Over the past few years, there have been significant shifts in how both employees and employers view the working landscape. The effects of the pandemic, social movements and the cost-of-living crisis have all played a part in this.

A survey by the CIPD of 2500 employees, for example, revealed that 1 in 8 said that their pay is not enough to support an acceptable standard of living whilst a 2020 YouGov survey found that 57% per cent of those who were in work before the COVID-19 outbreak wanted to retain the ability to work from home. 

Statistics such as these demonstrate why the workforce no longer looks at just prospective pay packets when searching for roles. They now also evaluate what sort of work-life balance a role will provide, how invested an employer is in employee mental health and physical wellbeing and where a company stands regarding equity and diversity.

What’s more, employers are realising that their staff are integral to their business and that to attract and retain the best talent, they need to be offering more than just a wage. Instead, they need to be fostering a workplace culture that is people-centric, based on inclusivity, and maintains a happy, healthy workforce.

One of the best ways that an employer can do this is by offering a carefully considered and meaningful employee benefits package.

1. Start by asking your employees what they want

Glassdoor found that 79% of employees would favour new or additional benefits or job perks over a pay increase and research conducted by Michael Page revealed that only 20% of employees are happy with the current benefits. So, with that being said, it’s important that employers take the time to find out what benefits are most needed and desired by their workforce and consider how any benefits offered can support their employees not only whilst at work but in their wider life too.

Many businesses opt to include a benefits section with their annual employee satisfaction survey as a straightforward way to establish what benefits are most important to employees. These surveys are also a great opportunity for employers to put forward any new benefits they are thinking of offering to gauge if their current employees feel they will be valuable.

2. Be diverse and inclusive with your employee benefits package

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace help to build a sense of community where employees are supported as individuals, allowing them to perform to their full potential regardless of their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, or socio-economic status.

Inclusive benefits consider these differences in circumstances and reflect and respond to the needs of the workforce in a flexible way. For example, fertility and family planning benefits are only inclusive if they extend to all types of modern families including non-heterosexual pairs, single parents, and adopters.

3. Ensure your employee benefits are accessible to everyone

When constructing an employee benefits package, employers need to ensure that the benefits on offer are accessible to everyone. For example, it’s great if a workplace offers subsidised lunches at the office or has an on-site gym that is free for staff to use but these benefits are only valuable to those employees who work at that location or live within a radius that still makes using those benefits viable.

For remote workers or mobile employees, for example, these benefits won’t be particularly useful. In this instance, to make employee benefits accessible to everyone, an employer could offer gym membership and supermarket vouchers instead.

4. Make your employee benefits package super clear on your website and job adverts

According to research conducted by Michael Page, 73% of candidates stated that benefits have been or would be a factor in their decision to accept or turn down a job offer. Therefore, it makes sense for employers to ensure that what they can offer prospective candidates above and beyond a salary is part of any job advert that they release and features on the company website.

Making prospective candidates aware of employee benefits not only helps employers to attract top talent but also sends a powerful message about their work culture and inclusivity. For example, if an employer stipulates that they offer flexible working, this demonstrates that they are family-friendly and support employees in managing their home and well-being alongside work. If a company offers access to therapists, it shows they value employee well-being.

5. Show how your employee benefits make a difference

Alongside showcasing the employee benefits offered, employers should also use their online platforms to demonstrate how these benefits have made a real-life difference to their employees.

There are a number of ways that this can be done, including case studies, employee surveys and testimonials. Not only do these offer a great way to explain benefits to prospective candidates and show how they have benefitted current employees, but they can also help in evaluating those benefits that aren’t as helpful or aren’t used.

6. Think outside the box

When considering how to improve employee benefits, there are some that are likely to come to mind: health insurance, career development training and paid time off to name a few. But, thinking outside the box when it comes to employee benefits packages can help boost morale, improve productivity and make a workplace more inclusive and creative.

Examples of innovative employee benefits include:

7. Consider your ideal candidate's lifestyle

When putting together or redesigning a benefits package, employers should not only consider their current staff but also their future workforce. It can be beneficial for employers to think about the demographics and behaviours of their ideal candidates and provide benefits that will appeal to and be useful for them. 

If an organisation is conscious of its carbon footprint and adopts eco-friendly practices, it might be looking for candidates that share these values. Therefore, reimbursing their public transport fees or providing funds to purchase bicycle equipment so they can cycle to work may be worthwhile.

If prospective candidates are of the age where they might have children but also be caring for elderly parents, for example, then healthcare that extends to the wider family, flexitime and companion support could be incredibly valuable.

Talking of companionship, did you know that 600 people give up work everyday to look after a relative? Or that millions of workers do an extra 12 hours of informal care a week? Providing benefits that help with unpaid labour supports employees of all walks of life, from new parents to women leaders who need an extra pair of hands.

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Balancing a career with caregiving commitments, mental health challenges, or even just daily life is no walk in the park. We can help your employees to lighten that load, with in-person, on-demand support with:

- Childcare
- Household tasks
- Elderly care
- Mental health 
- Disability, sickness, and recovery
- Pet sitting
- Grocery shopping

…and that’s just the beginning.

Get in touch to book a demo, and find out how companiions can help your employees be their best selves, at work AND at home.

Get in touch today!