An effective employee benefits strategy can make a significantly positive impact on your business performance. This can range from company car allowances to healthcare schemes, enhanced annual leave entitlement to reward bonuses.
It’s easy to write benefits off as a cost – but get them right and you can improve employee retention and talent recruitment, enhance your customer experience and increase your revenues. What is important is ensuring you have a strategy in place and you offer benefits for employees that are meaningful to your workforce.
Love2shop are experts in employee benefits and engagement, so we’ve created a quick guide covering everything you need to know:
What are employee benefits?
If you’re new to this, basically employee benefits are anything outside of an employee’s salary and work-related equipment that they receive from the business.
According to our UK-wide Employee Value Survey, 56% of potential recruits scope-out your reward, recognition and benefits offer before applying for a job. In other words, if your benefits offer is wrong, you could be missing out on the best talent without even knowing it.
What matters is not how expensive or cool your benefits are, but whether they are attractive to the talent you want to hire and retain and how effectively they strengthen your relationship with your employees
Why should my business offer employee benefits?
It’s a good question. While salary is still important, employees want to know that their efforts are valued and that their employer is as supportive and flexible as they can be. First and foremost, employees are people, and as people are motivated by a feeling of value, self-worth and recognition for their contribution to your business or team.
Getting your employee benefits offer right really matters. Our Employee Value Survey found that 52% of employees believe their output increases when they feel valued by their employer – and a staggering 74% stated they would look for a new job elsewhere if they felt undervalued.
What employee benefits should I offer?
Ultimately that should be determined in consultation with your employees, but there are a number of common benefits you can consider introducing:
In the UK most full-time employees are entitled to a minimum of 28 days of annual leave, with some exceptions. These 28 days can and often do include bank holidays. But as a benefit you can offer employees more than the statutory, either as one-off rewards, recognition of long service or simply as part of their contract. Annual leave or Paid Time Off (PTO) is a powerful incentive for talent looking for a greater work-life balance.
According to our Employee Value Survey 76% of employees feel valued, or that their work is recognised, when they receive a spontaneous gift from their employer. One of the best ways to do this is using multi-retailer gift products like Love2shop Gift Cards or Love2shop Contactless – which allow employees to spend in store or online with more than 120 retailers. HMRC will allow your business to give non-cash gifts tax-free – including gift cards and e-Codes – up to a value of £50 per employee. You can purchase Love2shop gift cards here.
These are popular with corporate businesses in the UK. They make access to private healthcare more affordable and can also help with dental costs and other healthcare costs not typically covered by the NHS.
Such programmes can also include qualifying family members, making it a wider benefit for your employees as their spouse or child may also be covered. Investing in staff health is a very clear way to show your business values them as people, not just employees.
Retail discount programmes
This is a cost-effective way to offer employees a year-round benefit that gives them real savings on their regular high street spending. Love2shop offers just such a scheme, the Everyday Benefits Card. Employees can pre-load this card with funds at a discounted rate (7.5%) – before using those funds to make purchases with major high street brands. So if they load £100 onto their card, they only pay £92.50, offering the chance to make real savings on everyday essentials. Employers can purchase these cards to give to staff and can choose whether to load funds on themselves as an added bonus.
Hybrid remote working
While remote and flexible working seemed like the norm post-pandemic, a number of businesses have begun to recall people to the office making this a benefit many are seeking in recruitment ads once more.
Hybrid remote working when implemented well allows junior team members to learn from the more experienced colleagues while allowing teams and individuals the flexibility to work from home regularly, saving money and avoiding the commute. Employees value this benefit as it helps show that you understand they have a life outside work and working from home can make that easier.
Hybrid working does not work for every role however. Where it is impractical you can consider flexible working, with core hours and flexible start/finish times.
Training and development not only improves the skillset of your employees – it shows them you want to help them improve and are invested in their future.
Government research has classed learning as one of the five key ways to improve your wellbeing and upskilling through training is seen as a belief and investment in the individual – something that can have a powerful effect on both employee confidence and loyalty.
The benefits you offer should make a difference to your employees and be used to bring them practical benefits. For some workplaces, lunchtime yoga and dog-friendly offices are exactly the right benefits. For others, greater work/life balance or financial rewards are more suitable. The important thing is understanding what makes your employees feel valued and motivated.
How do I manage my employee benefits?
Some benefits are spontaneous, offered to mark major events or as a thank you. But it is possible to make your employee benefits more data-driven.
You could, for example, use a modular engagement platform. Love2shops own engagement platform allows you to manage benefits that are earned for performance, reward training module completion and create an employee feedback environment where people can thank colleagues openly for outstanding work.
You can also use an engagement platform to assess the popularity and effectiveness of existing benefits and consult on changes, to replace ineffective benefits with ones that your workforce really wants.
Benefits can also be baked into your employment contracts, but this can make them harder to amend if they become ineffective.
Some larger businesses have a dedicated benefits expert, however typically HR teams take responsibility for employee benefits schemes. Finding the right software solution for your business is key however, as it will streamline the process for them and help you build an employee benefits strategy that works.
Contact Love2shop today for your own employee benefits scheme
Love2shop offers a wide range of vouchers and gift cards from popular high street retailers, restaurants, and leisure attractions. This gives your employees the flexibility to choose what they want, and when they want it.
Setting up an employee benefits scheme with Love2shop is quick and easy. Our team of experts will work with you to create a scheme that is tailored to the needs of your business and your employees. Get in touch with us to see how we can help.