Building benefits packages

By Douglas Philip, Director

Benefits…we’ve all seen this word in the generic statement ‘salary plus benefits’ many times but what really are good benefits, how have they changed and are statutory rights really a benefit?

The power of implementing employee benefits can often be overlooked in small businesses as budgets are not always vast and resources are limited. However, if an annual staff quiz is considered a staff benefit then you need to rethink your strategy!

The advantages of a good employee benefits program are straightforward. Better retention and a more productive workforce whilst positioning yourself as an attractive employer. So why is it often overlooked?

There has certainly been a shift in strategy within the golf industry with many now looking at solutions to help solve the staffing crisis. Benefits platforms, salary sacrifice schemes, remote working and 4 day working weeks are finding their way into the industry.

So what is a benefits package?

An employee benefits package is a collection of non-wage compensation offerings that supplement an employee’s salary. It is up to the employer what is offered and who gets what. Some benefits are taxable so it is important to ensure you understand what ones apply in your case.

What to include in an employee benefits package?

The array of options open to you can be vast. You can decide what you offer but a good starting point is to look at your company values. Also, think in terms of both the short and long term because once something is offered it is hard to take away. Some benefits might be great right now, but become expensive or redundant later on.

There are typically two types of areas that you categorise employee benefits into; financial and health and wellbeing.

Some examples of financial benefits are:

  • Pension
  • Share schemes
  • Maternity/Paternity pay
  • Bonuses

Examples of heath and wellbeing benefits are:

  • Private medical insurance
  • Sick pay
  • Gym or sports club membership
  • Flexible working

As we move forward post-pandemic, trends are changing. The prominent one is that mental health awareness has soared, with many studies highlighting the state of mental health in the workplace. Therefore it is no longer good enough to ignore the issue. We are also seeing a shift in managing life milestones, whether that is a later retirement age, demand of families looking to share the parenting role and general cost of living challenges. See how you can help employees with these lifestyle and life stage changes. Technology has also moved forward with many white-label or work-related apps coming to the fore. Simple efficiencies in booking annual leave, the ability to share positive experiences and kudos or curated off-the-shelf benefits platforms are all easy wins that make their lives simpler.

With a little bit of effort, there can be big rewards. There’s no one size fits all so reflect on what works for you and speak with your team. Used strategically, a well thought out benefits package can be extremely valuable without breaking the bank.

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