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Tips for Retaining Staff Members

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Tracey Hudson

You’re sure to already know that attracting and retaining good staff normally goes well beyond simply offering a decent salary nowadays. We’ve all been there with trying to recruit and getting nowhere, and the challenge that leads to sleepless nights worrying that your staff will leave because bigger companies can offer them more.

Workplace culture has taken on much more importance; and employee benefits play a significant role in persuading people to join or stay with you. Even sense of purpose or what an employer stands for may be the deciding factor for some workers. It is a more complicated world than it once was!

When it comes to employee benefits, one survey found that 69% of employees might choose one job over another based on benefits. While this percentage may vary from industry to industry, role to role, it is a strong indicator of the power of employee benefits.

The good news is that elements like culture, benefits and a sense of purpose can all be attained or offered at lower cost to you than by just inflating wages. They each take thought and consideration though.

Looking at employee benefits, you can find real value through offering a well-designed package. Using know-how, bulk purchasing power and a bit of psychology you can pull the magic trick of offering enhanced value to employees at lower cost to yourself.

We can help you do this and we will share a powerful tip at the end. But first, we have broken down all the different employee benefit offerings into four distinct categories.

Which ones are you offering? If you’re not, could you?

Benefits at work

Benefits at work relate to all the extra things you may offer staff as they perform their day-to-day role with you – improving their lives as they do their job. Flexible hours, remote working, training and development all fall into this category.

If they work for your business (they won’t for everyone but are popular in the services industry), they may represent no cost to you, but be immensely valued by your staff – for instance, minor changes to working hours to help with work/life balance. Training programmes may require a budget but by upskilling team-members you should enhance productivity so still gain a return on investment.

Health benefits

When you hear the phrase “health benefits” your mind may immediately jump to private medical insurance. And while this is a sought-after benefit, and not necessarily as expensive as you might think, there are many other benefits you can offer which fall into this category.

Health benefits are anything which help your employees stay fit, healthy and well. They could include health cash plans (which offer reimbursement for private optical, dental and physiotherapy treatment); and employee assistance programmes which cover counselling and advisory services – helping with mental health.

One of the good things about health benefits, as well as being desirable to employees, is that they can help them back to good health more quickly than if the benefits weren’t in place, so reducing absenteeism.

Financial benefits

Thanks to auto-enrolment you will almost certainly offer one financial benefit through pension contributions, but there are many other options in this area. From discounts or cashback on everyday shopping to life insurances such as death in service benefits.

These can be particularly valuable to employees, either through peace of mind from greater financial security to helping them with cost of living beyond their normal salary. Financial benefits are definitely a way to add extra value to a compensation package without raising salary levels.

Lifestyle benefits

Lifestyle benefits relate to benefits which can improve your employees’ lifestyles. There may be some overlap with health benefits or financial benefits here with schemes like cycle-to-work and corporate gym membership being an option.

Cycle-to-work schemes in particular are a great option to consider because their impact is so wide. As well as giving the tangible benefit of a new bike at a heavily subsidised price, they are good for encouraging exercise, lowering the carbon footprint of working for you, saving employees on commuting costs and may ease any strain on parking.

As well as being pragmatic, lifestyle benefits may have quite an aspirational draw for employees, helping them to enjoy activities which they might not otherwise get involved in.

Would you like an employee benefits review?

If you are experiencing difficulties with recruitment and retention, or simply have not reviewed your employee benefits package for a while and are not sure if it is offering you value, The HR Dept can help. We are experts at knowing what works and what doesn’t and can help you with a range of solutions to get your own benefits package perfect for you and your employees.

One particular action that can yield significant financial benefit to you and/or your employees is to use salary sacrifice schemes where possible. Salary sacrifice is where an employee will give up part of their salary every month in exchange for a non-cash benefit from the employer. Employees might do this to boost their pension scheme but you, as the employer, can also give them the opportunity to do this for bikes, cars and other benefits. It doesn’t cost employers anything, in fact, it saves money on national insurance costs because the salary is lower. Get in touch with your local HR professional today to find out more!

About the Author

Tracey Hudson is an experienced HR professional having worked in HR for over 20 years, predominantly advising the SME market. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel

  • 🔍 Emphasize workplace culture and benefits to attract and retain staff, not just salary.
  • 🎁 Offer well-designed employee benefits packages to enhance value at lower costs.
  • ⏰ Include benefits at work like flexible hours and training for work/life balance and productivity.
  • 🏥 Provide health benefits, including private medical insurance and wellness programs, to reduce absenteeism.
  • 💷 Enhance financial security through benefits like pension contributions and life insurance.
  • 🚴‍♂️ Offer lifestyle benefits such as cycle-to-work schemes to boost employee satisfaction and reduce environmental impact.