Employees (the lifeblood of a company), are usually given additional perks alongside their salary in almost every job role today. There’s a whole industry built around rewarding employees and millennials filling the modern workplace has taken employee benefits to a new level. From free fruit to flexible working, there are a host of options available.
No longer is a decent salary enough, to attract and retain top talent, employers need to offer ‘value-adds’ to be attractive to potential candidates and employees. Especially as a third of candidates class company benefits as one of the most significant factors they consider before accepting a new job.
So, what are the benefits they want, what they really, really want?
- Paid annual leave
A recent survey from Aviva, the insurance company, revealed that 44% of all respondents said the benefit they value most is having between 22 and 35 days paid annual leave. To be productive, employees need to ensure that they are not over-worked, don’t suffer burn out and are happy in their role. The more paid leave they get, the more satisfied the employee is.
- Pension scheme
Just behind paid annual leave is a pension scheme. Employees value this benefit greatly to guarantee they have an income during retirement. As the workforce is getting older, a pension scheme will continue to be a key driver for attracting and retaining talent.
A recent study by Investors in People revealed that 31% of employees polled would rather have flexible working hours or work from home than have a pay rise. Allowing employees to work from anywhere, any time with options to take a non-paid break will help them maintain a better work-life balance.
- Training, progression and purpose
Benefits shouldn’t just be financial gains for employees as not everyone values the same things equally. Some employees would rather expand their learning and be allowed to attend virtually any type of education programme relating to their role or the company. Subscriptions to services such as LinkedIn Learning are favourites amongst employees and the more they attend these training courses, the more productivity and adherence to quality standards the employer will gain.
- Bonuses and/or share options
Share options officially started in 1972 and involves dispensing shares to employees at an intrinsic value which motivates and compensates them. The vesting period also helps companies retain their top talent through a ‘golden handcuffs’ approach as employees won’t want to leave until all their options have matured for them to sell. Bonuses work in a slightly different way as they tend to be paid to those employees who perform well on a yearly basis and therefore reinforce positivity. Employees like bonus schemes as it gives them something to strive for and provides financial recognition of good performance.
- Private health and/or life insurance
As great as the NHS is, employees like that extra bit of reassurance from additional health care benefits. Ranging from payments for dental treatment to extensive treatment for a variety of illnesses, employees’ value this greatly. Life insurance again gives the employee reassurance that their families are supported should the worst happen.
- Free food
Free tea and coffee are staples of most offices and has been for decades. However, employees now expect more. This ranges from fruit and hot meals to doughnuts and ice cream. Providing free food helps minimise the burden on employees to prepare meals each day and helps them focus on their work.
- Casual dress code
There used to be a clear divide between work and home when it came to your attire. Today is very different though, and many companies are adopting a casual approach to their dress code. One of the key benefits of a casual dress code is the positive influence it has on employee morale. There is less expectation on the employee to dress in a suit, for example, giving them the freedom to express their individuality and demonstrate a clear commitment to be more creative and resourceful.
- An office dog
Until recently, offices have been a dog-free environment, but this is rapidly changing. Many businesses are realising the benefits that a furry colleague can have on employees. A study by the International Journal of Workplace Health Management found that when a dog was present in the office, it reduced employees’ stress levels gradually throughout the day, compared to when there was no dog present.
There we have it. The majority of companies will offer employee benefits in one way or another – just be sure to offer the rewards that your employees value the most.