A good deal of businesses see their benefits packages as tools to enhance their retention and recruitment strategies, and employees don’t disagree with them; according to a 2010 survey by MetLife, 43% of employees state that their benefits package has kept them in their current role.

Staff turnover costs businesses money, there’s no escaping that, and high rates can lead to major problems in the workforce. Studies suggest the costs range from 50-150% of the salary of the lost employee, and paired with additional training, downtime and induction during the hiring process, it’s easy to see why it’s in a businesses best interest to keep hold of their employees.

Whist a higher base salary is one of, if not the most attractive offering of a new role, a competitive benefits and rewards scheme can be a real influence in how attractive the role is to candidates. In fact, a benefits package that offers a diverse set of benefits tailored to the needs of a wide range of employees may actually be a more attractive prospect than a higher base salary with no benefits at all.

A good quality benefits scheme can make a huge difference when attracting new employees, but how can they be used to improve engagement and satisfaction for current employees?

A fixed benefits scheme may appeal to the majority of employees, but leave some feeling sidelined. The needs of employees are many, and whilst most will be interested in traditional benefits (pensions, insurance, health cover), many more will be interested in rewards or flexible working hours and everything in between. A flexible benefits package that allows employees to select the benefits most relevant to their needs may be more valuable than a fixed set of benefits that all employees across the company receive.

Benefit schemes often fall short due to a lack of communication. Employees either aren’t aware of what benefits are available to them or aren’t aware how they can make the most of what is on offer.

Communication is the key to making the most of your employee benefit packages, and the more flexible a businesses approach to employee benefit communication is, the more effective the benefits package will be at improving employee satisfaction and engagement. By providing a medium in which employees can gain a clear and concise understanding of what is on offer is of the utmost importance, and the more flexible this medium is, the more employees will engage with and respond to any total reward statements or benefits statements.

Employee reward schemes are there to support employees, and whether they are there to help them to attain a comfortable work life balance or to support them travel or ensure their wellbeing is catered for, it isn’t always a cash reward or bonus schemes that ensure employees are happy, loyal, engaged and understand their company is doing all they can to retain them.