There’s no doubt people are an organisations’s greatest resource. The cost in terms of time and money in replacing key staff – and those with particular skills and experience – can be huge, and it’s vital that organisations and businesses are competent in retaining staff.

One way of doing this is through providing a range of benefits. This obviously makes the employee’s employment package more appealing, but it can have a huge effect on morale. Staff benefits show employees they are valued and the organisation they work for is demonstrating its commitment to making them feel content.

Pay isn’t the only incentive

While a basic ‘market value’ salary has to be paid to staff it’s by no means the only consideration for the workforce. A range of benefits – especially flexible benefits – is almost certainly going to be of major importance to the morale of staff, a more well-rounded package that goes beyond the salary itself.

A flexible package that enables staff to choose the benefits that suit them are especially powerful as it gives personnel a degree of autonomy in effectively tailoring their renumeration package. Research conducted by the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals found that 85% of workers rated flexible benefits as “very important” or “important”.

Some benefits can remove a major headache for employees. For example, the benefit of childcare vouchers can make the difference between it being worthwhile someone taking a job and not in some cases

Other benefits include the traditional ones of pension contributions, company car schemes with the option of taking the money rather than having a car, and sometimes helping them learn to drive which might help the company in the long run when the staff member gains a full driving licence.

Other organisations offer gym memberships and may even invest in on-site fitness facilities to make it even more convenient for staff.

Helping staff retention

A good range of benefits also helps staff retention. Sometimes this is the ‘bargaining chip’ used to encourage people to stay or to encourage others to join. This can happen when pure salary isn’t the main motivator as described above. A benefits package is part of what can earn you the moniker of being a ‘good place to work’.

The cost of benefit schemes?

Less than 20% of employers who offer benefits schemes say it costs them extra. Many say it saves money in terms of reducing the number of employees leaving and the consequent costs of recruiting and training people, and still more claim it’s a ‘cost neutral’ undertaking.

Another great asset of a benefits scheme that boosts staff morale is at times of economic hardship when pay rises are less prevalent. At least a good benefits package is an important part of an employee’s renumeration, and will help the employee feel positive about their job situation and the organisation they work for.

Popularity of benefits schemes

In the UK benefits schemes are certainly popular – nearly 50% of UK companies have been found to provide at least some optional employer-paid benefits. Keeping your employees happy is important to help drive forward innovation and efficiency, a benefits scheme can be a big symbolic and practical gesture that goes a long way towards achieving just that.

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