Employee benefits ideas for your workforce
It’s a Monday morning. Your employee drags themselves out of bed and into work, mentally preparing themselves to get through the day. On their desk, they see a handwritten, ‘thank you’ card and some company merchandise. It’s their 5th year anniversary at the company and you remembered. This puts a smile on their face and gives them a renewed sense of motivation, enabling them to put in their 100% for days to come.
That pretty much sums up why employee benefits are so important. While employees are being paid for the work they do, it’s important to remember that they’re not machines. They’re humans with feelings and emotions and gestures like these (non-monetary rewards) can go a long way in making sure they feel happy. As we all know, happiness is linked to motivation and productivity levels, as well as loyalty to the company.
The bottom line? You’ll be able to attract and retain the most talented staff, lower costs associated with high turnover and see business outcomes increase via greater productivity. A win for all! So, where do you go from here? If you’re short of employee benefits ideas, this Pacific Prime UK article acts as your ideas bank. Discover the best benefits to keep your employees happy!
1. Who doesn’t love a bit of flexibility?
The 9 to 5 hustle isn’t great for most employees. Now that the pandemic has shown that remote work is indeed possible, forward-thinking employers are those that will prioritise productivity over presenteeism (or employees turning up to the office for the sake of it) and afford employees more flexibility with regards to when and how they work.
- Remote working. Employees work entirely at home.
- Hybrid working. Employees split between working remotely and at the office.
- Condensed workweek. Employees work their full-time hours, but this is condensed down into fewer days than normal.
- Flextime. Employees can choose when to start and end their work, as long as they work their contracted number of hours.
- Job sharing. Employees can share responsibilities (and remuneration) with their colleagues.
Further reading: Did you know that flexibility is also the key tool for supporting female employees (and those with caring duties)?
2. But flexibility doesn’t replace paid time off…
Time is the most valuable gift of all. As such, you could be generous with paid time off to encourage your employees to celebrate holidays, take vacations, or simply rest and recover. Of course, managers will still need to approve time-off requests, and employees will still be held accountable for poor performance due to extended leave periods.
3. And you should still make coming to the office appealing.
Even though working remotely has its merits, this doesn’t mean that the office is obsolete. The office space lends well to collaborative working and building relationships, so you should aim to make coming to the office as appealing as possible. For starters, you could subsidise their commute to reduce their stress, save them time and block loads of frustration.
Other ideas include:
- Free coffee. Most of us could do with a caffeine boost during the day.
- Monthly team lunches to get everyone bonding and exchanging ideas in an informal environment.
- Company happy hours. Employees can toast to their hard work and successes, and deepen bonds with their colleagues – something that will make working together easier.
4. Always keep in mind the ‘employee experience’
While we’re on the theme of making the office (and work in general) appealing for employees, you should also consider the ‘employee experience’. This is the employee’s perception about his or her journey through all the touchpoints at a particular company, including the company’s physical workspace, culture and technology, amongst others. Let’s deal with each category:
Use smart design to make the workplace as pleasant as it can be. You can play with colours and decorations, add plants for some greenery, move furniture around to get optimum amounts of natural lighting, have a nice breakroom for staff to unwind and socialise in, amongst other design fixes.
Aches and pains that employees get from a sedentary working position is also something to address. Consider purchasing standing desks and ergonomic chairs so that employees don’t have to deal with the dreaded office syndrome. On this note, you can also share with them some desk-based exercises to sneak into their workdays.
Organise team-building activities to build a strong team based on mutual trust and effective communications. Better yet, do these on a company trip where you also provide employees with enriching experiences. This way, employees will associate the company and colleagues with fun memories. Throw in some free company merchandise for some bonus points.
Another element of good company culture? Recognising and appreciating your employees. Say ‘thank you’ often and don’t forget to give praise for a job well done. Compliments are contagious and you’ll encourage your employees to do the same for each other. You could also give out spot bonuses and rewards for good work.
Make sure employees have all the technology and software they need to work effectively and efficiently, as well as use HR technology such as a benefits administration platform to increase engagement – particularly for the younger, tech-savvy employees. These will most likely be Gen Z or millennial employees.
When choosing an employee benefits specialist to work with, make sure you ask about the technology they use for plan administration. A good, user-friendly tech platform can help you save time and stress, and engage your employees as well. At Pacific Prime UK, we use cutting-edge technology, including our bespoke HR portal, the Prime Care Portal (PCP).
5. Including their personal and professional development
It’s also vital to show employees that you’re invested in their personal and professional development. If they feel that they can grow, they’ll be more likely to stay at the company, which helps with employee retention. Consider sponsoring them for an online (using platforms like LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, etc.) or offline course, developing their soft skills and sending them to conferences (if applicable).
Part of development is also to give them the opportunity to use what they’ve learnt. Make sure you provide employees with constructive feedback on a regular basis and guide them with their career plans and progression. Once they’ve accrued experience and/or additional skills, give them more responsibilities and promote them internally if they deserve it.
6. Prioritise health and wellbeing
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and a National Health Service (NHS) that’s backlogged, health and wellbeing benefits are increasingly coveted. Think: group health insurance plans. This allows employees to access private medical care in the UK (something that’s bank-breakingly expensive) without having to deal with long queues or pay out of pocket.
Not only will employees feel happy that you’re investing in their health (as we’ve established, this has its own advantage), but they’ll be able to access healthcare earlier on – before their health problem gets out of control. This means that you’ll have a workforce that’s healthier and takes fewer sick days, thereby lowering presenteeism and absenteeism.
Comprehensive health cover and/or dependent cover
To take this up a notch, employers can also supplement the group health insurance plan by adding coverage for riders (or optional extras) such as dental, vision and more. What’s more, they can extend the coverage to employees’ dependents.
Preventative health and wellbeing benefits
- Healthy snacks at the office (or a healthy snack box sent home for remote workers). Employees will be less likely to munch on junk food.
- On-site gym or free/subsidised gym membership. Employees will be more likely to exercise
- Wellness programs. Employees will be able to aspire to a level of wellness and fulfilment that is beyond baseline health.
7. At the end of the day, money still matters
Most of the time, money is an uncomfortable matter to talk about in the office. But it matters! Particularly with the global economic uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employees may be worried about their finances and future. These worries can impact their mental and physical health as well.
That’s why you shouldn’t overlook financial wellbeing. Offer an employee discount programme, one-off cash bonuses for major life events or even get an expert in to help employees budget, invest and plan for retirement. What’s more, you could offer life insurance so that employees will have peace of mind knowing that their loved ones will be covered financially.
Want to learn more about employee benefits? Get in touch with Pacific Prime UK today!
After going through these top 7 benefits for keeping employees happy, it’s a good idea to gain a deeper and more nuanced understanding of employee benefits trends. We recommend checking out our Global Employee Benefits Trends Report 2020 – a FREE, comprehensive resource for business leaders and HR professionals that includes actionable tips. Download the report today!
For personalised advice, you can also get in touch with us. As a global health insurance and employee benefits broker in the UK, Pacific Prime UK helps companies of all sizes and industries design, implement, manage and optimise their employee benefits offerings. Whether you’re interested in corporate health insurance plans or any other employee benefits plan, we use a tailored, technology-first approach to give you the best bang for your buck.
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