What should an employee benefits package include?
As a business, your employee benefits package plays a huge part in your overall offering. Put simply, it could make or break an employee’s experience working for you – not to mention their decision as to whether to accept the job offer in the first place. Whether your aim is to attract the best talent or retain more of your workforce each year, find out how to build an impressive benefits package your employees will love.
What is an employee benefits package?
Employee benefits are basically the non-financial perks offered by an employer. We’re talking things like unlimited holiday allowance, subsidised gym memberships and cycle to work schemes. They’re the ‘nice to haves’ that can improve a person’s experience working for you, whether that’s by saving them money, boosting their fitness or widening their learning opportunities.
Neglecting your employee benefits offering is a big mistake. While it might mean fewer costs in the short term, employees might feel unrewarded and look to competitors offering better perks in the long run. In fact, 8 in 10 employees claim that the right employee benefits are a very important factor when deciding whether to join a company. This goes to show that putting the effort into building an attractive benefits package is likely to pay off down the line.
The most popular types of benefits
There are endless benefits you could include in your package, but here are some of the most common perks we’re seeing businesses offer:
- Health insurance
According to this research, health is the number one priority for 9 out of 10 people. But unfortunately, things don’t always go to plan and health can take a hit. Offering health insurance gives your employees peace of mind that if something goes wrong, they can focus on getting better instead of worrying about paying bills and covering treatment costs.
- Life insurance
Life insurance is designed to reassure you that your dependents (like your children or partner) will be financially secure if you were to die. This is likely to be particularly important to older employees or those who are parents. Employees can choose the amount of cover they need and how long they need it for, giving them control over how things are handled if they’re not around.
- Extra holiday days
The ability to buy extra days off is an increasingly popular benefit, especially as many companies are becoming more generous and extending their basic allowance beyond the statutory minimum of 20 days. We all have different holiday requirements, so it’s ideal to be able to buy (or sell) holidays depending on our needs each year.
- Generous pension schemes or extra contributions
It’s easy to put retirement to the back of your mind and contribute the bare minimum to your pension each month. But with the national retirement age constantly on the rise, more and more people are recognising the need to boost their pension pots when they’re young. Increasing your pension contributions as an employer can help to build staff loyalty as well as workplace morale, as people feel they’re being taken care of.
- Wellbeing perks
Mental health is a priority for many people these days, and keeping your employees at the top of their game is only going to benefit you too. Healthy, happy employees are more likely to be productive and motivated, after all. Research shows that 46% of employees want better mental health and wellbeing support, so adding counselling or mindfulness apps to your benefits lineup could help you stand out from the competition.
- Free or discounted gym memberships
Working out isn’t just good for your waistline, it’s great for your work ethic, too. Employees who are physically healthy are better at concentrating and are less likely to call in sick, so it can’t hurt to foster a culture where physical activity is a priority by offering subsidised gym memberships.
- Cycle to work scheme
Of course, there are other ways to stay healthy than by heading to the gym. Cycle to work schemes are an awesome way for employees to stay fit and save money on buying a bike. It’s a type of salary sacrifice scheme, which means that employees can pay for a bike over the course of a year, whilst saving on tax.
Best practices for implementing your employee benefits package
First off, if you’re struggling to decide which benefits to offer your employees, why not ask them? No one knows your team like they do, after all. Take an interest in what their priorities are and try to offer as wide a range of perks as possible, so that everyone is catered for. You’ll want to have some core benefits covered (like insurance and pension contributions) as well as some fun extras, like a learning and development budget or a workplace nursery, depending on what’s relevant to your team.
Once you’ve decided on a bundle of benefits, it’s time to roll them out across the company. Remember to mention these across all the relevant touchpoints, from job descriptions and your Careers page to your Employer Value Proposition (EVP) and job contracts. This is so that everyone has a fair chance to take advantage of what’s on offer.
After a few months, it’s a good idea to check in with your employees to see how they’re making the most of the benefits. Follow our top tips for creating a great survey so you can get to the bottom of whether the perks are working. Practice makes perfect, so keep measuring progress on a regular basis – there’s nothing wrong with adding new benefits or removing old ones if it leads to higher employee engagement.
Employee benefits packages come in all shapes and sizes, but the best one for you is the one that meets the needs of your employees. It’s easy to create a tailored package with a flexible solution like Ben, the all-in-one employee benefits platform. Let your team choose the perks that matter to them, measure employee engagement and track every penny spent – all in one place.