The cost of hiring an employee, training them and nurturing them means it is always better for a business to retain an existing employee than hire a new one unless there are extenuating circumstances. And in most cases, it is the benefits and perks of the role that can make the biggest difference for a member of staff and help retain them. But what benefits or perks make the biggest difference?
What are benefits and why do they matter?
Whether you work in an event recruitment agency or a high street shop, there are benefits that are included with every job. Employee benefits, also known as perks or fringe benefits, are things that are provided to your staff in addition to their salary or wage. There are countless different things that can count as benefits from medical insurance to overtime, profit sharing to staff discount.
For many people, these benefits can make the difference between choosing one job or another. It also shows that the employer is invested in the person, wants the best for them and offers more than just a basic wage. Plus there are some benefits that can focus on things like improving health and wellbeing which benefits both the individual and the company.
How employees see benefits
According to one study, 42% of full-time employees have no perks at all. But of those who do have perks, over half say that they give them a better quality of life and that the benefits have real meaning to them.
A popular benefit is the ability to work flexible hours. Nearly one-third of employers in the study offer this and 41% of employees rate this as the most important benefit offered. Another one quarter have had paid professional development of some kind including training courses. And 66% of those surveyed said they were satisfied with the perks and benefits that they receive.
What kind of benefits could you offer?
If you currently don’t offer benefits and want to start or want to fine-tune what you add, it is worth looking at the kinds of benefits other companies offer and how you can offer something similar. Some examples of benefits could be:
- Flexible working hours or the ability to work remotely
- Professional development such as training courses
- Gym memberships or other wellbeing programs
- Meals or catered food at work
- Company retreats or other bonding opportunities
But there are also some funny and interesting examples of benefits out there that work for companies. Infusionsoft is a software company that has a breakfast cereal bar available for all staff to start the day well. While it isn’t a big and expensive perk, it shows that the company cares about the staff and wants them to get a good breakfast.
Company benefits for perks
It is also clear that offers perks and benefits also bring benefits for the business itself. As mentioned, staff who receive benefits and perks often feel that their employer cares more about them as a person which improves morale.
Offering things such as flexible working and remote working allows staff to have a better work-life balance. This can help retain staff who have other commitments and might otherwise leave for a role with fewer hours. It also helps them to be more productive when they are at work as the flexible working plan means they are less stressed.
Professional development helps the employee in their role which in turns increases their productivity. Staff become more confident in their role and want to take on more, expand their role or simply do better. This helps business productivity levels as employees thrive.
Securing the best staff
Perks and benefits help to retain staff, improve morale and productivity and also play a big part in securing the best new staff. An increasing number of people say they would turn down a job just based on the perks and benefits it did or didn’t offer. People want more than just a job with a monthly pay packet – they want to feel valued and a key part of the company. Benefits can help to do this.
In fact, over half of people say that they have a better quality of life due to the benefits they receive while a similar figure says they feel valued due to them. This will translate to the new staff you can employ because they will start their career with the company with these positive feelings.
Perks for small businesses
If you have a small business, creating perks and benefits can seem tricky. But there are lots of ways this can be done without risking the financial future of the company. Professional development is a key one as well as flexible working – both of these ensure benefits for the company as well as the individual member of staff.