Directing employee benefits to your workforce
All employers should direct perks and benefits towards their workforce. These can be used to reward good performance, encourage higher retention, and even entice new candidates.
When it comes to choosing them, employers should choose the best employee benefits that work for their staff and business. One wrong decision could end up demotivating and losing talented employees for good.
Let’s take a look at the best employee benefits in UK businesses; and see if they’ll work for you:
1. Employee recognition
As an employer, it’s always best to recognise employees for their hard work and effort. This could be as simple as giving them a ‘shoutout’ in the Monday-morning meeting. Or presenting them with a trophy at an awards evening.
Make sure you show appreciation and gratitude for those going beyond normal expectations. In the end, this will reciprocate into higher performance, loyalty, and retention for the business.
2. Bonuses and commission
It’s hard to argue against money being a popular benefit choice. Employees will choose to work a little harder if given the chance to earn more than their set-salary.
Employers can offer bonuses and commission based on individual performance. Or provide everyone with a share from their end-of-year bonus pots. A little extra money can really help some people. Just be sure to budget well, or else you could be left out of pocket.
3. Career-building opportunities
Many employees thrive at the chance to be given career-building opportunities. It’s not always about getting a new job-title or higher pay. Some employees would love to develop both their personal and professional skills.
Employers can offer all kinds of career opportunities. Like, work-shadowing sessions, training courses, and even one-to-one mentoring. Why not invest in their interests – in the end, employers will gain a skillful and talented workforce.
4. Stock and profit-shares
Larger businesses may offer stocks and profit-shares to employees, as a contractual work benefit. These usually grow over time – depending on how long the employee works for you, as well as how successful the business is.
Benefits like these have a direct correlation to engagement, loyalty, and retention. The harder everyone works, the more money is made, the higher the shares. So, it’s a ‘win-win’ all round.
Promotions are considered one of the best benefits for employees. This type of professional development often comes with a new job-title, salary rise, and additional work entitlements.
Employees are further motivated to keep working hard. They’ll often stay employed within their current workplace – aspiring to go higher and higher up the ranks.
6. Team-bonding activities
It’s always nice to celebrate work achievements with peers. These benefits can cover a range of things; from receiving personalised hampers to going on weekend retreats.
Employees end up growing morale and cohesion. These are then transferable into everyday tasks, new projects, and overall workplace cultures.
7. Equipment and workspaces
A great employee benefit to offer are better equipment and workspaces. This doesn’t just mean buying the latest gadgets or fancy ergonomic furniture. Think about making changes that’ll help employees work more efficiently.
It’s always best to ask them directly what they’d prefer. A simple laptop upgrade or better software may not be as expensive as you’d think.
8. Office perks
There are numerous office perks you can provide to employees. For example, personalised business cards, company merch, or even dry-cleaning services.
These are part of the best employee benefits packages as they’re easy to introduce into your workplace. However, it’s always best to ask employees what specific perks work well for them.
9. Office pets
Who doesn’t love having pets in the office? Employers may allow staff to bring their pets to work as an employee benefit.
It provides free entertainment, boosts socialisation, and encourages a positive workplace environment. Just be sure to do allergy checks before you roll this one out.
10. Additional annual leave
One of the best employee benefits in the UK for businesses revolves around paid annual leave.
Most employees receive around 25 paid holidays per year. Why not offer more as an employee benefit?
Additional annual leave can be highly motivating for many employees. You can also provide additional sick leave, parental leave, and even wellbeing days.
11. Wellness programs
Another popular benefit offered to employees are wellness programs. From gym memberships to therapy sessions, these help and encourage personal wellbeing.
There are thousands of wellness programs to choose from. As always, it’s always best to ask employees which ones they’d like. Just be sure to provide them fairly across your entire workforce.
12. Flexible working
In recent times, flexible working has quickly become a basic working condition. If you don’t already, why not offer employees the chance to work from home or work flexible hours?
Flexible working also encourages work-life balance, as well as better personal wellbeing. All this leads to a ‘win-win’ for employees, as well as a healthier business.
13. Student tuition reimbursements
Many people are stuck paying back their student loans well after graduation. Employers can help relieve this stress by offering student tuition reimbursements.
This can be given in small increments or as an overall pay-off. In the end, benefits like this encourage long-term retention and loyalty towards the business.
14. Childcare assistance
The cost of childcare has increased over time – making it harder for employees to decide whether to work or not. Many businesses offer childcare assistance as means to support staff with children.
Employers can provide enrolment discounts or maintenance vouchers (which help pay for things like school uniforms or lunch meals). Some businesses even have on-site creche services – minimising the stress of school runs and pick-ups.
15. Commute expenses
Many employees need to budget for the cost of their daily commute to work. They’ll have to think about parking, petrol, or public transport costs – all of which are constantly on the rise.
Helping with travel expenses is another popular benefit. It’s especially helpful for those who live far away from the workplace, or need to use multiple public transport systems.
16. Medical expenses
Whilst most healthcare services are free in the UK, sometimes people face having to pay for personal procedures. From eyesight tests to private surgeries, medical expenses can easily rack up.
Many businesses offer schemes to help with medical expenses – some of which apply to both employees and their immediate family. Benefits like these are especially helpful for those with ongoing health issues; or those who may not qualify for UK-based healthcare.
17. Life insurance
Another health-related benefit are life insurance schemes. This is especially popular with employees who have families, particularly younger children.
Businesses collaborate with a third-party insurance company to implement the scheme. However, employers personally gain advantages; like, increased commitment and overall retention.
Often given to senior or executive members, on-site parking is a benefit that several employees would choose if given the chance.
Offering a designated parking spot is an all-time classic work benefit. It takes away the stress of having to find a spot every morning. It’s also a clear indication of a work privilege – motivating others to reach the same benefits.
19. Free lunch
Nothing fuels a workforce better than free lunch! This is probably one of those employee benefits you can’t go wrong with.
Businesses can offer light finger-food or catered meals – it’s completely up to you. And if you don’t have catering facilities on-site, why not offer to pay for delivered meals of their choice.
A personal employee benefit you can offer revolves around birthdays. This comes in the shape of personalised gifts, office parties, and even paid annual leave.
Whatever you’re offering, make sure it’s applicable to everyone across your workforce. It’s also best to seek an employee’s permission before celebrating their birthday this way.
21. Happy hour
Having happy hours allows employees to unwind, socialise, and relax after a hard work-week. Employers can offer these weekly (like, every Friday at 4pm); or after celebrating huge business achievements.
Remember, happy hours aren’t just about drinking alcohol. Make sure you keep on top of anyone who may abuse the benefit. It’s also best to have non-alcoholic options for those who don’t drink for religious or personal reasons.
22. Volunteer charity causes
Outside of the workplace, employees may spend their time volunteering for charity or community causes. Whilst these don’t directly benefit your business, it’s always best to support your staff.
Why not allow employees to promote their cause at work? You could help them collect sponsorship money from colleagues. Or help them round up further volunteers?
From meal-prep deliveries to TV streaming apps, there are countless online subscriptions people sign up to. Offering discounted (or even free) subscriptions are seen as the best benefits to offer employees.
Not only is it a great way to show your appreciation for their hard work. It also provides financial support in their personal lives.
24. Personalised social events
From music festivals to football matches, there are so many social events you can treat employees to.
Attending social events is a great way to help employees unwind and encourage better wellbeing. Just be sure to tailor these to their individual interests. There’s no point sending them off to the races if it’s not really their thing.
25. Gift card and vouchers
Giving out gift cards and vouchers is a sure-fire way to show employees gratitude for their hard work and efforts.
Employers should provide them based on individual achievements. Meaning, the bigger the result, the greater the reward. Try to give gift cards and vouchers that employees will love to receive and appreciate.
26. Four-day working weeks
This is probably a newer benefit that’s still being tried out within certain industries. If it sounds intriguing, why not offer employees four-day work weeks as a benefit.
Employers must ensure this is provided through a fair, legal, and non-discriminative method. If it’s executed well, employees can really benefit from a greater work-life balance. Just be sure not to cause potential disruption or losses for your business.
A lot of the time, it can be difficult to decide what the best perks and benefits for employees are. How to choose and implement them is one thing. But making sure employees will work towards these goals is another aspect to consider.
The best thing to do is let employees choose their own benefits. You can give them choices from a set-list; or implement one from their preferences. Remember, it’s all about rewarding them for working hard. So, going the extra mile will encourage further loyalty, engagement, and commitment for your business.
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