In a time when we’re struggling to give pay raises or bonuses, more employers are investing in employee benefits to encourage retention and loyalty as well as maintaining a positive and enthusiastic workforce. Employees are looking beyond financial gains for job satisfaction, as a wealth of workplace benefits can support a more balanced work-life blend as well as supporting mental health issues and working parents.
A recent study by CABA, the wellbeing charity, found that a fifth (20%) of employees felt that their employer didn’t prioritize the workplace wellbeing of their staff, and nearly a quarter (23%) revealed they have no knowledge of the health and wellbeing initiatives their organization offers.
More employees are focussing on trying to create a reasonable divide between home and their work life. When it comes to motivation and rewards at work a good work-life blend is regarded as the biggest priority (31%) followed by being stimulated in their role (27%) and then financial rewards (20%).
With these findings in mind, Kelly Feehan, Service Director at CABA, has created a list of the most popular workplace benefits to consider when thinking about the welfare and happiness of employees.
1. Flexible Working Hours
A survey by Adler found that flexible working is the most wanted workplace perk (48%) among UK workers. Having a flexible schedule leads to a better quality of life, and many studies have found that this not only leads to higher staff engagement but also a reduction in the overall number of sick days taken each year.
2. Wellness Programs
There is a multitude of wellness initiatives available that benefit employees, ranging from gym memberships to holistic treatments such as acupuncture, massage therapy, and reflexology. Supporting the mental and physical health of employees is important to consider when maintaining a healthy and happy working environment. Providing counseling and care for employees makes them feel supported and secure.
3. Enrichment Events
Offering employees enrichment events such as talks by inspiring speakers, cooking classes, book clubs, and entrance to exhibitions is a great way of engaging employees and fostering a fun and positive workplace culture. Stimulating creativity and inspiration outside of the workplace can encourage employees to feel enriched and motivated to continue this attitude in the office.
4. Subsidized Travel
There is a multitude of ways in which companies can subsidize commuting, from encouraging car-sharing, public transport passes or season ticket loans, shuttle buses, and in some cases company cars. Commuting can be a significant expense and supporting employees with this can really improve their engagement with the brand and as such increase employee retention.
5. Paid Volunteer Days
Offering paid time off to volunteer has a number of benefits such as attracting and retaining top talent as well as increasing productivity. Giving employees a sense of meaning and purpose whilst growing their engagement and sense of empowerment translates into satisfaction and productivity in the office. Participating in paid volunteer days for charity helps to build a sense of teamwork and commitment. Cultivating a drive to align with deeper values in the business whilst making a difference in the wider community not only harnesses brand awareness but also helps individuals to develop new skills, boosting motivation and their sense of self-worth.
6. Training and development
No surprises here, but in an uncertain environment, this is the first benefit to go. However, employers that continue to invest in training and development will reap the rewards. Not only will your employees have more advanced skills and perform better at their jobs but their confidence in their abilities will improve as will the overall perception of the business and employee turnover should also reduce.
Employee benefits are a central structure in sustaining an organization’s ability to develop and grow. Going above and beyond to ensure that employees feel supported and valued provides workers with a sense of security. Attracting and retaining talent is a key part of this, offering strong workplace benefits demonstrates that companies are invested in the health and wellbeing of individuals as well as their future and development potential.
About the author: The CABA provides lifelong support for past and present ICAEW members and their families and are Passionate about health and wellbeing.