In this post, we’ll take a look at the best employee perks, paid benefits and what makes for a valued benefit to help you plan your employee benefit scheme.
What makes a good employee benefit for UK businesses?
Good employee benefits can:
- Boost morale and productivity
- Make it easier to attract and retain the most talented employees in your sector
- Reduce stress
But if you want to see any impact for your business, it’s important to choose employee benefits that truly strike a chord with your staff.
Types of Employee Benefit
We’ll be discussing some of the different employee benefits in this post, which primarily fall under one of two types:
- Employee perks – These can be low-cost, or even free to offer to employees
- Employee benefit schemes – These are usually insurance products
We’ll now take a look at five of the best employee perks, and five of the best products to include within an employee benefits scheme for UK businesses.
5 Best Employee Perks
Any kind of flexible working offer – whether it’s extra days’ holiday, sabbatical opportunities, flexible hours, or remote working opportunities – may be the single most popular of all employee perks.
In a survey of 2000 workplaces conducted by Small Business Prices, 26.28% of UK employees claimed they’d value flexible working arrangements over a pay rise. This is most likely because such flexibility allows employees to achieve a favourable work/life balance.
It may be a challenge to accommodate all of your employees’ flexible working requests. But if the end result is a less stressed and more productive workforce, then it’s certainly worth the effort.
Food and Drink
This could be something as simple as a bowl of fruit in the office, or a fridge full of chilled drinks in the staff room or a coffee machine. Or it could be something more elaborate, like periodic catered lunches or even meals out at the company’s expense.
Food and drink are effective perks simply because they can work for everyone. Who wouldn’t say no to free food now and then? Even if you’re just giving your employees some tasty snacks from time to time, it’s one less thing for them to think about, and one less thing for them to spend their own money on.
This is distinct from corporate health insurance, which we’ll take a closer look at below. Wellness initiatives might be something as simple as a dress-down Friday, or a “bring your dog to work day”. Or it could be something more substantial, like workplace yoga or massage sessions, or discounted gym memberships.
A happier and healthier workforce is obviously going to be good for your business. But beyond this, wellness initiatives provide an opportunity to highlight your company values, and to promote a company culture that prioritises employee wellbeing above all else.
We just mentioned how discounted gym memberships as part of a wellness initiative can be an effective employee perk. But this isn’t the only discount you can offer.
If you run a retail business, offering your employees discounts on your own products can prove very popular – particularly if you allow your employees to share their discount with their friends or family.
You can also sign up for an employee perks provider, who’ll allow your employees to access discounts on a number of global brands. Or you can arrange for such discounts yourself, through providing your employees with periodic rewards including high street vouchers, event tickets, and more.
Training and Development
Few things motivate employees more than career development opportunities. Allowing your employees to access training and development opportunities can send a strong signal that you’re invested in their career development. Plus, learning new skills and abilities could make your employees more effective in their current roles.
One idea is to give each employee an annual training budget – a set amount of time and money that they’re allowed to invest in their own education and development. If any employees aren’t interested in additional training, you could instead allow them to invest their training budget in doing voluntary work for a cause they believe in.
Other training and development perks include maintaining an in-house library, offering one-on-one coaching opportunities, organising mentorship schemes, and allowing employees to attend seminar, conferences, and events at your expense.
Top 5 Employee Paid Benefits
Group Personal Pension
As a UK employer, you have a legal requirement to run an auto-enrolment workplace pension. In short, this means you must make contributions to your employees’ workplace pensions.
Some employers offer more significant contributions. As an employee benefit it can prove extraordinarily powerful, as it demonstrates that you’re investing in your employees’ wellbeing in the long-term through helping them to save for retirement.
Most people in the UK are currently facing long waiting lists to access even the most basic of healthcare. But with healthcare cover as an employee benefit, you can give your employees fast-track access to GPs and other healthcare specialists, so they can get the care and attention they need as quickly as possible.
Healthcare cover can bring immense peace of mind, but also other business benefits. Good healthcare can mean you’ll lose fewer days to unplanned absences, which could make your whole business more productive in the long-term.
Learn more about health insurance as an employee benefit.
People across the UK are struggling to get dental appointments. A lack of access and a long delay in treatment means that some people might feel like they have no choice but to put up with pain and discomfort. And needless to say, an employee with a toothache won’t be the happiest or most productive of employees!
But this is another area where you can help. Offer dental cover as an employee benefit, and employees can get 24/7 access to high quality dental care as soon as they need it – whether it’s for regular check-ups or emergency treatment.
Learn more about dental insurance as an employee benefit.
Business travel insurance can cover your employees for a number of unexpected expenses they might incur when they travel for business purposes, from delayed flights to lost luggage.
But you can also cover your employees for the risks associated with their personal travel. And what better way to show that you value your employees’ health, happiness, and wellbeing than with great travel insurance when they are travelling with work and the potential of extending that cover for personal travel.
Learn more about travel insurance as an employee benefit.
Personal Accident Insurance
Offer personal accident insurance as an employee benefit, and your employees and their families will receive financial compensation if they ever suffer from a debilitating injury. The insurance can also cover your employees through their rehabilitation, through paying for their ongoing physiotherapy expenses, for instance.
You can allow employees to take out personal accident insurance based on their unique risk profile. Alternatively, you can take out a group personal accident insurance policy to cover your whole workforce.
Even the smallest of injuries can turn an employee’s life upside down. With personal accident insurance as an employee benefit, you can cover all of their medical bills and other expenses.
Learn more about personal accident insurance as an employee benefit.
We Can Help You Put Together an Employee Benefit Package That Truly Makes a Difference
Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, we can help you put together an employee benefit package that will enable you to attract and retain the top talent in your industry. We specialise in travel insurance, healthcare, dental care, and personal accident insurance packages for business of all sizes.
Get in touch to find out how we can help you offer a truly outstanding employee benefit package.