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Benefiting you and your team – What is the return on employee benefits?


The final part of our online employee communications quiz asks you a few questions about employee benefits. This sometimes undervalued area can really pay dividends to the employer as well as the team.

Do employee benefits have a place in the modern work environment?

A little perk here and there has always been the traditional way of saying ‘thank you’ to your team. In fact, it is easy to dismiss them as a little old school in the modern workplace, but that could be a mistake. According to a survey on employer rating site Glassdoor, almost 80% of employees said they would prefer additional benefits to a pay increase. Why? Well, more money is just a bit more money, but benefits are so much more meaningful.

The loyalty effect and employer brand

Attracting and retaining good staff in the current employment market has become a hot topic for most employers. As a result, many are now turning their attention to their employer brand and looking for ways to improve how they are perceived by candidates. Offering additional benefits, even relatively small ones such as optical vouchers or e-commerce cards, is a great way to demonstrate that you are invested and care about employees. Once you have a new team member, the benefits they receive not only generate a sense of loyalty but are also a barrier to moving elsewhere. In a world where key personnel are often tempted by rival offers, the thought of giving up a benefit for a small salary increase or a minor promotion can be enough to keep them with you. On a less tangible level, we all like to receive gifts, and we like the people who give them to us. The same is true of how we feel about a generous employer. From the employer perspective, a few benefits can help create a strong employer brand and retain good staff.

Health and wellbeing help to create a productive workplace.

One result of our shared experience of the Covid-19 pandemic was an increased awareness of the need for wellness. Benefits such as gym memberships, mental wellbeing training, dental and optical vouchers, and other preventative and supportive health perks are very attractive to employees. The resulting reduction in days lost to sickness is one obvious side effect of a focus on wellness benefits, but there is another. Healthy employees who feel their employer is caring for their health are more likely to be engaged and productive.

Money isn’t everything

The benefits that are appreciated the most by employees are often not the ones that involve money. Additional pay, bonuses, profit-related incentives and commissions are all very welcome in these difficult times, but they are not the only option. Salary sacrifice schemes (where the employee volunteers to give up part of their salary in return for a very favourable benefit) can often be more financially advantageous (due to reduced NI contributions) than additional pay. Shopping vouchers and similar may also be considered as trivial benefits for tax purposes. The tax situation surrounding shopping vouchers is, of course, best discussed with an accountant to see the most profitable method of using them. Most importantly, though, a benefit that is focused on the individual shows them that you are a caring employer and that is worth more than money to most employees.

Perks and benefits don’t need to be expensive. In fact, small helpful things such as shopping cards, free gym memberships, salary sacrifice schemes and other relatively inexpensive perks can have amazing results. Take our quiz and find out where you stand.

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