Happy employees are at the heart of any successful business and offering your employees access to benefits and perks can not only boost their morale but reduce workplace stress too. When your team members are happy, you can look forward to increased productivity, reduced staff turnover, and fewer days lost to staff absence. Plus, providing benefits and perks can often prove to be a key differentiator in the employment market.
Benefits vs. Perks
Before we go further, let’s take a quick look at the difference between benefits and perks. Both say a lot about the culture of your company and how you value your employees; however, benefits are typically financially beneficial for employees, while perks tend to encourage engagement. Benefits, such as health care, are an expectation, while perks allow you to build a company culture and set your business apart from the competition.
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Health insurance is one of the major benefits offered by companies of all sizes. It’s a particularly vital (and required) benefit for workers in the United States, where it can often be challenging for people to get the care they need without proper health insurance. In the US, if your company has more than 50 people on the payroll, you must provide health insurance. Even if your business is outside the US, health insurance can give your team access to much more timely appointments and treatment together with preventative healthcare and wellness programs. Health insurance can cover all kinds of treatments and assistance from physical health to dental, vision, and mental health. An added bonus is the healthier your employees are, the less time they are likely to take off work and stay productive in the long run.
Everyone wants to know that their family will be financially secure in the event of their death or if they have an accident at work that prevents them from working. Ensuring each person has access to life adequate insurance will give them the peace of mind that their families are protected should the worst happen.
Retirement Provision and Planning
Most employers are legally obliged to provide retirement plans for their workers. Usually, this means matching employee contributions. However, it’s also important to ensure that your team members are prepared for retirement and understand the importance of regular savings. Providing financial advice on saving for retirement is one of the best benefits you can give your team to ensure they have the best chance of being financially secure when they are no longer able to work.
Low Interest Loans
Giving your team access to low interest personal loans will not only benefit your staff but it will benefit your business too. The loan repayments can be taken directly from the person’s salary to reduce the chance of them defaulting on the loan. Offering low-cost loans is likely to foster more loyalty and commitment and help with focus and productivity. However, you must make yourself aware of the tax obligations associated with lending money to employees and set up contracts that clearly state all the terms and conditions.
Flexible Scheduling and Home/Remote Working
If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that, depending on the type of business, a large percentage of the workforce can work successfully at home. Offering more flexible working hours and work-from-home opportunities gives everyone more control over their work life, plus, it shows that you have trust in them. Home or remote working is especially popular for those with families.
Assistance with Student Loans
If you’re employing graduates, it’s likely that they’ll have taken on a student loan to finance their studies. Helping them to pay off their student debt more quickly will not only put them on a better financial footing but will give them more money to invest in their retirement savings.
Recognition and Reward Programs
Your employees deserve recognition for their contribution to the workplace, especially if they have gone over and above their duty. In their most simple form, rewards can simply involve remembering to thank your team for the work they have done. You may want to go further and reward employees with items such as tickets to sporting events, overnight hotel stays or the latest electronics and gadgets.
Subsidized or Free Meals or Team Lunches
Everyone has to eat and providing subsidized meals or regular team lunches will go a long way to improving morale and overall company culture. The act of eating together during a team lunch will build team spirit and give employees time to get to know their colleagues on a more personal level. Access to subsidized or free meals either on-site or via lunch vouchers will help encourage each person to take a break and refuel. Plus, it shows that you are serious about creating a supportive environment for your entire team.
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