Offering attractive benefits to employees will help you to bring talented people into your business and also to keep current team members content so that your need for regular recruitment is kept to a minimum.
Of course there are a lot of benefits that you might consider including in your employment packages, so which of the options will actually put a smile on the face of the average employee?
Outsourcing your HR makes it easy to administer benefits
Firstly it is worth establishing that HRO (human resources outsourcing) is one of the simplest ways to ensure that the benefits you provide are orchestrated and issued efficiently.
This is especially convenient if your company is on the smaller side and you do not have the in-house resources available to pursue any of the strategies we are about to suggest.
Outsourcing HR has the added advantage of letting third party specialists take charge of other mission-critical duties, such as handling payroll and recruitment, so before you dive into expanding your available benefits, think about whether you will need HRO to administer them effectively.
Health insurance is essential
Unsurprisingly the most sought-after benefit that any employer can provide is access to a company-backed health insurance plan, so that members of staff can be confident that they will not have to face steep costs if they need any medical care during their tenure.
Since only around two thirds of workers in the private sector get insurance through their employer, there is clearly an opportunity to stand out and appeal to prospective new hires if you have this as a benefit.
Paid leave can make a positive impact on morale
In addition to statutory sick leave to which employees may be entitled depending on where your business is based, it is certainly sensible to offer additional paid leave which workers can then use flexibly as they see fit.
Obviously for many people this will mean that they are able to pencil in vacations with friends and family, but having paid leave to spare should also help them to account for any unexpected days when they need to be away from the office.
You might be reluctant to pay employees for the time off they take, but you should really see this as an investment towards their future productivity. If workers are always tethered to their desks, then they will be less effective than if they are given regular opportunities for taking paid leave from which they can return with renewed vigor.
Flexibility is increasingly crucial
For a lot of employees, finding a work-life balance that suits them is at the top of the agenda when deciding which jobs to apply for or which companies to remain loyal to.
Because of this, being flexible in terms of how scheduling is handled can make a big difference. And to be clear, this is not about having a complete free-for-all, but rather about assessing what is possible within your specific working environment and industry niche, and doing what you can to accommodate the expectations of employees.
The idea of sticking to a rigid 9-5 schedule just because it is traditional has been largely dismantled, and if a different setup works for some employees, and it will not derail your broader operations, then there is no reason to be overly strict.
Remote working is no longer optional
If there is no technical reason to prevent your employees working from home, then this really should be a benefit that is essentially standardized across the areas that can support it.
The turmoil of the recent past has proven that remote working is not just a luxury, but a necessity to ensure business continuity, and now that millions more people have experienced it, you cannot put that genie back in its bottle.
The other side of the coin is that you also need to accept that some employees will prefer to work from the office wherever possible, so it should equally be something that is optional rather than enforceable across the board.
This is basically an extension of the aforementioned flexibility that more people want to receive from their employers today.
The potential for progression is a plus point
Nobody wants to work a dead end job, but employers also have to do more than just suggest that with the right attitude and a bit of luck, employees will be able to move on to bigger and better things without having to leave the organization in pursuit of their career aims.
Offering training and a structured approach to progression as part of every relevant role will give employees confidence that they can go far if they stay loyal and fulfill their professional responsibilities with panache.
In short, if you pay attention to what workers want, you will not go far wrong with the benefits you offer them.