When employers and employees think of staff benefits, the first thought is often related to saving money.
The benefits help income go a bit further. They help the employee get things they would already be looking to use, only effectively cheaper as they are paid for directly out of salary, with savings against National Insurance and tax.
Employers can benefit financially too, with savings against National Insurance. At worst the benefits are cost neutral.
That in itself is reason enough to offer a suite of benefits but financial incentives are far from being the only reason to have staff benefits. Staff benefits are not just about saving money.
Staff benefits help with an employee’s health. Quite aside from the benefit to any business – healthy body, health mind – staying that bit fitter is something many of us are continually trying to achieve. Gym membership is expensive, cycling to work might seem like an option but the purchase price of a good bike is off-putting, especially if you worry you might not stick to the habit.
Any schemes that makes it easy to join a gym and at a great rate is going to be welcomed by staff, so too cycle to work schemes that spread the cost of bike purchase.
Staff benefits also help with mental wellbeing. A benefit such as the Employee Assistance Programme helps staff deal with any problems they might be experiencing.
With the EAP, staff have 24/7 access to counselling and advice simply by picking up the phone, and the conversations are confidential of course. This means that a member of staff who is going through bereavement, or a divorce, or has a gambling addiction, or any other stress or problem can speak to someone about it.
EAP is a wonderful benefit, it helps employees at times when they need help and it also shows that the employer takes their duty of care seriously.
Staff benefits also help to make people feel appreciated. If an employer offers a suite of benefits it shows that they have a deeper relationship than simply paying people for their time at work. Even employees who do not utilise any of the benefits will appreciate the fact that they exist.
For the employer, any feeling of positivity towards the workplace also makes it more likely skilled experienced staff will stay. This feeling of being appreciated also cannot harm when looking to bring in talented new members of staff.
Staff benefits can also save staff time. Let’s suppose an employee is going to join a gym, they will need travel insurance at some stage, they require childcare. They are going to have to go searching for all these things, comparing deals, possibly going round in circles trying to find the best rate.
If there are staff offers in place they can sign up to these with the minimum of fuss knowing they are getting great deals, perhaps after chatting to a few other scheme users to get their views on the offers. Who doesn’t like saving time and money?
Time can even relate to family life, workplace nursery schemes help people save money on childcare costs but also allow parents to have a say on how extra funding to their nursery is spent.
Away from home, workplace benefits can even help expand horizons whether that is through travel insurance or a scheme such as Dining Club Card. We love the Dining Club Card benefit – you get up to 50% off at superb restaurant and membership of the scheme is far cheaper than it would be if bought on the High Street.
Staff benefits might be mainly aimed at helping people save money but they can achieve so much more too.
If you are an employee or employer interested in workplace benefits, including a cycle to work scheme, please contact us at EnjoyBenefits for an obligation-free conversation.