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Why employee benefits are more than a nice gesture

Why Employee Benefits Are More Than A Nice Gesture

The employee benefits market is particularly challenging for SMEs and start-ups just setting out on their employee benefits journey. Traditionally, the market has been built around serving larger companies – in other words, companies with plenty of budget whom insurers and brokers will flock towards.

But things are changing – and Hooray are dedicated to driving that change!

In the absence of hefty pay packages and big brand reputation, employee benefits are a vital tool for smaller businesses looking to improve staff retention and attract potential candidates.

Nine out of 10 (93%) of start-up employees said they are now receiving employee benefits, according to our own survey. This truly outlines just how much the industry has evolved.

This article explores why employee benefits are needed in the first place and how they do more than offer a token of goodwill to your teams.

Looking for advice on finding the best employee benefits for your staff? Contact our friendly team at [email protected] or click on the bottom right chatbox for FREE one-to-one support.


Why look for employee benefits in the first place?

1. To attract and retain talent

‘The Great Resignation’ and ‘The Great Reshuffle’ are a couple of phrases which originated in America but are pertinent here too. In short: it reflects the trend of people quitting their jobs or changing their careers as they seek a better work-life balance.

Competition has never been higher! Employees expect more and demand better.

Relying on a reasonable salary isn’t going to cut it in this current work environment! Multiple surveys have shown that having a comprehensive employee benefits scheme makes your business more attractive to potential employees. 63% of start-up employees said that benefits were a ‘very important’ factor in their choice of workplace.

Offering the right employee benefits shows you care about your workforce and helps ensure you have the best talent at your disposal.

2. To protect the wellbeing of your teams

Of course, business owners will always have a keen eye on the bottom line, but you will also (we hope!) genuinely care about the wellbeing of your team. As it happens, it’s not just the right thing to do – it makes business sense too.

Our survey found that 88% of employees felt their benefits aided their wellbeing. Offering a range of benefits that target staff members’ different wellbeing needs is the key to a successful plan.

Having a fitter and healthier workforce will lead to less time off work but also higher energy levels when in the workplace.

3. To boost productivity

Sixty-one per cent of employees believe that wellbeing benefits improve engagement and overall productivity. But, why?

Firstly, a healthy and happy employee will have more energy and better mental clarity than someone who is less healthy and struggling with stress-related issues.

Secondly, providing employee benefits will show staff that you care for their needs, lending them a positive impression of your business and increasing their desire to perform at their best for the success of the company.

Offering retail or leisure discount schemes, team-building days, free lunches, and flexible-working arrangements are just a few of the benefits which help create a positive working environment.

Finally, a good benefits scheme will bring top talent to your business – the kind of people with a naturally strong work ethic.

4. To respond to today’s demands

The pandemic has forced companies of all sizes to become more mindful of employee wellbeing with many reviewing existing benefit schemes – or considering setting them up for the first time.

One of the biggest changes in workplace culture is the move to increased homeworking. During the pandemic, many employees experienced the benefits of remote working and were reluctant to return to the way things were. Nearly 8 out of 10 employees said their ability to work flexibly would create a significant boost.

The pandemic has also negatively impacted mental health, with almost every study indicating an upturn in this problem. This is further exacerbated by rising energy prices and the general cost-of-living squeeze.


How do employee benefits improve your business?

Any employee benefit will work best when it’s designed around the needs of your employees.

“Our teams were so thrilled when we announced our benefits. They felt heard and supported. They have access to amazing healthcare, and a great life insurance policy. Our focus on their wellbeing meant we ended up with a healthcare policy that really matched our needs and culture – and provided lots of perks for our team to enjoy”

Hazel Silvester, People Operations Executive, Unmind.

As you can see, the team at Unmind were delighted with the benefits we brought to their business. We got the sense it created a real buzz in the workplace – and Hazel was able outsource the legwork to our advisors.

Employee perks can impact the business in a variety of wonderful ways:

  • Raises employee morale
  • Boosts productivity
  • Elevates workplace culture
  • Improves recruitment & retention
  • Reduces absenteeism
  • Lessens presenteeism
  • Decreases staff turnover
  • Alleviates work-related stress
  • Boosts brand/company reputation
  • Improves employee engagement

To name a few! Almost two-thirds (63%) of start-up employees say that employee benefits were a very important factor in their choice of workplace. Only 2% said they weren’t an important aspect – this is huge!

Each employee has an impact on the success of a business. If your staff are happy and feeling valued, your business can thrive.

However, it’s a constant balancing act of providing essential health benefits targeting employee wellbeing, listening to the needs and wants of your staff, whilst the whole time staying within budget.

Canada Life reports rising demand from SMEs

Matt Pincott, Head of Sales at Canada Life has noticed a real upturn in demand for employee protection policies such as Group Life Insurance, Group Income Protection and Group Critical Illness:

“We’ve seen how the pandemic has increased awareness and heightened the demand for protection products. Mortality, wellbeing and absenteeism are now at the forefront of employers’ minds.

“In 2022, we’ve seen a considerable increase in employers taking out risk products for the first time. Positively, we’re also seeing this demand being driven by SMEs, with a near 30% increase in new employers on prior years.

“With increased focus on attracting and retaining talent, and employees driving demand for financial and wellbeing support, the value in protection products has never been greater.”

Related reading: Employee benefits stats: trends, costs, and opportunities in 2022.


How the Hooray team can help!

Establishing the perfect employee benefits requires careful consideration of staff needs, business aims and budgetary limits. That’s why it doesn’t hurt to get some help with the process!

At Hooray Health & Protection, we help you find the right perks that fit the specific needs of your company and staff.

Call us on 01273 222805 or click on the bottom right chatbox for straightforward advice and the FREE quotes.  

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