Employee benefits – what are they and what are they not?
Employee benefits are simply a form of extra compensation offered in addition to the base salary. Some of the most well-known include sports cards (Multisport), language courses, additional training budgets or, for example, access to psycho-educational apps on the phone (such as, among others, Focusly as part of MultiLife). However, more and more forms of providing non-monetary gratification to employees are emerging, as this is an area which effectively analyses and responds to people’s current needs.
In addition to employer-paid benefits, there are also those that do not require a monetary contribution – for example, the ability to perform your duties remotely or flexible working hours. It is worth remembering that non-wage benefits cannot be a form of compensation for inadequate remuneration. Benefits also do not include the tools necessary for the job, which, depending on the position, include eg. a company phone or laptop with the Office suite.
Is it worth investing in non-wage benefits?
- are an effective form of motivating employees – implementing them allows not only to encourage potential candidates to take part in the company’s recruitment process, but also to motivate and retain current employees in the long term;
- are a way to show gratitude to your employees, as well as stimulate them to care for their health or mental and physical well-being;
- allow to reward all employees, regardless of their position and its importance;
- their affordability, huge variety and easy access make them a good option for any industry.
Companies that offer a wide range of benefits are generally seen as more committed to employee welfare. This is because it is very important for both potential candidates and current employees to feel secure, appreciated and cared for, which is what non-wage benefits make possible.
A survey conducted in 2022 by PeopleKeep, a platform that enables employers to implement benefit packages, showed that as many as 83 percent of respondents consider their availability as one of the most important factors they take into account when looking for a job.
Benefit packages and employee experience – is it worth offering benefits to employees?
Employee experience is otherwise known as employee’s experiences with a company, collected throughout the entire period of employment – from the recruitment stage to parting with the company. They can be both positive and negative, and are influenced by many factors.
How can benefits affect employee experience?
- Motivation and retention
An employee who feels that their work is appreciated by their employer is satisfied, motivated and above all – loyal. Nowadays, staff turnover is quite a problem, and a rich benefits package can help counteract it. By committing to the well-being and satisfaction of employees, we have the opportunity to make them feel valued and cared for, thus reducing the likelihood of them seeking a better-rewarded position somewhere else.
A survey by insurance company Aflac showed that nearly half of the 6,000 respondents plan to look for a new job if their current employer does not offer non-wage benefits or has a small range of them. In contrast, another survey, conducted by Willis Towers Watson, suggests that as many as 78 percent of respondents believe they are more likely to stay in their current position if they are satisfied with the benefits package.
Not only motivation, but also the well-being of employees translates into greater productivity; and as we all know – greater employee engagement is a profit for the employer. Many studies have shown that the quality of our work largely depends on how well rested we are and the state of our psyche, and one of the goals of a properly designed benefit system is to support employees in reducing stress and stimulate them to spend their leisure time in a truly restorative and joyful way (e.g. through an online yoga course).
By offering employees various types of non-wage benefits, we contribute to increasing their efficiency and commitment to their duties as well as reduce the number of those who perform assigned tasks at an unsatisfactory level.
- Attracting more potential employees
Availability of employee benefits is an important consideration for prospective employees during recruitment. By offering various types of fringe benefits – be it private medical care (e.g. in the form of teleconsultation with a doctor) or development training (and mentioning them in job advertisements) – we have a chance to stand out from the competition and attract more candidates interested in the offer and, as a result, valuable future employees.
- Support tailored to employee needs
In addition to their well-being, employees also want to feel confident and safe. Private medical care or access to consultations with a psychologist, which (especially in today’s tough economic times) are beyond many people’s budgets, are just examples of the kind of benefits that can help employees feel more at ease.
Employees realise that today’s job market is so dynamic that only those who are constantly developing and investing in their skills, both linguistic and specialised, can be sure of their positions. Employer support in properly maintaining the work-life balance and managing stress is also increasingly in demand.
A survey conducted on behalf of insurance company Rogers Gray shows that nearly half of the 1,500 respondents find the company they are considering employment with much more attractive if the benefits packages are tailored to their individual needs.
- Company image
Companies that offer non-wage benefits are seen as more committed to employee welfare. Thus, the introduction of such benefits has a positive impact on the company’s image, not only from the perspective of potential candidates, but also consumers.
It’s also about an attitude which shows that the employer doesn’t only care about profits, but has a much broader perspective. They realise that they can have a positive impact on both their surroundings and the entire employee community. With benefits, they can act even more effectively in this regard.
- A satisfied employee is a satisfied customer
Do not forget that by taking care of your employees, you also take care of your customers. A satisfied, motivated and enthusiastic employee is an excellent showcase for a company, which is why a good employee experience is so important to the functioning of any organisation regardless of the industry in which it operates.
- Aid at a time of rising costs of living
Due to the difficult economic situation, many working people deny themselves some of the benefits they need due to a tight budget. Supporting your employees during this tough economic time will help us build mutual trust and respect, and increase the mental comfort of your staff, which is essential to building and maintaining their commitment.
How do you introduce a benefit system in your company to improve employee experience?
First of all, you should start by analysing the needs of your employees. A simple tool can be used for this purpose – a survey. Such a questionnaire should include categories of the benefits available for selection – for example: health, sports, development courses or others (each MultiLife package includes a variety of services to meet the needs of just about all of these key areas of everyone’s life).. You will use the results of such a survey as a benchmark for creating a benefit plan. After all, the most important thing is that they should be tailored not only to the company’s budget, but, more importantly, to the individual needs of its employees.
Remember, it’s all about employee satisfaction, which is priceless for any organisation. A satisfied employee is not only more effective, but also contributes to strengthening the company’s positive image among consumers.
- Ben Whitter, Employee Experience: Develop a Happy, Productive and Supported Workforce for Exceptional Individual and Business Performance, 2019.
- Jack Altman, People Strategy: How to Invest in People and Make Culture Your Competitive Advantage, 2021.