What Does a Good Company Benefits Package Look Like?
Company benefits

What does a good company benefits package look like?
 

Good employees are like gold dust. When you find someone who consistently delivers outstanding work and gels well with the rest of your team, you should do everything in your power to encourage them to stay. 
 

The average employee retention rate continues to drop in 2022, meaning businesses need to both reimagine their employee engagement strategies and work hard to attract brilliant new candidates.

And while attracting quality candidates is important for businesses, retaining quality employees is just as, or arguably, even more important. 
 

Whether you want to attract better candidates to your organisation, or simply want to do all you can to keep hold of the employees you currently have, putting together a good benefits package is an important step. 
 

A company benefits package can contain all sorts of benefits. 
 

They can include financial benefits like:

  • Genuinely competitive salaries
  • Extended holiday entitlement 
  • Enhanced pensions
  • Generous sick pay
  • Generous maternity/paternity leave
  • Extra holiday buying schemes 

They can also include health benefits like:

  • Health insurance & life assurance 
  • Cycle to work scheme 
  • Gym membership 
  • Mental health or duvet days 
  • Menopause leave

They can also include education benefits like:

  • Funding for qualifications 
  • Useful training opportunities 

They can also include extra perks like:

  • Company days out 
  • Social events
  • Free food and drink 
  • Staff parties 

 

However, some companies fall into the trap of prioritising ‘fun’ perks over genuinely useful benefits. 
 

Staff benefits package: Knowing your employees
 

One thing to remember is that employee benefits packages should be relevant to your employees. Offering a cycle to work scheme is hardly likely to be helpful to people who are looking for remote opportunities, for example. 
 

Likewise, if the salary or company culture isn’t right, offering fresh fruit in the office simply isn’t going to cut it. 
 

When it comes to curating benefits packages, we often advise clients to steer clear of the more attention-grabbing perks and focus on getting the fundamentals right. 
 

The best workplaces provide genuinely competitive salaries and create a supportive work culture, with opportunities for development. Anything above that is a bonus, but offering the perks and not providing the fundamentals of a good benefits package is a no-go. 


Which benefits packages should I offer?


There are a number of ways to deliver employee benefits. Some companies create tailor-made benefits packages, while others use pre-set schemes. 
 

Ultimately, this will be down to you based on your knowledge of your employees and the type of industry that you work in. 
 

Employee benefits package example
 

Putting together an employee benefits package doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be as minimal or as comprehensive as you would like to it be. 
 

First, start with the basics. 
 

Conduct a salary survey to understand what competitors in your industry are paying for employees of similar skills and experience. One of the easiest ways to do this is to speak with an experienced recruiter like Eden Scott. 
 

Then, gauge how much holiday entitlement you can provide. If your company cannot afford to offer beyond the statutory minimum for annual leave, then do not advertise annual leave as a company benefit. We see many companies doing this in their job descriptions and it will only frustrate potential applicants. 

Then, consider additional benefits.

It’s a good idea to poll existing employees about the benefits that they would like to receive. Try gauging what benefits are most important to them - for example, they might value better mat/pat leave over a gym membership. 

Or, they might want the reassurance of private health insurance for their whole family rather than receiving funding for training opportunities. 
 

You might end up with a list like this:

  • £40,000 annual salary
  • One week extra annual leave allowance 
  • Comprehensive private health insurance 
  • Cycle to work scheme

OR

  • £35,000 annual salary 
  • Fully funded training opportunities 
  • Extended maternity/paternity leave
  • Enhanced pension scheme 


What not to list as an employee benefit 

While many things a company provides employees can be considered beneficial, they shouldn’t all be listed as a benefit on a job description. Why? Because they are so standardised that they do little to differentiate you from competitors.
 

Here are things that shouldn’t be listed as benefits:
 

Standard annual leave entitlement 

Everyone is entitled to 28 days of annual leave, so listing 28 days’ annual leave as a benefit is redundant. 
 

Flexible working 

While flexible working is important, this is now commonly expected by employees. While you can feel free to refer to flexible working in job descriptions, focussing on it as a primary benefit might make you seem old fashioned. 
 

‘Fun’ perks

Free teas and coffees or fresh fruits is simply not enough to entice somebody to work for you. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with offering this, offering anything that belongs in the ‘fun perks’ category when the fundamentals haven’t been taken care of will put people off your company. 


Digital employee benefits schemes


Right now, there are several tech companies offering benefits packages for businesses.
 

Many provide app-based mental health support services. Some even allow you to set a personal benefit budget for each staff member so that they can choose the benefits they want most.
 

That way, you’re not wasting money on benefits that not everyone will take up - particularly important for small businesses. The flexibility that these companies can provide makes them well worth considering. 
 

Some providers operating in this space include:

Note: We haven’t vetted all of these products, so we can’t endorse any one provider, but exploring these companies and others like them is a good place to start.


The best employee benefits for small businesses


The best employees in small businesses - the ones who clients love, who receive positive feedback time and time again, and who work hard in the background to keep things ticking - are the ones providing your company with exceptional value. 
 

In small businesses in particular, losing employees like these can have a dramatic impact on your output as well as the standard of the service on offer. While a skilled recruiter will identify candidates that will gel well with your team, keeping good employees in their roles for as long as you're able to is usually the best approach.

 

Small business employee benefits
 

One of the most impactful ways to retain employees - and attract new ones - is with a strong benefits package. But for small businesses, that’s easier said than done. Larger businesses and corporations have the budget to spend on generous employee benefits packages. That’s not necessarily the case for small to medium enterprises. 
 

That’s not to say that it can’t be done. Small businesses can still create highly competitive benefits packages for employees and candidates. But, it does mean that SMEs need to be smarter with the benefits that they provide. A zero-waste approach is key.
 

Best employee benefits for small businesses 
 

With that in mind, here are some attractive employee benefits that small businesses can offer. 
 

1. Competitive salaries 

This might sound counter-intuitive. Surely it’s the larger businesses that can afford to offer the big bucks to their employees? 
 

In actual fact, some smart budgeting might mean that you can afford to offer a more generous salary than you expect.
 

Keeping your resource spending low - and avoiding unnecessary expenditure on things like company away days, free food, or 'quirky’ benefits (think: limitless craft kombucha) might mean you can spend on what matters most: a fair salary. 
 

To do this effectively in a small business, you'll need to get granular. What value does each employee offer to the business? You can reward the highest-value employees with the most competitive salaries (provided you have a detailed salary structure to justify this approach).
 

2. ‘Tweaked’ additional benefits 

Yes, offering every employee an extra day off on their birthday might sound compelling, but in reality, attention-grabbing perks like these are benefits that few small businesses can afford. 
 

That's not to say you can't get creative with the benefits on offer/ Instead, look for ways to offer benefits that have been adjusted for your budget,
 

For example, instead of offering a day off on someone’s birthday, you might offer them a half-day, or you might give them a voucher for a free meal with friends.
 

You can use this approach to any benefit - using a cost-effective version of a benefit isn’t about being stingy - it’s about being realistic with your budget so that you can make sure that it's being spent in the right places.
 

3. Learning opportunities 

One of the most compelling reasons to work for a small company is the learning opportunities on offer. Those in smaller companies often find themselves able to take on more responsibilities and gain a wider range of experiences than are typically available in larger organisations.
 

In a small company, you can get to know your employees on an individual basis and come to understand their ambitions. That way, you can offer them tailored learning opportunities. 
 

You might, for example, have a marketing employee who is keen to learn more about event management. Allowing them to devote a half-day a week to working on event-related projects would provide them with valuable hands-on experience in an area of interest, allowing them to extend their career path in the future. 
 

4. Mentors 

Again, being strategic about how you spend money on your team is crucial for small businesses. Consider providing benefits that provide value to both the employee and the business itself.
 

For example, if there is a lack of expertise in a certain area of your business, or if an employee could benefit from some extra support, you could appoint a formal mentor or consultant to work with them regularly.
 

This not only gives employees access to a wealth of experience from which they can learn and improve their career prospects, but this expertise can also be put back into benefiting the company. A win-win.
 

6. Remote working budgets

Large companies can often spend exorbitant amounts on plush offices. One of the benefits of being a small company is that it makes remote working easier to facilitate. 
 

With a smaller workforce, managing remote work becomes simpler, which in turn justifies a lower spend on central offices. As a result, you can give put more spend behind your team (refer back to point 1!).
 

However, keep in mind that not everyone wants to work from home. While it’s a huge plus for some employees, for others, it's important to create a distinction between work and home life.
 

To manage the variation in employee needs while keeping spend low, you could invest in flexible co-working spaces. Spaces like Clockwise Offices, for example, allow businesses to rent out hot desks on a daily or monthly basis - which can 
 

work out a lot cheaper than paying for a large office. Many co-working spaces also offer hireable meeting rooms - ideal for occasional team-wide meetings.
 

You could work out a deal with a co-working space company to allow your team to have a set level of remote working credits. 
 

Or, you could rent a smaller office space and allow employees to book time slots to work there - meaning you won't need to accommodate the whole team at once.
 

The more flexible you can be when it comes to working locations, the more attractive you make yourself to employees and candidates alike.  
 

However, pay heed to ‘work from anywhere’ policies. While great in theory, you must make sure that the specifics of these policies are outlined in detail by an HR professional. 
 

There are certain tax implications when employees work from abroad for an extended period, and differences in bank holidays and working hours among other factors must be ironed out to avoid alienating certain team members. 
 

Company benefits package: Final thoughts
 

We hope you feel more empowered to offer relevant and current employee benefits packages to your team and new recruits. 
 

By being strategic, you should be able to create a benefits package that meets the specific needs of your current team members, and that attracts great new candidates
.

Next steps 
 

No matter your business size, finding candidates that will gel well with your team is a crucial step. 
 

For that reason, we at Eden Scott don’t just hire for skills and experience - we get to know candidates on an individual level so that we can put forward only those whose personalities we are confident will compliment your company. 
 

We can also advise on the latest and most relevant benefits to not only attract quality candidates but keep them in their roles for longer. 
 

If you’re looking for support with recruitment, we can help. Get in touch today.
 

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