A healthy and happy workforce is the backbone of any successful business. Employee benefits is a varied and wide-reaching topic. Designed to help promote employee satisfaction they can ultimately boost productivity, engagement and the business bottom line. This can be done through benefits ranging from flexible working hours and childcare support to dental care and pension schemes.

An effective programme can deliver mutual benefit to people, organisations, economies and communities. Promoting wellbeing can help prevent stress and create positive working environments where individuals and organisations can thrive. Good health and wellbeing can be a core enabler of employee engagement and organisational performance.

Healthy employees tend to be happier and more engaged and, in turn, more productive. Investing in employee wellbeing benefit programme can help to:

  • Attract and retain talent
  • Boost morale and engagement
  • Increase resilience
  • Increase performance and productivity
  • Support health and well-being
  • Reduce absence
  • Support long term employer and employee goals coupled with salary exchange, a well-considered employee benefits programme could also help both employer and employee to make savings by paying less National Insurance contributions (NIC) and employees may pay less income tax.

In the past 12 months a number of issues that may not have been as important in the past have risen to the forefront of awareness:

Financial wellbeing – The Covid-19 crisis has led to significant economic disruption. Many employees may have suffered reduced income as a result of themselves or a member of their household being furloughed, on reduced hours, or losing their job. Many workers will be feeling financially vulnerable, with a knock-on effect on their mental health, and ultimately their performance at work.

Now more than ever employees need support in improving their overall financial situation and employers are well-placed to deliver that support. It’s in employers’ interests to support people so they can continue performing at their best, by offering help before money problems become unmanageable.

Communication – When employees recognise each other’s efforts and receive recognition themselves, their sense of purpose and commitment to work improves.

The downside of remote working is loneliness and a lack of connection to colleagues and the wider business. Even in roles where employees have continued to attend their workplace, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and social distancing means that it’s harder to build personal connections than before.

Creating a culture that prioritises social interactions and inclusiveness is more effective than implementing one-off benefits with no long-term value. This could be overcome by simple things like recognition.

Although you may already have benefits in place, it is important to review them regularly to ensure they are relevant, cost-effective, legally compliant and also to take advantage of new solutions that are on the market.

Providing the right mix of benefits to meet these needs, whilst also ensuring that what’s on offer is what employees actually want can be a tricky balancing act. Having the right benefits in place to support retention, recruitment, motivation and well-being of employees is the first step, however, communicating the full value of benefits packages is as important to ensure full employee engagement.

Personal circumstances differ and not all of this information is applicable to every client and/or their business, this information is general in nature and should not be relied upon without seeking specific professional financial advice.

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