In case you’ve been living in a cave for the last 18 months, the pandemic has revolutionised the way we work. But whereas 2020/21 were years of uncertainty and chaos, 2022 will be about embedding change and discovering best practice.
Nowhere is that truer than employee benefits.
HR and leadership teams across the globe are investing in their benefits programmes but getting it wrong can be costly. So, what options do you have?
The most significant shift is how we view benefits full stop. As we’ve spent significant parts of the last 2 years working from home, employees have had ample time to review their personal situations and put their wellbeing front and centre. They know what they want and aren’t afraid to ask for it.
Cue businesses treating people as individuals. In a candidate-short market (which we expect to continue into 2022) retaining your current employees is essential, and a tried and tested way to do so is to offer genuinely useful benefits. But that doesn’t look the same for everyone.
Companies who take a holistic approach to their benefits programmes are seeing happier and more productive employees than their competitors. Why? Because they have adapted from managing the employee experience to managing the overall life experience of their employees.
Larger corporations and SMEs alike are overhauling their benefits programmes, removing bureaucracy to increase adoption. Bespoke offerings, run on a self-service system, are key to increasing take up and make company benefits accessible to all. Platforms such as Worklife are especially popular, allowing employees to manage their perks in one place.
Perkbox surveyed over 1,500 UK based employees in 2021 asking what benefits they’d like to see in their businesses. Interestingly, when asked what would make them happier in the workplace, the proposed benefits weren’t tied to an office environment. Further insight into the agile mentality of most UK professionals. Instead, people stated lifestyle related discounts, greater recognition for their work and an increase in holiday allowance as their top 3 benefits.
Whilst there are many businesses declaring that they will invest more in employee benefits (44% according to Perkbox), particularly around mental wellbeing, this Gartner survey found that more than a third (34%) are having their overall HR budgets cut. This seems to be almost exclusively from their L&D budget (27%) – something we would strongly advise against as it’s a great way to improve employee engagement. However, the investment in D&I initiatives remains strong, with only 9% of respondents saying they will scale back their spend and 45% planning to increase budgets in this area.
Looking for inspiration?
If you’re looking to enhance your benefits offering but aren’t sure of what’s out there, then read on. We’ve pulled together a list of benefits we’ve seen our clients and others offering their employees.
Childcare – including on-site and emergency options like outdoor retailer Patagonia offer
Pawternity leave as offered by businesses such as BoxPark and Brewdog
Update family leave policies – do you offer adoption leave?Bereavement leave? Miscarriage leave? Fertility leave? Could you extend parental leave?
Will writing service
Download our ‘The Future is Flex’ paper for more insights.
Work from anywhere
Self-manage own hours
Unlimited holidays – big brands such as Netflix and Virgin offer this perk
Early finish on Fridays
Reduced hours over the summer a la Kelloggs
Menopause leave such as at fashion retailer Asos
Private health insurance
Increased paid sick leave allowance
Medical cash plans
Online GP services
Paid time off for appointments
Virtual gym/yoga classes
Discounted gym memberships
Onsite gym facilities
Free personal trainer
Walk and talk meetings
Meal prep deliveries to replace a traditional canteen
Snack box deliveries
Counselling and therapy sessions
Mental health / duvet days
Company shut down for an entire week (Made famous by Bumble and adopted by other big names such as LinkedIn, Hootsuite, and Nike)
Mindfulness & meditation sessions
Free access to sleep apps
Mental health first aiders at work
Employee Assistance Programmes
No Meeting or No Email days – made popular by Facebook and Shopify among others
Starting or ‘signing on’ bonus
Base salary increases
Performance related bonus
Values/behaviours related bonus
Free financial advisor
Free budgeting tools
Retail and entertainment discounts
Bills contributions for home workers
Home office set up allowance
Subsidised commute costs
Salary sacrifice purchase schemes for cars, bikes, technological devices etc.
Operate volunteering programs
Monthly social budget for events
Team trips or holidays
'Pub’ quizzes and trivia nights
Corporate-sponsored sports teams
Team lunches / breakfasts
Social clubs – cooking, books, films, running etc.
If you're looking for bespoke advice around talent attraction, retention or other elements of the employee lifecycle, our expert team can help. Simply contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 359 3789 to speak to one of our consultants today.