Every business leader knows they need to scrutinise their competition, but this knowledge seldom extends into workplace benefits.


The rising cost of living means employees might be looking for more support from their employers, but firms must be sure that any workplace benefits package they offer is both competitive and affordable. Structured correctly, an employee benefits package can be a compelling factor in retaining and recruiting staff, and could help mitigate the need for potentially more expensive salary increases.


While business leaders might think that cost is the only factor in deciding an employee benefits package, knowing the make-up of benefit schemes at rival companies is imperative. Understanding how far competitors go beyond statutory benefits can help ensure that your firm retains its reputation as an attractive employer.

Negotiating today’s challenging employment market

Every company wants their employees to be happy, but with today’s tight labour market, this is as important as it’s ever been. With unemployment at low levels hardly seen since the mid-1970s , vacancies recently hitting a recent record high of 1.3 million, and economic inactivity also rising, hiring has become extremely difficult. This makes retaining employees a major imperative for business leaders, and employee benefits are an advantageous tool here.


Businesses must source focused, actionable data and insights to help guide them towards the employee benefits package with the best return on investment. Understanding the remuneration policies of your peers and supplemental benefit details for the likes of retirement, medical, death and disability are essential, core building blocks.


Beyond this, managers should gain insight into the market norms around paid and unpaid time off as well as for schemes linked to the likes of transportation benefits.


With a growing number of employees actively seeking to work for firms that have benefits that suit their needs, there is clearly a growing importance for leaders to get their offering right, including how flexible working policies are designed.


And just as every business is different, their benefits package can be too. Business leaders don’t need to fear having to choose between cookie-cutter menu options if they engage well-established employee benefits experts, meaning that companies can choose the right benefits for them. This could include group income protection, dental insurance, business and leisure travel insurance, critical illness insurance or group life assurance.

Reap the rewards of honing your benefits package

Given the challenging economic outlook, one of the main goals for firms will be to ensure that every pound of expenditure has the maximum impact.


It’s fruitless, for instance, to spend more money on salaries if your turnover rate remains high, and attempting to pursue inflation-matching pay rises at present is likely to prove impossible for most firms.


Benefits are, therefore, an extremely useful tool and often speak to the culture of a firm; today’s employees are often willing to sacrifice the highest pay offer if their company looks after them in a more comprehensive way. Communicating clearly about your benefits package and its advantages is imperative though, as well as engaging with workers via comprehensive surveys prior to any overhaul.


Managers need to ensure that employees can understand how valuable something like private medical insurance could be in an emergency, compared to the worth of a small salary increase that might not actually make a huge difference to their lives.


Because business leaders know their companies and their employees well, it is possible to conduct a benefits audit independently, however, engaging outside expertise can ensure that the process is carried out efficiently, that any changes make your firm competitive against peers, and that your money is securing the best-value benefits on the market.


If you would like a free, no obligation benefits audit that can assess your business and advise on potential solutions, please get in touch

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