When was the last time you reviewed your employee benefits?

You are sure to be familiar with the concept of employee benefits, whether you have been offering them to your staff for some time, or you have experienced them yourself earlier in your career before you started your own business.

The principles behind having an employee benefits package are well-established and the benefits to you as an employer should be numerous – they are far more than just an expense you have to bear:

They can:

  • Distinguish you in a competitive recruitment market.
  • Improve your staff retention levels.
  • Reduce the overall cost of remuneration to you by providing added value over salary alone.
  • Improve productivity by keeping staff healthy and present.
  • Reinforce your brand and company culture.

It is one thing to have an employee benefits package in place, but it requires a bit of extra effort and care to review it periodically to ensure it is delivering value to you and your employees. When you do so, though, you may find you can save costs, keep it relevant and ensure the benefits are desired and used by your team.

How to review your employee benefits

The beginning or end of the year is often a time for conducting staff appraisals. It is a good time to review other parts of your business too, like employee benefits.

You’ll want to be checking that you are getting a good price, that staff take-up is strong, and that of course it is delivering an impact – be that in recruitment, retention, absenteeism or productivity.

Your process of review might look something like this:

Check your strategy

Most good practices start with strategy and employee benefits are no different. You are going to the trouble of offering them for a reason, so check in on what that reason is, whether it has changed over time and how well your benefits package is delivering on it.

Are you intending to match what your competitors in the jobs market are offering or exceeding it, and why? Are you attracting the right talent? Do you struggle with keeping good staff? Is there a lot of sickness absence, maybe staff are finding it difficult to get a GP appointment? Do your employee benefits reflect your brand the way you’d intend?

Review their cost

We all know that with many services like insurance and mobile phones we need to shop around from time to time to ensure the contracts are still competitive. The employee benefits market is no different, and it is constantly evolving too, with trends and technology changing what can be offered.

Monitor uptake

There is no point in offering a suite of employee benefits if staff are not using them. So take the time to see who is using what and if uptake is poor explore why. Are the benefits not communicated very well? Do they not match the demographic profile of your workforce? Or is there some other reason? You may choose to directly canvass staff about the benefits on offer and what they value.

See what else is available

As we said, the employee benefits market changes over time, so as well as checking on what you are paying for current benefits, do also see what new products are available to add to, or replace, your existing package. There may be new products or services available now which better appeal to a more diverse workforce.

Check your employment contracts

One final point. It is wise to keep your employee benefits out of your employment contract and state that they are discretionary in nature. If they are contractual, it will mean you need your employees’ consent to change them which complicates matters. Without consent, any change could be a breach of contract so do double check.

Ask an expert

At The HR Dept, employee benefits is one of our specialities. As well as being able to provide bespoke advice to you, we partner with some leading employee benefit providers who can offer you great deals. So if you decide it is time for an employee benefit review, talk to us and we will help you ensure you have a winning package.

How can we help?