02 December 2021

7 employee benefits to improve staff retention

We’ve all heard the news that almost one in four employees are considering leaving their job in the coming months. With most analysts pointing at lockdown burnout, and the resulting soul searching performed by employees, as the root cause behind this phenomenon.

If an employee is unhappy at your organisation and would prefer to be spending their working life doing something else instead, then it’s probably for the best to leave. There is also the possibility that employees are moving on to competitors or other roles because they’re offering more than you.

In these cases, it’s probably worth boosting your offering, especially when you consider the fact that the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), predict that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs 6 to 9 months’ salary on average. For a manager earning £40k then, replacing them if they left could cost you more than £20,000. Money which would arguably be better spent on benefits that make people want to stay working for you and attract new talent.

So, just what benefits do help retain talent?

1. Leave

While we’re sure your employees love working for you, if there’s one thing that they love, even more, it’s getting some hard-earned time off to enjoy their lives. Whether they spend it travelling the world, working on personal projects, or just spending some quality time with their loved ones, paid leave is arguably the most enticing perk that makes people stay with a job.

Even if another job pays slightly more workers are more likely to stick with their current employer if they get more paid time off. In addition to staff retention employees who are well-rested, work harder when they are on the clock and have improved physical and mental health. 

2. Snacks

An army marches on its stomach, as do most workforces, and some stats back up providing employees with free food can do masses to boost morale. A USA Today study found that: “While the majority, 56%, of full-time employees are ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ happy with their current job, that number jumps to 67% among those who have access to free food”.

Whether it’s a daily fruit bowl, staff breakfasts or other provisions. Providing food for your workforce is a relatively inexpensive way to make them feel valued, there are other advantages to boot. Providing food helps employees focus better.

3. Assets

If applicable, giving employees shares is always a popular reward for hard work or long service. However, there are certain income tax considerations to be aware of.

A huge advantage to giving employees a stake in the company is the psychology behind it. Feeling like they own part of it improves their loyalty to the organisation and also incentivises them to work harder as they want to see it thrive. Other alternatives could be an employee ownership/profit share model such as employed by John Lewis.

4. Health benefits

Benefits that keep your employees and their families happy and healthy will always be popular. Whether it’s a free gym membership or dental cover. Keeping your workers’ healthy garners loyalty and will in the long run reduce the absence caused by illness, so it is a win-win.

5. Volunteer days

Giving each employee a few days a year in which they can get out of the office and spend some time volunteering for a charity or community organisation has become an increasingly popular perk in the last couple of decades.

These are especially popular among employees who work for a for-profit organisation, as it allows them to feel like they are ‘giving back’ something. There are various options from volunteer days where employees use their professional skills to help an organisation, to team practical days where employees can do some physical work for a charity, this has the advantage of also serving as a team bonding day. Bringing your employees closer together as well as adding some variety to their working week.

6. Awaydays

From sporting days to group holidays and cultural excursions employee away days are a fantastic way to give employee morale a shot in the arm and to improve loyalty.

7. Childcare

The UK government closed the childcare voucher benefit scheme to any new joiners on October 4th 2018. Meaning that any employees who failed to sign up before this date are ineligible and will need to fork out entirely from their own pockets to cover child care. Just 5% of UK employers offer in-house child care and these are mostly large employers such as Royal Mail, Goldman Sachs, and various universities.

However, supporting employees to pay for childcare can play a massive part in helping to retain staff. 8% of women with children end up changing employers to fulfil their childcare responsibilities. Enabling flexible working is also being heralded as a key benefit that will retain working parents.

Looking for more employer information?

If you’re an employee wanting to learn more about attracting and retaining staff, why not check out our employer resources page? It’s jam-packed with things to help employers find the right people.