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It’s Not Always About the Money

24.09.2014

It’s Not Always About the Money

Whether it’s to improve employee engagement or recruit and retain top talent, coming up with a benefit and reward scheme that matches your company culture should be high on every employer’s agenda.

Whether it’s a desire to improve employee engagement, a way of recruiting and retaining top talent or simply an attempt to offset a pay freeze, coming up with a benefit and reward scheme that matches your company culture should be high on every employer’s agenda.

In fact, the majority of employees I speak to now expect a healthy benefits package to accompany a competitive annual salary.

They see it as an indication of the level of care an organisation has for its team; and that can have a big bearing on how valued they will ultimately feel.

Of course benefit and reward schemes are nothing new in the UK, but it’s worth noting that they do tend to deviate in line with current trends, so it pays to keep on top of the strength of your offer.

The most popular current benefits include life assurance, pensions, salary sacrifice schemes (health or childcare vouchers), additional holidays, private medical insurance and flexible working hours.

In recent years there has also been a move towards promoting a healthy and hopefully more productive workforce. This has seen the introduction of well-being programmes, subsidised food and drink, tax advantages for biking to work and discounts on gym and leisure membership.

As with most things in life, in the US they seem to go that little bit further. So if you’re thinking of developing your own company scheme, here are a few ideas that should help you stand out from the crowd:

Google: It seems Google are the benchmark for everything they do, including staff benefits. They offer a well-documented myriad of ‘perks’ all aimed at helping ‘Googlers’ focus on the ‘things they love’. Benefits range from free on-site Michelin-starred restaurants, gyms and massages, to extra spending money for new parents, on-site doctors and even the opportunity to work on your own projects one day a week.

SC Johnson & Son: As well as competitive salaries, bonus and profit share schemes, this family business offers a private concierge service to ensure all of their staff can stay focused and still get their daily chores done. They understand that in order for people to truly give their all, they need some support to balance both work and life, and so the concierge helps with anything from picking up dry cleaning to returning library books, taking your car to the garage and even shopping around for insurance quotes.

Netflix: Often cited as the pioneer of unlimited holidays, Netflix stand firmly by their belief that treating people like adults means they will behave like adults. As part of a comprehensive benefits package they demonstrate an unwavering level of trust in their team by allowing them to take as many holidays as they would like each year; with no records kept.

SAS: Battling regularly with Google at the top of US Fortune’s ‘100 best companies to work for’, SAS offers on-site medical care for both staff and their families. Throw in low-cost, high quality child care, free fitness centres and a summer camp for children of their employees and it’s no wonder they’re one of the most sought after employers in America.

I guess the big question is does it pay off? Well you only have to look at the success of the businesses who believe in it to see that supporting people, placing trust in them and allowing a certain level of autonomy can have amazingly positive results.

What is critical is that you work out what is best for both your business and your team. Designing a successful benefit and reward scheme doesn’t have to cost huge amounts of money, but you have to think carefully about how you can help your employees’ both at work and away from it.

Competitive salaries are undeniably part of the package, but why not ask your team what they would value most as a reward, as it is these benefits that could make all the difference.

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