Employee Benefits - The Basics To Attract & Retain Staff

I speak to companies and candidates daily and in today's competitive job market, attracting and retaining top talent is more challenging than ever. 


One thing that companies need to focus on is their benefit packages. These benefits not only help to attract prospective employees but also play a crucial role in retaining existing staff members. 


Here are some benefits that companies should consider and some information on what candidates should expect from an employee-focused business.BUT before we talk about benefits one of the huge things you need to focus on is paying the right level of salary. Research competitors, learn from them and make sure you are in the right ballpark.If you are not offering the basics at the same level as others around you then you will not stand out.


  1. Flexible Working Hours

Recognising the importance of work-life balance, many UK companies have adopted flexible working hours policies. This allows employees to adjust their work schedules to better accommodate personal commitments or preferences. Whether it's remote work options, compressed workweeks, or flexible start and finish times, such flexibility demonstrates trust in employees and can significantly improve morale and productivity.


Example: Innocent Drinks - The popular smoothie and juice company offers its employees flexible working hours, allowing them to balance work with personal commitments effectively. This approach has contributed to a positive work culture and high employee satisfaction rates.


  1. Comprehensive Healthcare Coverage 

Providing access to quality healthcare is a fundamental benefit that greatly impacts employees' well-being. In the UK, this often includes private medical insurance, dental care, and mental health support. Companies that invest in robust healthcare coverage not only demonstrate care for their employees' physical and mental health but also help alleviate financial burdens associated with medical expenses.


Example: Google UK - Known for its employee-friendly policies, Google offers comprehensive healthcare coverage to its UK employees, including access to private medical insurance and mental health support services. This commitment to employee well-being contributes to a healthy and motivated workforce.


  1. Generous Parental Leave

Supporting employees through major life events, such as starting a family, is vital for fostering loyalty and commitment. Many UK companies recognise this by offering generous parental leave policies that go beyond the statutory minimum. Whether it's paid parental leave, flexible return-to-work arrangements, or support for childcare costs, these benefits demonstrate an organisation's commitment to supporting employees throughout their personal and professional journeys.


Example: Aviva - The insurance company offers one of the most generous parental leave policies in the UK, providing up to one year of leave for both parents, with 26 weeks fully paid. This policy has been instrumental in attracting and retaining top talent, particularly among young professionals.


  1. Professional Development Opportunities

Investing in employees' growth and development not only enhances their skills and knowledge but also strengthens their commitment to the organisation. UK companies that prioritise professional development offer opportunities for training, workshops, conferences, and educational assistance. By empowering employees to expand their expertise and advance their careers, these benefits contribute to a culture of continuous learning and growth.


Example: Unilever - The multinational consumer goods company offers a wide range of professional development opportunities to its UK employees, including access to online courses, workshops, and mentoring programs. This commitment to learning and development has helped Unilever attract and retain top talent in a competitive industry.


  1. Employee Wellbeing Programs

Promoting employee well-being goes beyond traditional healthcare benefits. Many UK companies implement holistic well-being programs that address physical, mental, and emotional health. These programs may include gym memberships, mindfulness sessions, counselling services, and employee assistance programs. By prioritising employee wellbeing, organisations create a supportive work environment where employees feel valued and cared for. 


Example: Perkbox - The employee experience platform offers a comprehensive suite of wellbeing programs to UK companies, including access to mental health support services, fitness classes, and financial wellbeing resources. These initiatives help to enhance employee morale, productivity, and overall satisfaction within organisations.


In conclusion, offering attractive company benefits is essential for attracting and retaining top talent in the UK. By prioritising flexibility, healthcare, parental support, professional development, and employee well-being, companies can create a positive work environment where employees feel valued, motivated, and engaged. Investing in these benefits not only enhances recruitment efforts but also contributes to long-term organisational success.