Implementing An Employee Benefits Scheme

Employee benefits schemes are becoming increasingly popular amongst businesses to help improve the work-life balance of their staff and build a workplace culture that benefits both the employee and employer.

Many organisations’ benefits schemes may include the implementation of flexi-time, allowing employees to work the hours that fit best with their schedules which can greatly improve their relationship with management and boost productivity.

Others may offer incentives such as free meals or discount cards, gym memberships and fitness classes, or health insurance.

Why start employee benefits scheme?

If you’re looking to introduce a benefits scheme to your business, it’s important to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve with it. Some reasons you may want to introduce benefits are:

  • Recruitment - if you’re going through rapid growth and need to attract strong candidates who have both the skills and experience required, and are a good cultural fit, a benefits scheme may increase your company’s appeal.
  • Retention - a comprehensive benefits scheme can be a great way to improve the relationship you have with your current staff, boost morale and give them an incentive to stay with your business for longer.
  • Competition - if most of your competitors offer employee benefits, candidates may expect your business to offer a similar scheme.

Implementing an employee benefits scheme

Before introducing a new employee benefits scheme, there are a couple of things you will need to consider.

The type of scheme

First, consider what type of scheme would work best for your business. This can depend on factors such as the size of your firm, level of investment and your employees’ expectations.

Some of the options available are:

  • Core - this is a standard scheme that is given to all employees. Individuals can’t opt out of the scheme, choose or change the benefits they receive.
  • Flexible - with a flexible scheme, employees are offered a number of different benefits and they are able to choose which ones they want to receive. Both core and flexible packages are paid for by the employer.
  • Voluntary - voluntary benefits are paid for out of the employee’s salary. The employer will negotiate discounts so their staff can get these benefits at a reduced price.
  • Salary sacrifice - employees can choose to sacrifice part of their gross salary in return for a benefits package that is bought by their employer on their behalf.

Choosing benefits

Then, you need to choose which kinds of benefits to offer your staff.

  • Ask your employees which incentives they’d prefer - their answers may not necessarily be what they end up choosing, but asking what they would like you to offer can be a helpful starting point.
  • Think about who makes up your workforce - life stages, interests and needs (for example, you may want to offer tax-free childcare if some of your employees are parents).
  • Look at the competition - what benefits do your competitors offer their staff? If any of your employees have previously worked in companies that offer an incentive scheme, asking them what they used, or didn’t use, can be beneficial.

Finding a supplier

If you have the resources available, or if you are willing to recruit and expand your HR department, you may choose to manage your benefits scheme in-house. However, if you are looking for an external supplier, consider the following:

  • Are they reliable? Are they able to provide evidence of delivering successful employee benefits schemes?
  • Can they offer everything you need and manage all aspects of the benefits package for you?
  • Have they worked with businesses similar to yours and can they provide testimonials?
  • Will they offer support to your employees?

XCL are a leading recruitment agency based in Huddersfield and Weston-Super-Mare, specialising in supplying skilled candidates to the automotive, construction, engineering, production and commercial sectors.

To find out how we can help you attract and recruit the best candidates for your business, call our Huddersfield office on 01484 819900 or email info@xclgr.com.