Employee benefits have developed far beyond early finishes on a Friday and cakes in the office. There are now various types of compensation provided to employees alongside their contracted pay to help improve their wellbeing, mental health, productivity, and employee retention. No matter how big or small the organization, all companies would benefit from having benefits available to employees. The rewards reaped by both the employer and employee often offset any costs or extra admin required to manage an employee benefits scheme.
With many employees struggling to balance their work, financial and personal life, there has been more of a spotlight on taking care of employee wellbeing. Naturally, when stress levels are high, it not only affects a persons’ physical and mental health but also their personal and professional relationships and overall productivity in the workplace. More benefits are being introduced to ensure the wellbeing of employees, by offering support and counseling to help diagnose and work through issues that are causing a strain on their day to day life.
Lack of proper implementation means that in a lot of organizations, the breadth of employee benefits often isn’t known by employees, due to bad communication regarding what’s available. According to a survey, 20% of employees received information about their benefits and perks when they first joined their company but have not received any information since then. This can prevent the full spectrum of benefits available being utilized, therefore employees are missing out on benefits and tools that could be positively contributing to their wellbeing.
One of the initiatives that are becoming more and more popular and necessary are health and fitness benefits. Providing access to healthcare and exercise opportunities drives employees to live healthier lifestyles. A healthier workforce can help in reducing the number of employees who are absent, improve productivity, improve mental health and generally promote a happier workplace overall.
From private health care, hospital treatments, access to specialist clinics, fitness trainers, discounts on exercise facilities and equipment, there is something for all employees, regardless of their age, gender or fitness level.
Examples of some of the most widely implemented physical health employee benefits include:
Cycle to work scheme
Discounted gym membership
Personal fitness trainer
Private health care
At some stage, most people face issues with managing their finances, which can cause a lot of stress and anxiety, both inside and outside the workplace. Money troubles can cause friction in social relationships, lack of sleep, and anxiety – which all lead to a lack of productivity in the workplace. Financial worries are one of the main causes of mental health issues, so by helping your employees overcome some of their financial woes, it can go a long way to protecting them from stress, anxiety, and depression.
According to research, up to a quarter of employees in the UK are facing financial insecurity due to debt, unpredictable working patterns, or difficulty with living costs such as rent and any other essential bills like TV license, electricity and water bills.
You can support employees, by offering them retail discounts, access to initiatives such as fairer finance to help manage their finances and car leasing schemes that can help with day to day family life. You can also help protect employees should the worst ever happen with a health cash plan, which can help them manage costs surrounding healthcare and the potential to claim cashback on treatments including dental, optical and therapy treatments.
Examples of financial employee benefits include:
Health cash plans
Mental health issues can stem from several different situations and manifest in different ways depending on the individual. This can include emotional, psychological and social wellbeing issues and affects how employees think, feel and behave, influencing how they cope with stressful situations and how they carry themselves day to day.
Research shows that 34% of employees feel stressed due to their financial situations and 34% are also losing sleep due to their situation, 23% of employees believe they struggle to pay their basic living costs on a monthly basis and 31% are worrying about getting through the month on what money they earn. These statistics go to show that there is a large majority of the workforce that would benefit from such benefits.
Mental health issues aren’t only caused by financial worries. Employees can be suffering through stress at work caused by high-pressure environments, looming deadlines and demanding clients. On a daily basis, this can cause ongoing issues, which employees may feel like they can’t talk to anyone about. There are now Employee Assistance Programmes that can offer 24-hour support for any employees that are struggling and need advice and guidance. Improving mental health provisions for business employees will bring improved loyalty, happiness, and productivity in the workplace which in turn, improves employee retention and overall makes for a better working environment.
Examples of employee benefits include:
Relaxation and meditation
Access to mental health services
Mental health awareness training
Occupational Health initiative
Provide flexible working
Though not all companies will have the resources to apply all these employee benefit schemes, applying some of these benefits can make a difference for an employees’ morale and in return, give back to the business.