Exciting Benefit Packages

What does new research tell us?

New research reveals that 9 out of 10 companies with a highly engaged workforce employ face-to-face communications as the best method of putting across the value of employee benefit packages. With many companies still exercising a wage freeze, the competitiveness of their benefits package is becoming even more important as a tool to retain existing, valued employees and attract new talent.

Most of you will know that every company you work for has different benefits on offer.  Some companies offer a good package and some don’t offer anything at all apart from the basic holiday allowance.  We have met candidates over the years whose decision on whether to take a job is based on the details of the benefits package.  It can be a make or break decision for people and in many cases businesses have failed to secure the talent they are after by having a weak package above the basic salary.

What makes a good benefits package?

I’m sure we all know someone who works for a company that has a more attractive benefits package on offer than the one you might currently receive; whether that’s more holiday or their company is closed between Christmas and New Year. But is the grass always greener on the other side?  In this blog I will explore two different clients that we are proud to work with.  One is a client-side/ in-house business and the other is a well-known agency.

A recent survey reveals that organisations have not got to grips with how best to motivate and retain staff using benefits packages despite clear evidence that they can work wonders with morale.

Private health insurance, share options, company car, pension scheme, gym membership – there is little doubt that what employers like to call a ‘generous package’ looks great in a job advertisement.

But does this multitude of benefits really help motivate and retain staff? Do employees actually make use of their benefits? Do they want them at all? For more information.

Case Study 1

My first case study is an in-house client of ours called SecretSalesNish Kukadia, the company’s CEO,  has built a company from scratch and developed it into one of the UK’s largest and fastest growing private discount retail sales businesses.  Since they have grown so rapidly over the past few years, they have had to seriously look at the benefits they offer staff, to not only retain them but to be in line with the rest of the industry.  In my opinion they have certainly got it right with some brilliant and unique benefits available;

  • 20% discount on products we sell
  • Depending on salary, competitive holiday allowance
  • Better than average basic salary
  • Extremely competitive commission for sourcing team
  • Competitive Bonuses depending on seniority of the role
  • ESOP for key staff
  • Childcare vouchers
  • Entrepreneurial spirit that attracts an ambitious calibre of people
  • Open plan office with a focus on open dialogue and transparency of information between teams
  • Team evenings/dinners
  • Company parties
  • We’ll be introducing medical and other benefits in Q3 of this year for key employees and that will filter down to all staff over time as we grow.

Case Study 2

Case study two is a very large and hugely successful PR agency in Soho Square called Hill + Knowlton.  They are very well known within their space, have great clients and happy staff. See their website for more information.Why not check out Tom Sharpe, part of Hill + Knowlton’s Talent Acquisition team, on LinkedIn?

They have a very well thought out package which includes:

Benefits for H&K Staff up to Associate Level

  • 25 days holiday with three additional days over Christmas
  • Contributory pension scheme, with matched contributions of 5%*
  • WPP share options (after 2 years service as at Jan 1)
  • Enhanced maternity and paternity scheme after two years service
  • Comprehensive private health insurance provided by Pru Health (includes a vitality programme which rewards a healthy lifestyle)*
  • Interest free season ticket loan*
  • Cycle To Work Scheme
  • New Business Incentive for Projects and Retainers identified as part of a competitive pitch or lead*

Soft Benefits

  • Subsidized H&K Bar (offers a range of refreshments, snacks and alcoholic beverages)
  • Corporate gym membership (various gym’s available)*
  • H&K My Benefit Scheme (access to financial advice, plus discounts and special offers on a variety of products and services)*
  • Employee Assistance Line – 24-hour helpline, confidential and free.  Employees can phone for advice on personal issues, financial advice or legal help
  • Free annual eyesight test with Vision Express
  • Discounted rates with CIGNA Dental Insurance*
  • Access to H&K’s company doctor (available for emergencies and second opinions if required).
  • Free tea, coffee, juice, pastries and fruit in the bar before 9am
  • Free tea and coffee points available on all floors
  • WPP employee discount scheme
  • Sabbatical leave (up to 6 weeks unpaid after three years service)

As you can see both benefits packages are very different as the types of companies.  They both offer an attract package for the people they employ.

Small and emerging companies offer many advantages that big companies don’t. A tremendously attractive benefits package generally isn’t one of them. Without the large numbers of employees required to negotiate favourable insurance deals and affordable financial services, small firms can’t compete head-to-head with large companies for benefits. But they should offer a package that meets employee needs and is competitive with what other small companies offer.

To read more on this subject I recommend these sites.

8 Uncommon Employee Benefits

Evaluating Your Benefits Package