The Power of Employee Benefits: Boosting Morale & Productivity

By Ashley FerroFebruary 28, 2024

In a world where employers are fighting for the best talent, the true differentiator often lies in the benefits a company offers.  

It's not just about the salary anymore; it's about feeling valued, supported, and understood. The struggle to find a balance between work and life, to feel secure in one's future, and to be recognised as an individual, not just an employee, is real.  

This article dives deep into why a comprehensive benefits package, like the one ExpenseIn offers, is crucial - highlighting how these benefits directly address the problems faced by modern workers by ensuring their well-being, appreciating their hard work, and ultimately, motivating them to stay committed and satisfied. 

We'll be covering:

Why Employee Benefits Matter 

Employee benefits go beyond the paycheck, deeply influencing job satisfaction and employee retention. In a workforce where the battle for top talent is ever-present, the strategic inclusion of benefits can set a company apart.  

Here’s how: 

  • Job satisfaction: Benefits such as health insurance, retirement savings plans, and paid time off contribute significantly to an employee's overall job satisfaction. They signal that a company values its employees' health, well-being, and work-life balance. 

  • Employee retention: A comprehensive benefits package can be a key factor in an employee's decision to stay with a company. The cost of replacing an employee can be substantial, not just financially but also in terms of lost knowledge and productivity. 

A report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) highlighted that 56% of employees cited employer-sponsored health benefits as a key factor in their decision to stay at their job. 

Another study found that organisations offering a mix of six benefit types saw a 138% decrease in turnover, demonstrating a clear link between benefits and employee retention. 

Crafting a benefits package that appeals across generations, from Millennial and Gen Z employees seeking flexible schedules to Gen X employees valuing work-life balance, can transform benefits into a competitive advantage.  

The right mix not only supports the workforce but also aligns with organisational goals, fostering a culture of appreciation and commitment. 

10 Employee Benefit Ideas for Enhancing Well-Being & Productivity 

Creating a competitive and comprehensive employee benefits package is essential for attracting and retaining top talent in today's workforce.

These benefits not only support employees' physical and mental well-being but also enhance their productivity and engagement.  

Here's a curated list of effective employee benefit ideas, backed by industry data and insights: 

1. Flexible Working Arrangements 

Flexibility is key in today's workplace. Offering options like remote work, flexible hours, and part-time roles can make a massive difference in achieving a work-life balance that feels right.

Flexible Working Arrangements A recent report highlights just how much this trend is taking off: around 70% of organisations are now offering remote work opportunities. Even more, about 65% have flexible hours in place, and nearly half are open to part-time arrangements. 

These stats tell us that a lot of companies are getting on board with the idea that work doesn't have to be a rigid 9-to-5 ordeal. It's about giving people the freedom to fit their jobs into their lives, not the other way around.  

This approach doesn't just make employees happier; it's also a smart move for businesses looking to keep their team motivated and loyal. 

2. Health and Wellness Programs 

Prioritising the health and wellness of employees is not just a benefit - it's a strategic investment.

Companies that offer health and wellness programs are not only showing a commitment to their employees' well-being but are also boosting their overall productivity and satisfaction. 

These can include: 

  • Fitness memberships 

  • Mental health support 

  • Wellness apps 

Health & Wellness ProgramsRecent statistics highlight the growing need for these programs. With 76% of workers experiencing increased stress levels, and significant portions reporting feelings of anxiety (60%) and depression (56%), the importance of mental health support in the workplace has never been more apparent.  

The UK government acknowledges this need, urging better health support at work, particularly for SMEs, to improve workforce health and productivity. This governmental push reinforces the idea that a healthy workforce is foundational to a thriving business. 

By striking a balance between supporting physical health and fostering mental well-being, businesses can create a healthier, more resilient workforce. 

3. Professional Development 

Investing in employees' growth through training programs, courses, and conferences not only boosts their skills but also their loyalty to the company. 

Benefits of Professional DevelopmentHere's why creating opportunities for learning and growth is not just beneficial but essential: 

  • Skill enhancement: In a world that never stops changing, offering training programs and courses keeps your team at the forefront, ready to tackle new challenges with confidence and creativity. 

  • Boosting retention: According to a Gallup report, nearly half of workers are open to switching jobs for better training opportunities. This eagerness for learning highlights a critical gap: while 42% of employees treasure employer-provided training above all forms of career development, less than half feel fully equipped for their current roles. 

  • Adaptability and innovation: With the right skills, your team doesn't just keep up; they lead the charge, ensuring your organisation remains competitive and innovative. 

Investing in professional development is an investment in your team's capabilities and your company's future.

It's about building a culture where growth is part of the job description, and every challenge is an opportunity to learn, adapt, and excel. 

4. Employee Share Schemes 

Share schemes allow employees to own a stake in the company, aligning their success with the company's performance. This can increase their sense of belonging and motivation. 

Benefits of Employee Share SchemesWhy are these schemes transformative?  

  • Financial upside for employees: The beauty of share options, like those offered under EMI schemes, lies in their potential for significant financial rewards. Employees are granted the option to buy shares at a preferential rate, which could lead to considerable gains as the company's value increases. For instance, low-paid workers with access to an employee share scheme are, on average, £10,000 better off than those without. 

  • Tax efficiency: Schemes like EMI offer favourable tax treatment, with employees potentially paying only 10% in Capital Gains Tax on the profit from selling their shares, compared to the standard 20%. This tax advantage makes the financial benefits of share schemes even more attractive. 

  • Productivity and engagement: The HM Treasury found that tax-advantaged employee share plans could boost company productivity by 2.5% to 4.1%. This increase is attributed to the heightened engagement and motivation of employees who have a stake in the company's success. 

5. Generous Leave Policies 

In today’s job market, where work-life balance is a top priority for job seekers, paid time off is a crucial component of that.

Research has found that work-life balance is the top priority for job seekers, surpassing even pay and benefits when determining the most desirable job factors. 

A recent study revealed that 67.5% of UK workers rated work-life balance as the most critical factor in a job search. In fact, another study found that paid time off is the most preferred benefit among UK employees today, with 44% showing a preference for extended paid leave. 

In addition to attracting and retaining top talent, generous leave policies can also improve employee morale and productivity.

When employees feel supported by their employer and have the opportunity to take time off to recharge and relax, they are more likely to be engaged and productive at work. This can lead to improved business outcomes for the company. 

Different Types of Leave PoliciesThere are a number of different types of leave policies that a company can implement. Some of the most common include: 

  • Paid sick leave: This allows employees to take time off when they are sick or injured. 

  • Paid vacation leave: This allows employees to take time off for vacations or other personal reasons. 

  • Paid family leave: This allows employees to take time off to care for family members who are ill or to bond with new children. 

  • Unpaid leave: This allows employees to take time off without pay for a variety of reasons, such as personal or family illness, military service, or religious observance. 

  • Birthday leave: This allows employees to take a day off on their birthday. 

  • Volunteering days: This allows employees to take time off to volunteer for a cause they care about. 

The specific leave policies that a company offers will depend on its size, industry, and culture. However, all companies must at least offer the statutory minimum of paid leave to their employees.

This is important for both attracting and retaining top talent and for creating a positive work environment. 

6. Comprehensive Health Insurance 

Providing access to quality healthcare, including mental health services, is one of the most important things an employer can do for their employees.  

Comprehensive Health InsuranceThe Association of British Insurers found that 86% of people who were absent from work due to illness or injury were successfully supported to stay in their employment. Over 42% of those absent were supported back to work in under four weeks and 81% in under six months. 

Health insurance can also provide peace of mind. Employees know that they have access to the care they need, and this can help them focus on their jobs and be more productive. 

The cost of health insurance can be a barrier for some employers, but there are a number of ways to lower the cost, such as: 

  • Bundling health insurance with other benefits. Some employers offer health insurance as part of a larger benefits package that includes things like dental, vision, and life insurance. Bundling health insurance with other benefits can help employers save money on the overall cost of providing health insurance to their employees. 

  • Taking advantage of government incentives. There are a number of government incentives that can help businesses lower the cost of health insurance for their employees, like Employment Allowance, allowable tax expenses for employers, etc. 

7. Recognition and Rewards Programs 

Acknowledging employees' hard work and achievements through awards, bonuses, or public recognition isn't just about creating a positive workplace culture; it's a proven strategy to boost profitability and engagement, making it an indispensable tool for modern businesses.  

Benefits of Recognition & Rewards ProgramsA wealth of research underscores the power of recognition in motivating employees, with compelling statistics that make a strong case for integrating a robust recognition and rewards program: 

  • Boost to profitability: Companies boasting a highly engaged workforce see a 21% increase in profitability, highlighting the direct financial benefits of fostering an environment where employees feel valued and part of the team. 

  • Desire for more motivation: Over 70% of employees express a desire for their employers to step up efforts to motivate them, indicating a widespread yearning for acknowledgment. 

  • Engagement and loyalty: Recognition significantly enhances employee engagement, with more than 80% of employees stating it boosts their motivation, and 79% claiming that an uptick in recognition would heighten their loyalty to their employer. 

  • Performance and productivity: Organisations with recognition programs witness a 14% hike in employee engagement, productivity, and performance, while happy workers are found to be 13% more productive. 

  • Retention: A well-implemented recognition strategy can lead to a substantial reduction in staff turnover, with 69% of employees saying recognition and rewards would entice them to stay in their current job, and a culture of recognition potentially saving a company with about 10,000 employees up to £12.7 million annually in turnover costs. 

  • The preference for praise over pay: Surprisingly, nearly 60% of employees would choose regular praise and thanks over a 10% pay increase with no recognition, underscoring the value of non-monetary recognition in the eyes of the workforce. 

8. Support for Remote Work 

Remote work isn’t just a passing fad; it’s a fundamental change in how we think about our careers. With around 80% of people now working in either hybrid or remote settings, it's evident that flexible work arrangements have gained widespread approval.  

Support for Remote WorkThis shift is largely fuelled by the mutual benefits it offers both employees and employers. For example, a notable 67% of managers report that their teams hit higher productivity levels when working remotely, and 79% have observed a boost in output in these settings. 

Embracing remote work means more than just allowing employees to work from home; it's about actively supporting their success in these environments.

This support can take the form of: 

  • Stipends for setting up a home office 

  • Providing memberships to coworking spaces 

  • Technology allowances 

  • Internet and phone bill reimbursements 

  • Ergonomic furniture allowances 

  • Team retreats and meetups 

These gestures not only enhance employees' work-life balance and productivity but also signal an employer's commitment to their team's well-being - a crucial factor in today's job market.  

Interestingly, 63% of employees now value the option for remote work more than a higher salary, and over half would consider leaving their jobs if forced to return to an office setting. This underscores the expectation, not just the preference, for flexible working conditions. 

9. Financial Well-being Support 

In recent times, we've all faced tough challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and rising costs due to global issues. This has made money matters even more stressful for everyone, including people at work.  

In the UK, many people are finding it harder to make ends meet, and businesses are starting to realise they need to do more to help their employees with their finances. 

While it's not common yet, some companies are really stepping up to support their teams financially.

Take Leek Building Society for example. They've introduced several measures to help their staff through these tough times: 

  • Savings scheme: They started a program to encourage employees, especially those earning less, to save money. By saving a little from their paycheck for six months, employees get an extra £100 from the company. This is a big deal because many people weren't saving at all before this. 

  • Extra money for rising costs: Understanding that life is getting more expensive, the company gave all their employees an extra £1,600 to help with the increased costs of living. 

  • Better pension contributions: The company now puts more into their employees' pension funds (7.5% up from 6%), helping them save for retirement without asking employees to contribute more. 

These steps by Leek Building Society show how companies can truly make a difference in their employees' financial well-being. By introducing such programs, they not only help employees manage their money better but also build a workplace where people feel valued and supported. 

10. Community Engagement Opportunities 

Promoting volunteering and community involvement among employees isn't just about giving back; it's a powerful way to build a stronger, more connected team.

Research shows that when companies encourage their staff to engage in volunteer work, it does more than enhance team spirit - it significantly boosts the employees' skills and well-being. 

Community Engagement OpportunitiesA notable study revealed that the vast majority of people prefer to work for organisations that support and encourage volunteering. Those who volunteer often feel more connected to their community, with over 80% saying they understand their community better because of it.

Volunteering also helps people get better at talking and working with others - 65% of volunteers said their communication skills got better. Plus, nearly 60% felt more confident after volunteering. 

This shows that getting involved in community service is not just about helping out; it's also a great way for employees to build new skills and feel good about their work.

Companies that make volunteering a part of their culture are creating a more engaged and skilled team. 

A Look at ExpenseIn's Employee Benefits: Supporting Employee Well-being & Productivity 

At ExpenseIn, we recognise that the heart of our success lies in the well-being and satisfaction of our team.

That's why we've carefully designed a benefits package that goes beyond the basics, reflecting our deep commitment to our employees' diverse needs and lifestyles. 

  • Work-related expense reimbursement: Covering expenses incurred during duties. 

  • Essential equipment provision: Equipping employees for a productive home office. 

  • Monthly home working allowance: A stipend to enhance remote work setups. 

  • Annual and birthday leave: Generous policies for relaxation and personal celebration. 

  • Social volunteering day: Encouraging community engagement with a day off for volunteering. 

  • Length of service recognition: Rewarding dedication and loyalty with more time off. 

  • Pension scheme contribution: Supporting future financial security. 

  • Private medical care: Access to premium healthcare after 6 months. 

Our approach is centred on providing our employees with the resources, flexibility, and time they need to excel in their roles while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. 

Employee Benefits: The Heart of Workplace Satisfaction 

It's clear that thoughtful employee benefits are more than just extras; they're a core part of what makes a workplace like ExpenseIn truly stand out.  

From ensuring health and well-being to recognising personal milestones and supporting community engagement, these benefits reflect a deep understanding of what motivates and appreciates employees.  

It's this kind of environment that not only attracts top talent but keeps them committed and satisfied, proving that when companies invest in their teams, everyone benefits.