Employers understand that they play a huge role when it comes to helping their employees succeed both in and out of the workplace. But you may be wondering: how do we support every individual’s needs when we have a rapidly growing organisation? The answer lies in employee benefits.
Employee benefits are additional forms of compensation that are provided to employees in addition to their salaries. They’re a great way to address the needs of your workers and can easily be scaled. To ensure that you’re only investing in the most impactful offerings, we put together a list of 10 employee benefits that we believe will have the most positive effect on your workforce.
Why are employee benefits important?
The average employee spends one-third of his or her life at work. Given this, workers have very limited time to tend to other aspects of their life – whether that’s family, personal passions, or health. By offering a variety of benefits, employers can make this balancing act a bit easier for their employees by providing them with the resources, tools, or opportunities needed to take care of their personal and professional needs.
There are business advantages to offering employee benefits as well. These types of offerings have been proven to improve company culture, boost productivity, and increase retention rates – all of which can lead to significant cost savings for your organisation.
Below, we share 10 types of employee benefits to consider.
The unfortunate reality is that we’re living in an increasingly stressful world. This is reflected by the fact that more than half (55%) of Australian employees feel stressed at work. One of the most effective ways to help employees manage this stress is to offer mental health benefits. These can come in the form of tools and resources to help your employees relax, work through their problems, and build resilience.
Examples of mental health benefits:
- Online therapy or counselling services
- Meditation or mindfulness apps
- Paid time off for mental health days
Physical health is an extremely important component of employee wellness as well. Whether it’s helping your employees stay active or better manage any illnesses they’re dealing with, benefits that improve physical health can make a huge difference to your workforce.
Examples of physical health benefits:
- Flexible wellness budgets
- Subsidised gym memberships
- Annual health screenings
- Chronic disease management or smoking cessation programs
Juggling the demands of both work and family is challenging. To ease some of the burden, employers can offer benefits that either financially support family-specific needs or make the integration between home life and the office a bit more seamless.
Examples of family benefits:
- Flexible childcare spending accounts
- Adoption, surrogacy, or in vitro fertilisation support
- Daycare center at the office
- Monthly family-friendly work events
As businesses start to re-open after COVID-19, we’re likely to see an uptick in commuting. Getting to and from work can easily be one of the most stressful parts of an employee’s day, as they battle terrible traffic or sit on the bus for long periods of time, just to get to their 9 a.m. meeting on time. Fortunately, there are commuter benefits you can offer to minimise the impact.
Examples of commuter benefits:
- Subsidised public transportation passes
- Employee parking spots
- Flexible schedules that allow employees to commute during off-hours
Two out of five Australian workers experience financial stress during their careers. This makes it clear why financial wellness benefits are becoming an increasingly important part of wellness programs for many organisations. Offering benefits to boost the financial health of your employees can help reduce anxiety and help them reach long-term goals like buying a home or starting a family.
Examples of financial well-being benefits:
- Financial counseling
- Real-time payments
- Financial education courses
- Additional superannuation contributions
A study found that one of the ‘must have’ benefits that Australian employees expect to receive is training and development on the job. To keep people feeling fulfilled and engaged at work, you have to provide them with opportunities to grow – not only professionally, but personally as well. Benefits are a great way to encourage this type of development.
Examples of professional development benefits:
- Learning and development budget
- Monthly training opportunities
- Coaching or mentoring programs
One of the other ‘must have’ benefits for Australian employees is flexible work arrangements. Increasingly, people are looking for the ability to choose when and where they work. That’s why companies that offer flexible work benefits, such as accommodating remote working options, are likely to attract and retain top talent.
Examples of flexible work:
- Work from home days
- At-home office budget
- Flexibility to set a personal schedule
Did you know that 62% of Australian households own a pet? Your employees likely view their dogs and cats as part of the family. This can make it stressful for workers to leave their pets at home all day or deal with a sick animal. Offering pet-focused benefits that relieve some of the financial burdens or allow pets to be in the office with their humans can have a positive impact on your employees.
Examples of pet-friendly benefits:
- Pet-friendly office
- Subsidised pet care
- Paid time off to take care of a new pet
Introducing benefits that are focused on recognizing the hard work of your employees can be a powerful way to keep them feeling motivated and appreciated. There are many types of recognition programs you can introduce to your organisation.
Examples of recognition benefits:
- Experiential recognition program
- Peer-to-peer recognition program
- Company value awards
Having the opportunity to connect with other teammates can be hugely beneficial to employees. Not only does it encourage collaboration, but it ensures that people know they have a community to turn to. There are several socially-focused benefits you can offer to encourage these bonding moments at work.
Examples of social benefits:
- Monthly team outings
- Budget for coffee dates or lunches with colleagues
- Company-wide gatherings or events
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