In today’s highly competitive job market, a comprehensive benefits package is one of the most powerful ways you can set your business apart from others. Finding out what the most popular benefits are, what your competitors offer, and most importantly, what your own employees need, is key. We look at some of the current trends in employee benefits in 2023 and how you can tailor a package to attract the best people to your team and keep them there for longer.
Why do employee benefits matter?
The tight labour market is posing a major talent acquisition challenge for HR leaders and business owners in 2023.
For employees, rising mortgages, escalating rents, higher grocery bills and the increased cost of running a car are top of mind. Being part of a healthy workplace culture, and having access to flexible and remote work and meaningful wellbeing programs are equally pressing concerns.
Unfortunately, as an employer, managing a business during tough economic times can involve cutting expenditure and operating under a tighter budget. This means that you need to “do more with less” and come up with innovative and affordable ways to meet employee needs that go beyond simply increasing pay.
Benefits like salary packaging, car leases, goods and services discounts and access to financial and health-related wellbeing programs can go a long way to provide employees with a way to ease economic burdens and improve their lifestyles.
What benefits are job-seekers and employees looking for in 2023?
We look at a range of benefits that are sought after by employees, are easy for you to create and administer, and come at little or no added cost to your business.
1. Salary packaging
Salary packaging or salary sacrificing gives your employees access to phones, motor vehicles, work related insurances, entertainment, portable electronic devices, self-education and retail discounts (to name just a few potential benefits) by way of a pre-tax deduction.
Research shows that the demand for salary packaging is on the rise. In fact, when EY and Flare surveyed 7,000 Aussie workers, they found that three quarters would take up a financial benefit like salary packaging if it was offered.
Owning a car is one of Australians’ biggest household expenses, and offering a car salary packaging benefit through a novated lease gives your employees a way to free up disposable income without costing your business.
With fuel, registration, insurance, and maintenance included, car salary packaging offers a cost-effective way for employees to finance their vehicles and manage ongoing expenses with pre-tax dollars and lessen their tax liability as a result.
On average, Flare leaseholders have saved a substantial sum of $6,000 a year in tax and car running costs*. An added benefit is that they can choose a car to suit their budget, whether it’s new, used or one of the latest models of hybrid or electric vehicles (EVs).
As Flare customer Healius has found, novated leasing can also give staff a compelling reason to join or stay with you. The business is currently experiencing a retention rate of 98% for employees with a Flare novated lease as part of their salary package.
2. Discount and wellbeing employee benefits
Discounts on products and services, especially ones that your employees already regularly buy, can help with weekly shopping budgets and make their pay packets go further.
An employee discount scheme isn’t only a welcome money saver for your staff, but it also allows you to provide valuable benefits without having to shoulder additional costs or pay anything out-of-pocket.
Flare offers a free benefits and perks platform for your entire workforce, giving them access to cheaper groceries and petrol, clothing and electronics, and entertainment and leisure activities from a whole host of Aussie retailers and wellbeing brands.
3. Remote access to employee benefits
Pandemic-related pressures have led to a very different way of working in 2023 with more and more Australians joining the ranks of hybrid, remote, or geographically flexible employees.
Importantly, how you make benefits available in these circumstances can affect the success of your program. Customised mobile and app-based HR solutions are saving the day by giving workers flexible options whether they’re in the office or away from it.
Skout Solutions is one employer using the Flare app to engage a diverse team that’s constantly on the go. “You can always put out an email with information about your benefits package, but our teams are often on the move, so we needed to find a way to make the information available at employees’ fingertips,” says Jac Dircks, Operational Analyst at Skout Solutions.
“I get a lot of positive feedback about the discounts and rewards that are available. Keeping the cost of living down by having a discount on everyday items makes a big difference for staff in the long run,” she adds.
4. Personalised employee benefits
Programs that offer only a few core benefits with limited appeal are being replaced with ones that provide a more aware, multigenerational workforce with truly useful and meaningful options.
In fact, the best perks packages that you can offer your employees should be designed with personalisation in mind and based on the unique wants and needs of a diverse employee pool.
Flare’s free benefit solution gives your employees choice with hundreds of discounts at over 9,000 locations across Australia and pre-tax savings on salary packaging, so there’s something of value for everyone.
Businesses can even add their own benefits to the app and employers like Skout Solutions have customised further by adding specific benefits like leave, EAP and events.
How to use benefits to attract and retain top talent
Forward-thinking recruitment and retention strategies are essential as job seekers continue to have leverage in a tight job market.
A comprehensive benefits package can be one of the best and most cost-effective strategies to position yourself as an employer of choice and provide your employees with options they will value.
Learn more about how Flare can give you the edge in attracting and retaining top talent to your team through personalised and meaningful salary and benefits packages.