Introducing benefits on a budget
Sometimes despite the best of intentions, budget restrictions mean that HR cannot implement all of the benefits programmes they ideally would like. But today there is really no excuse not to reward your staff for a job well done. If you want to retain and recruit the best employees, you need to provide a benefits package that makes you a desirable employer. This isn’t just about perks and cinema discounts, or even free flu jabs. You need to implement a benefits strategy where the benefits appeal to each member of staff and communicate these in an effective way – whether this be no-tech (face to face and posters on staffroom walls), low-tech (email comms) or more like the tech staff are used to as consumers (via push notifications and smartphone apps).
To help you, here are some cost-effective ways you can introduce benefits to your staff that will make them happier, more productive and could improve your business as a whole.
Saying thank you to your staff is inexpensive and yet very effective. We are not just talking about a pat on the back for a job well done, Reward and Recognition programmes have come a long way. We’re not saying that a Thank You isn’t valued, in fact most staff rate this as being one of the biggest things management can do to make them feel appreciated, especially Millennials. But with a formalised Reward and Recognition programme, organisations can thank staff for working hard or allow colleagues to recognise one another for going the extra mile. A thank you can be anything from an e-card, an internal awards celebration, or even points that staff can save to spend on a treat. Incentives don’t have to be budget busting, they can be a small token of appreciation that you will find often goes a long way.
The best way to save money on your benefits programme is to introduce benefits that your staff will actually use. A lot of time and money is often invested in creating a benefits programme that offers the widest range of benefits, but to get the most bang for your buck it is so important that you include benefits that really matter to staff. The best way to understand which benefits will be appreciated most, is to ask your staff. Get together a few of your workforce from across multiple departments and ask them what matters the most to them. There is no point throwing money at benefits that your staff won’t use.
Long term benefits
The importance of wellbeing programmes are often overlooked as a useful benefit for staff, when in fact they are the benefit that can drastically improve and change employee lives, as well as organisational performance. Wellbeing isn’t just about providing discounts at your local gym. Why not introduce an element of gamification – running a competition for the department that does the most steps? Simple ideas like these don’t have to blow the benefits budget and can make your staff healthier and happier too. Healthy staff have lower absence and can be almost three times more productive than their unhealthy colleagues. And with more focus on Mental and Financial wellbeing, there is a variety of affordable ways to ensure your staff remain happy and healthy. If you are unable to implement a Fair Value Employer Loan Programme or an all singing, all dancing EAP platform, why not come to a compromise? Giving staff access to resources, such as a wellness blog like Hapi Life, is a step in the right direction and can help staff learn about ways to improve their financial, physical and mental wellbeing.
One of the easiest ways to introduce benefits and make savings is to go digital. Save on paper, ink and time by launching and managing your Benefits Programme online. Posters are a long loved way to promote the latest benefit but is this something an e-shot or a push notification could do instead? The best thing about using digital communications is that they are so easy to update. A couple of clicks and you can amend the dates of the benefits window, introduce new offers and tailor the communications to suit all of your staff. With push notifications and benefits apps becoming the new norm, you can reach all of your staff at any time, any location, without the cost pf printing, paper or postage.
There are so many other ways that your organisation can make the most of any size benefits budget. These are only a handful of ways you can rethink benefits and stop seeing them as a drain or hindrance to your budget. With careful planning, useful insights and a team of willing benefits champions, you will be sure to create a happier, engaged and more productive workforce.