Employee benefits that attract and retain talent in 2022

By February 22, 2022employee benefits

You only have to be a casual LinkedIn user to notice the recurring irritation from candidates about what gets listed as benefits on job ads. And quite rightly so, because half the time what’s being listed is a legal requirement, not an added extra.

We know you’re already well versed in this – after all, that’s your area of expertise. But what benefits attract and retain talent? Let’s examine.

What constitutes an employee benefit?

Firstly, let’s clarify what employees and candidates expect, in terms of their understanding. Reed explains employee benefits to candidates like this:

“Employee benefits are extra incentives provided by employers, in addition to a worker’s normal salary or wages.

They’re designed to help promote employee satisfaction and wellbeing, and could include anything from dental care plans and pension schemes, to flexible working hours and family-leave support programmes.

Although some benefits are legally required (core benefits), others are offered as added perks that are used to attract and retain employees.”

Core benefits are legal requirements, and they include:

What employee benefits are available?

We provide a plethora of incredible discounts with household name brands, restaurants, insurance products, savings on childcare, holidays, bikes, and so much more.

In addition to the light-hearted benefits, we also provide freebies that make life a little less stressful. These include:

  • Employee assistance programmes (EAP)
  • Tax refund assessment and claim management
  • Help managing your credit score
  • Debt management services
  • Money advice
  • Mindfulness courses
  • Pre-paid travel cards
  • Health and wellbeing resources

What is an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)?

EAP is a confidential service that allows employees to get in touch with an independent advisor for help with work related or personal problems that are causing them stress, worry or interfering with their ability to work or their attendance.

As it is remote from your company, it is often seen as a neutral option rather than speaking to HR. These advisors come from multi-disciplined backgrounds, providing them with the right expertise to help with specific issues.


Your rewards and recognition checklist

If at this point, you are seeing red flags in your own company’s policy on benefits, or you think it is time to rethink your offering, have a look at our rewards and recognition checklist

What do employees and candidates actually want?

Back in June 2020, Gartner reported employees wanted a safety net above anything else. And after the initial lockdown, who can blame them. They found:

  • 48% of employees want to adopt a hybrid working model permanently
  • 3% said their mental health had improved since working from home, in fact, 44.5% of office workers who are now working from home have self-reported productivity increase. 31.7% feel they’re more productive at home and 18% feel they’re far more productive.
  • Financial assistance and childcare provisions came out top in most desirable benefits
  • More flexibility in working hours and days was ranked highly, and not just for parents

Aviva surveyed 2,500 workers from a variety of business sizes and sectors to find out what matters most to them:

In fact, even in 2017, Harvard Business Review was reporting that flexibility with hours and remote working came out top for most valued benefits. After all, the option to choose between train delays and traffic jams vs. sipping a cold one or putting the kids to bed more often, is an easy decision to make!

How has remote and hybrid working impacted benefits?

If there was a lesson learned in 2020, it was that mental health is something we need to look after. From scheduling team check-ins, to making sure they are taking adequate breaks, time off and giving advice on work-life separation – especially when they’re working from home long-term.

Unmind and the Reward Employee Benefits Association (REBA) found:

  • Over 87% of companies were having more open conversations about mental health
  • More than 91% have put an emphasis on helping their teams look after their mental health
  • 70% of companies reported that they were committed to increasing their investment into supporting the mental health of their employees, in the same way that they support physical health

Supporting professional growth

One of the massive pro points of the mass embrace of hybrid and remote working is that it has opened the talent pool to those out of the area. However, it does mean that candidates expect more from prospective employers when it comes to benefits. And without running the risk of sounding like a broken record, the basic gym membership and dental plan just doesn’t cut it anymore!


Staff retention solutions for 2022 and beyond

#1 Supporting career development attracts AND retains the best talent

According to Best Money Moves, the top reason why employees leave their jobs (after salary and stress related reasons) is lack of opportunity for growth and advancement. Supporting your teams career goals not only helps them feel seen, heard and supported, but could also stand to benefit you with internal promotions rather than taking a punt on external hires.

This could be achieved through subsidised courses and paid study leave.

#2 Create your own in-house mentor programme

What better way to pass on knowledge, know-how and expertise by utilising your own workforce? Encourage your experienced team members to mentor new, less experienced ones. Obviously, this would need its own recognition and incentive to those sharing their wisdom, as let’s face it: time is money. So, whether that’s a rise, extra time off or something else, it is all worth considering – and listening to see what your teams want!


Take away

It is time for companies to step up their benefit offerings. Not only to attract new talent, but to retain the talent they already have. Gone are the days where a simple gym membership would cut the mustard, especially with how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our leisure time.

Employees are looking for ways to help make their salary go further with discounts, savings and financial assistance. But above all, they value flexibility, security and feeling truly appreciated.

If it’s time for you to reassess your offering, why not book a demo with us and see how we can help you look after your best assets.

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