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2019’s top 5 workplace benefits 

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We see a lot of fads come and go in the world of employee benefits – remember when TransferWise built a sauna in their office? Or BrewDog started offering a week of paid ‘puppy leave’?

Introducing a wacky new benefit makes headlines, but if it suits your culture and workforce then go for it. However, generally when creating a benefits package employers want perks that deliver the holy trinity of being valued by staff, boosting engagement, and providing a good return on investment.

Innecto consultants get to look under the hood at lots of companies… so here are the best benefits we’ve seen this year, which deliver on those three evergreen categories. 

Work Life Balance

Whilst more than half of UK workers work flexibly in some way, one in four still overwork by ten-plus hours a week, and 68% would like to work flexibly in a way that is not currently available to them. Another piece of the puzzle is adequate holiday allowance, and acknowledging that time spent away from work is essential for employees to rest and recharge.

For example, workers in Sweden get 25 vacation days by law, with many large firms typically offering even more, and parents get 480 days of paid parental leave to split between them. Most offices are empty after 5pm, like workplaces in France who introduced a 35-hour working week as a part of a labour law reform in February 2000. Capped working hours and improved annual leave allowances can make a massive difference to how and when people work, creating a clear separation between work and home and improving productivity overall.  

Professional development and education 

According to Henry Ford, the only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay. When it comes to development within the workplace, it is important to remember that not all employees have had the same educational opportunities and therefore should be given ample choice to pursue learning through their career. 

Companies such as Booking.com have already taken these steps; team members are mentored one-to-one with managers tailoring next steps to suit both personal goals and business objectives. Meanwhile Dropbox’s ‘Hack Week’ allows everyone time to work on skill development to better themselves. 

Wellness initiatives

These are increasingly popular, due in part to ease of implementation. Ideas range from something as simple as offering healthy snack or lunch options to employees a couple of times a week, or allowing them to earn points through physical exercise that can be spent elsewhere. To take it a step further, employers could introduce wearable technology to their employees, on-site gym services and fitness or yoga classes, health workshops or even medical screenings. 

Among the 22 different studies that have looked at employee wellness programs and healthcare costs, the average return on investment was 3.27. This further emphasises the effectiveness of wellbeing benefits from both employer to employee.  

Paid time off for volunteering 

With rising interest in Corporate Social Responsibility, more employers are allowing paid time off for staff to volunteer for charities. Not only does this help others, but allows employees to harness skills they wouldn’t necessarily use in the workplace. According to SHRM’s report, 24% of companies currently offer this perk, up from 16% four years ago.  

Not just casual Friday

Unless you operate in a sector where suits or a uniform are required, why not instigate a more relaxed dress code? According to Livestrong, employees find themselves more comfortable in casual clothing, especially in a setting where they feel like their attire won’t be scrutinised or measured against what others are wearing. Other benefits include boosted morale, less financial strain on employees to buy more clothes, and improved self esteem throughout the business. 

If you’re thinking of refreshing your benefits offer, Innecto can help. Call us on 020 3457 0894 or email ben.rowley@innecto.com
 

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