How Flexible Benefits can help to create your company culture
Labour shortages are affecting every sector in the UK. More than half of all businesses are struggling to recruit, according to research from the Centre for Economic Performance. And it’s not just recruitment that’s causing difficulties. Following the ‘Great Resignation’, where people moved from job to job in record numbers, retention is on the top of a lot of HR departments’ lists.
Inevitably, the labour shortage has created a ‘buyer’s market’ for jobseekers and a real headache for HR teams. Talented graduates now have the luxury of being picky about who they choose to work for. They’ll weigh up an organisation as a whole, and company culture is a huge part of this. In fact, recent research suggests that after pay, company culture is the second most important factor when choosing whether or not to accept a job.
Why is company culture so important for recruitment?
Your company culture is defined by your values, what you do and how you do it, and how these values affect day-to-day employee behaviour (from the most junior to the most senior!).
Post-Covid-19, arguably maintaining your unique company culture is harder than ever as many desk-based workers will never return to five days a week in the office. Working out how to keep consistent values, whilst offering the flexible working that employees are asking for, is something that many HR Directors will be weighing up.
Your organisation probably already has a set of core values that will guide your leadership strategy and set the tone for your employees. The hard part is often putting those written values into practice. Unless your employees can see examples of your values being enacted, you’ll fall short of creating a recognisable workplace culture.
So how can flexible benefits help to create company culture?
In the past, employers have looked at using employee benefits to help them craft their company culture as benefits can show employees that you care about their wellbeing and happiness. Because of the competitive job market, employers have upped their benefits game and employee benefits packages are now increasingly being seen as the norm (much in the same way that hybrid working has become an expectation).
This is where flexible benefits can help. Flexible benefits allow your employees to choose their own benefits - a tangible signal of your trust and commitment to protecting their work/life balance. This is a great way of engendering a caring, wellbeing-focused culture.
You’ll also show that you’re an innovative employer by offering a cutting edge benefits package - don’t underestimate the value of appearing innovative when it comes to looking after your employees! Benefits can help to play a big part in engaging and motivating new starters. The right benefits can generate genuine excitement for employees entering your organisation. All this will reflect well on you, positioning your business as an employer of choice.
Supporting all employees' life stages
And it’s not just about getting new joiners excited. To be seen as a diverse, family-friendly employer your benefits could look after your staff from the cradle to the grave. Fresh graduates might not immediately value access to maternity or paternity benefits, but the importance of those benefits may grow from them later down the line.
Access to salary sacrifice schemes like cycle-to-work and retail and entertainment discounts might also have a greater appeal to younger members of your workforce. Being able to put more into a pension, or planning for the worst with a death benefit plan have also traditionally been seen as more desirable benefits for middle-aged and older workers.
Offering flexible benefits can also position you as an agile, adaptive employer. For example, travel benefits were once highly desirable but during (and even after) the pandemic their appeal lessened for some parts of the workforce (or at the very least the importance of access to good-value travel insurance increased).