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Employee benefits: how can small businesses compete?

26 April 2019

Employee benefits go a long way towards creating a happy workforce

When the annual Glassdoor best companies to work for survey findings came out at the end of last year, it was great to see a fellow East Anglian business grab top spot.

But what is it that singles out a business as an attractive employer?


Health and wellbeing matters

When searching for a new role and a new employer, it’s not all about the salary and annual holiday quota anymore. People also want to know about opportunities for development, training, employee benefits and the general workplace culture.

Key to all this is staff health and wellbeing.

According to the Glassdoor results, wellbeing is right up there when it comes to job satisfaction.  Of all the benefits identified by survey participants, a positive work/life balance held the most value.

As a reflection of this, all the companies that came in Glassdoor’s list of top 10 places to work offer some form of health insurance, also including dental and optical cover.

And some went one step further.

Anglian Water, which was crowned the UK’s best place to work, have the whole health and wellbeing thing sewn up. 

Not only do they offer flexible working with the option to work from home, employees are also encouraged to create their own wellbeing gardens at their workplaces. 

On top of this, there’s a scheme that allows employees to take paid leave while volunteering for a charity. And there’s the offer of access to free advice and support from personal finance experts.


One size for employee benefits doesn’t fit all

Employees’ needs are as diverse as the roles they perform and in larger organisations staff can often feel like their individual circumstances are not understood.

Several companies in Glassdoor’s top 10 clearly recognise this, among them XPO Logistics (third), Sky Betting and Gaming (sixth) and SAP (eighth). 

Consequently, they offer flexible benefits frameworks that enable staff to tailor their benefits packages to suit their needs and current personal circumstances.

Flexible systems like these can really add to how valued each individual employee feels.

What about the little guy?

The health and wellbeing benefits that Glassdoor’s top 10 places to work offer are undoubtedly impressive. But these are large corporations after all, with correspondingly large financial reserves. 

So, what can smaller organisations do in terms of employee benefits to ensure they’re also great places to work?  

It doesn’t have to cost the earth to make the team feel valued: 

  • Flexible working options cost nothing to implement and can make a world of difference to people’s lives. 
  • Individual career development programmes are generally inexpensive to put in place and empower your staff to grow professionally.
  • Health insurance needn’t be out of reach for small businesses either. Schemes like Equipsme offer flexibility and can be tailored to offer a level of cover that is both affordable and practical for your organisation.

See the benefits Equipsme healthcare and wellbeing plans can offer here or call Amy or Sarah on 0345 222 5393.

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