With pay rises reported on in the media lately regarding the NHS 3% raise, this got us thinking. While salaries are undoubtedly one of, if not the most, important part of remuneration for lots of people, what other benefits are available to demonstrate to your staff that they’re valued?
Whether salary increases are on the cards for your company or not (and for some businesses getting back on their feet after a difficult year that may not be possible), reviewing your reward packages might be a way to help increase motivation. This may be particularly important if you have staff returning to work after being on an extended period of furlough. It’s been reported that as employees have spent more time at home away from the work environment, they’re considering their options and a lot of movement between roles is expected this year as people take stock of what’s important to them. Your rewards strategy may have a part to play when it comes to staff retention.
So, what can you do to ensure your people feel valued?
One of the best ways of finding this out would be to ask them. Having open discussions with your team where they can highlight what benefits are important to them could be a first step to take. It’s key to make sure that benefits are available to all staff no matter their pay grade.
Flexible working is likely to be something that would be appreciated at all levels. As many office workers saved time on their daily commutes during lockdowns, proved they could work effectively from home and potentially experienced a positive impact on work-life balance, it is perhaps not unsurprising that employees may want that extra level of flexibility to remain going forward.
Staff may now also be more acutely aware of their finances, particularly for those who experienced total or partial-furlough. The importance of financial wellbeing should not be underestimated, as we know that money is a key source of stress among 63% of adults. In response to this, offering a comprehensive financial education programme could help employees to feel more in control when it comes to money matters.
Support outside of the pay packet
Further to this, prioritising employees’ mental health will now be on the agenda for a lot of businesses as the Covid-19 pandemic has not only exacerbated financial worries, but also increased feelings of loneliness for vulnerable staff members, as well as put additional strain on families who have had to juggle work and home-schooling. As a result, employers could look at setting up mental health awareness initiatives at work, such as employee assistance programmes (EAP), mental health awareness days or mental health first aid training.
Health and physical wellness benefits are, of course, also greater considerations for many employees now. Results from a survey carried out by Benenden Health in 2020 revealed that 42% of employers had lost a team member due to inadequate wellbeing support at work. Low-cost cash plans could be a great choice in the absence of private medical insurance to help supplement services like dental and optical appointments. Many now go further than that, with virtual GPs, holistic offerings like nutritionists and EAP services, along with offering claim period extensions and payment holidays for employees. Again, it could be worth checking with employees which services matter most to them and giving them the option to tailor a plan to suit their needs.