Where salary budgets continue to tighten, positioning your company to be as attractive as possible for the most talented candidates requires a valuable employee benefits package
This goes beyond an appealing job description and salary by detailing the perks employees will enjoy if they become part of the company. They’re essentially those ‘extras’ that can really sweeten a job offering if a candidate is stuck between two different options.
If the salary is almost the same between the two job offerings, then how does a candidate decide? Often it comes down to the employee benefits package on offer as this can have a huge impact on the individuals broader life.
For example, if one job offers flexible working and the other doesn’t, that might be the deciding factor if the candidate has family commitments to consider.
Now more than ever, with so many choices available, employees value companies who value them. They want to know what is on offer aside from money as these perks can serve as a token of appreciation.
At Macdonald & Company, we’ve been recruiting in the real estate sector for 30 years and we’ve observed a significant shift in what employees value in the workplace. According to our salary survey which references over 10,000 international salaries, nearly a quarter of employees are dissatisfied with their current employee benefits package, highlighting that a change is needed by employers to attract and retain talent.
Why Create An Employee Benefits Package?
There are lots of reasons why you should invest in an attractive employee benefits package which we’re outlining below.
Attract the best employees
An effective employee benefits package allows you to attract the most talented employees who will be looking beyond job description and salary when searching for a new role as their skills and qualifications will be highly sought-after.
If you’re hiring for senior positions, individuals might have several job offers to choose from, so a valuable employee benefits package allows you to stand out so they feel compelled to choose you.
Improve employee retention
As well as attracting new employees, a good employee benefits package helps you retain existing employees as they’re more likely to stay for longer if you show that you value their contribution.
As discussed, offering a competitive salary is no longer enough as employees value their life outside of work and what companies can do to support this. For example, do you offer flexible hours or remote working? Both of these can significantly contribute to an employee’s level of job satisfaction as you’re helping them to balance their work and personal commitments.
Increase employee engagement
Similar to the point above, an attractive employee benefits package helps you increase employee engagement by showing individuals that you care about their lives outside of the workplace.
In turn, they’re more likely to be engaged inside of the workplace as they’ll appreciate the holistic support provided by the company. This results in them contributing their best efforts to the success of the company which greatly benefits both parties in the long run.
Build a positive company culture
When employees are happy at work, it creates a more positive company culture as people are more likely to collaborate effectively and contribute to the overall work environment.
A culture of happiness and satisfaction fosters a sense of camaraderie, boosting team morale and creating a workplace where individuals feel valued and appreciated.
Stand out among bigger companies
When you’re trying to recruit the best candidates, you’ll be competing with other companies who might be trying to fill the same positions as you. If you’re a smaller, less-well known company and you’re up against more established organisations, candidates might be more inclined to choose the bigger company as they’ll feel safer.
However, an attractive employee benefits package could sway their decision by offering compelling incentives that go beyond the size or reputation of the company.
Crafting an effective employee benefits package could potentially save the company money by offering non-monetary perks such as flexible hours, remote working, and wellness programs that contribute to improved employee satisfaction and well-being.
Moreover, a positive work environment created by appealing benefits contributes to higher employee satisfaction, which, in turn, lowers turnover rates. Reduced turnover means the company spends less on recruitment, onboarding, and training of new employees.
Types of Employee Benefits to Consider
There are a whole plethora of different employee benefits to consider when crafting your own package.
It’s important to choose the right benefits without putting the company at risk to ensure all parties are happy.
For example, if you’re a small business, choosing unlimited holiday allowance probably isn’t the best idea as it could lead to operational challenges and increased workload during peak times.
Think about what makes sense for your business and go from there.
Some common employee benefits to consider are:
- Health insurance: Comprehensive health coverage, including medical, dental, and vision insurance, to support employees’ well-being and provide financial protection against medical costs.
- Retirement plans: Employer-sponsored retirement savings plans help employees save for their future and secure financial stability in retirement.
- Flexible work arrangements: Options like flexible hours, remote work, or compressed workweeks to promote work-life balance.
- Paid Time Off (PTO): Sick leave and holidays that allow employees to take time off for personal and family needs without sacrificing their income.
- Professional development opportunities: Programs for ongoing learning, training, and career development, including workshops, courses, and mentorship, to help employees improve their skills and further their careers.
- Wellness programs: Initiatives promoting employee well-being, such as gym memberships, wellness workshops, and mental health support.
- Life and disability insurance: Provides financial protection for employees and their families in the event of death or disability, ensuring a safety net during difficult times.
- Child Care assistance: Benefits such as onsite childcare facilities to help employees manage childcare costs.
How to Create an Attractive Employee Benefits Package
Below we’re exploring how to create an attractive employee benefits package, starting with the most important people…
Understand your employees
Understanding the diverse needs and preferences of your employees is key to crafting an effective benefits package.
You need to consider factors such as age, life stage, and individual circumstances to tailor offerings that resonate with your workforce and bring value to their lives.
For example, you might find that Gen-Z employees value flexible working and mental health support, whereas millennials might value pension contributions and performance bonuses. Therefore, the benefits you choose should align with current market trends and demographics among your workforce.
Staying updated with cultural trends and adopting best practices is crucial, as these factors are likely to influence the expectations of your employees.
It’s important to gather feedback from your employees about their views on the package being offered as it’s for their benefit after all!
This might take the form of surveys, meetings, or one-to-one discussions, ensuring that employees have the opportunity to share their insights on the effectiveness of current benefits.
Armed with this information, you can improve the employee benefits package available and increase both satisfaction and retention levels across the business.
It’s important to note that gathering feedback should not be a one-time exercise but rather an ongoing initiative as opinions and trends are constantly changing.
The things employees now value post-pandemic for example, (such as remote working) might not have been as popular before the pandemic. Similarly, the cost of living crisis has had a dramatic impact on what employees want from their work, so it’s important to revisit and update your package to stay relevant.
Analyse market data through a salary survey
When crafting your employee benefits package, you need to make sure what you’re offering is competitive.
This includes salary as while the package an employee is offered extends beyond their base pay, this is still a big part of what makes the job role attractive. Furthermore if you’re offering bonuses or commission, you need to ensure the salary package is in line with the industry average.
To do this, you need to benchmark the salaries you’re offering with what other companies in the industry are offering. This takes the form of a salary survey to ensure your company remains competitive.
At Macdonald & Company, our salary survey collates over 14,000 international salaries across multiple disciplines in real estate allowing you to make informed and strategic decisions about your salary packages.