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Spotlight on Benefits

16 Apr 2024 |

By Nick Coleridge-Watts and Manjinder Kang

Spotlight on Benefits 100

Q1 of 2024 continued to see equilibrium in the market vs Q1 of 2023 and attracting and retaining top talent remained paramount for businesses aiming to thrive.

While salary and career development opportunities continue to be key factors in employee satisfaction, as the dynamics of the workforce have evolved, so too have the expectations surrounding benefits. No longer are benefits primarily consisting of healthcare and retirement plans enough, and employees seek wider support that acknowledges their diverse needs and preferences. As a result, companies continue to explore and broaden their benefits packages.

Here is a snapshot of benefits seen and desired in the market:

  • A generous holiday allowance above the market average has been a key benefit that has enabled some firms to retain staff. A longstanding client of VWA offers up to 30 days of annual leave a year. Some firms offer additional leave days such as a day off on your birthday, or extra days given between Christmas and New Year.
  • Financial security that goes beyond a competitive pension scheme. Stock options, financial planning assistance, life insurance, travel insurance, season ticket loans, or tuition/training allowances, can empower employees to plan for their futures and alleviate financial stress.
  • Health benefits extending beyond private healthcare and gym membership can include onsite GP, flu vaccinations, eye examinations and contributions to glasses, regular wellbeing checks, cycle to work schemes and access to employee assistance programmes such as counselling and subscriptions to Calm/Headspace apps. These are all gaining traction as tools to support employees’ health and wellbeing.
  • Hybrid working is still highly desirable, as are flexible working arrangements. Some firms have also introduced ‘work from anywhere’ policies during certain times in the year, giving employees a wider sense of trust, flexibility and a work-life balance.
  • Daily breakfast / lunch allowances that ultimately enables employees to save costs in this area.
  • Professional development with support for ongoing learning and development of skills, including training programmes/allowances and career advancement resources, demonstrates a commitment to employees’ growth and continuous improvement.
  • Charity initiatives / paid volunteering days reflects a company’s commitment to social responsibility, and is a tangible incentive for employees to contribute to their community.
  • Perks and recognition. Beyond essential and broader benefits, perks like employee discounts, team-building activities, company socials and trips abroad, contribute to a positive environment and boost morale.

Clients wishing to use temps in long-term roles are advised to consider making up for lack of tangible benefits with their calculations of rates. Likewise for contractors, full incorporation into the company’s benefit structure including bonuses can be a key reason to stay until completion.

In conclusion, investing in broad and flexible benefits yields a number of advantages for businesses, including attraction and retention, fostering employee loyalty, enhanced productivity and engagement, reduced absenteeism, positive employer branding and ultimately, sustained success in the market place.

For further information or to arrange a call with a VWA Consultant, please contact recruit@vwa.com or call 020 7225 1888

The VWA Team

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