According to research by Group Risk Development (GRiD), the industry body for the group risk protection sector, over a third (36%) of businesses provide ongoing employee benefits as a way of adding real value to their employees’ lives.
Large corporations (250+ employees) in particular favour this approach, with 64% highlighting that they fund employee benefits. In comparison, 29% of SMEs (business with 250 or fewer employees) and only 12% of micro businesses (fewer than 10 employees) do the same.
Despite the tendency for many businesses to reward, motivate and engage staff with employee benefits, one-off events and payments remain popular options too. Indeed, while 44% of businesses invest in training, appraisals and continuous development, just over a third (36%) arrange ad-hoc events, such as parties/celebrations, and 35% give bonuses, vouchers and other one-off rewards.
3 reasons why businesses tend to favour benefits
GRiD says there are three main reasons why organisations choose to pay for long-term benefits for their staff: affordability, staff appreciation and appreciation of wider value for the business.
Longer term benefits are increasingly affordable. For example, the cost of providing group income protection for one employee for a year is around £310 (and it can be even less). In comparison, businesses that reward staff with one-offs spend, on average, around £947 – a reality that shows products like group income protection are often a lot cheaper than businesses think.
While events like parties and celebrations provide instant gratification and are very visible, they do not always appeal to the whole of a company’s workforce. In contrast, long-term benefits (usually) appeal to everyone and have a much longer lasting effect.
The key, though, when it comes to successfully introducing long-term employee benefits, is to communicate them clearly and effectively. This not only informs employees about the options that are available, it also helps with uptake.
Wider value for the business
Employee benefits such as group risk products can also help support in-house HR teams with sickness absence and case management. So as well as providing tangible value in the form of legal advice and mediation, such benefits also mean that additional support does not need to be financed, leading to genuine cost savings.
Speaking about the findings of the GRiD research, Katherine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, said: “Health and wellbeing benefits, including group risk financial protection (employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness benefits) are continually being enhanced, and providers work with advisers to find ways to make them more affordable.”
Businesses that aren’t already providing ongoing benefits for their staff could be missing a trick. Research shows time and time again that employees really appreciate a good benefits package and the costs for implementing are usually less than most businesses realise.
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