What are the advantages of providing employee benefits?

andy-campbellAndy Campbell is employee benefits manager at independent insurance and financial services group, Lucas Fettes & Partners (an NCVO trusted supplier). Andy has been advising employers on workplace pensions and employee benefits for over 15 years.

It’s a challenging time for the charity sector and that can mean staff are facing additional pressures. We conducted some research last summer and found that 79% of employees believe charities face more challenges today than three years ago.

The good news is that charity employees are happier and more fulfilled than those working in other sectors, with 68% saying they enjoy their job and 69% finding it rewarding. But some told us that they personally felt undervalued, and 20% were concerned about their organisation’s ability to hold on to staff.

The success of any organisation is in no small part down to its people, and that’s particularly true in the case of the charity sector. During these difficult times, employers need to take care of the people who champion the cause and really contribute to helping their organisation achieve its vision.

With increasing pressures on budget, how do you ensure you’re able to protect, retain and reward your employees?

Improving staff retention and wellbeing

There are many ways to make staff feel more valued, and providing additional benefits for staff can cost significantly less than you think. 84% of organisations who provide employee benefits say it aids staff retention.

Popular employee benefits include:

  • Group life assurance
  • Medical insurance
  • Dental plans
  • Company cars
  • Income protection
  • Employee assistance plans (EAPs)
  • Enhanced pension contributions
  • Childcare vouchers
  • Enhanced leave
  • Healthcare cash plans
  • Health screening
  • Discounted gym membership
  • Season ticket loan

To give a couple of examples, a cash plan can cost from 95p per week per employee. This allows staff to seek dental, optical, osteopathy treatment, and claim the cost back. Some plans also cover expenses for a hospital stay.

For a similar cost, employee assistance programmes (EAPs) can be set up to provide helpline support or face-to-face counselling.

Providing support

Unfortunately, one in 8 men and one in 12 women will die during their working lives. You can provide cover for employees so that in the event of their death, a tax-free cash lump sum will be paid to their dependents. This can cost from as little as £4 (that’s just two lattes a month per person).

One size doesn’t fit all

The benefits you choose to offer can be built around the objectives and values of your charity, the needs of your employees, and your budget. Research shows that offering employee benefits of some description can help staff feel more valued and supported, and 72% of employers say it improves employee wellbeing.

Communicate benefits to staff

It sounds obvious, but if you offer employee benefits then it’s really important to make sure you let your employees know about the options available – our research revealed that a staggering 52% of employees didn’t know if their employer provided them with any benefits or not. So, if you do introduce an employee benefit scheme or have arrangements in place already, make sure you tell everyone about it! It might be worth issuing a reminder communication to existing staff, and certainly ensuring it’s part of the information you provide to any new joiners.

Where can I find out more?

For more information about employee benefit programmes, please get in touch with Lucas Fettes & Partners for a free, no obligation consultation. You can call us on 0330 660 0148 or email us at charitiesandnfp@lucasfettes.co.uk.

HSF offer NCVO members health cash plans from 95p per week – find out more.

 

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