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“Show me the share option… and the private healthcare package”, might not have delivered quite the same impact in Jerry Maguire, but for many employees, an attractive benefits package can make all the difference to the decisions they make.

For small and growing businesses, finding the right balance between a competitive salary and a generous benefits package plays an important part in attracting and retaining talented employees. In this article, we’re going to take a look at why benefits packages are so important and the type of benefits today’s employees value the most.

Why Do Benefits Matter?

If you pay a salary that’s in line or even slightly above the going rate in your industry, you might assume most candidates would be willing to forego a generous benefits package. However, the research shows that’s simply not the case.

According to Glassdoor’s Employment Confidence Survey, 57 percent of candidates say the benefits and perks offered by a company are a major factor in whether they accept a job offer. Perhaps more surprising still is the fact that 79 percent of employees said they would choose additional benefits over a pay rise.

Implementing an Employee Benefits Package

Clearly, employee benefits are increasingly important for the modern workforce, but how can you implement a benefits package that also works for you? Advice from the CIPD suggests that employee benefits should be used to support your organisation’s business goals by improving staff wellbeing and enhancing employee engagement. To do this, the benefits you offer must be valued by workers, supported by HR practices and be part of a wider reward strategy.

What Benefits are Valued the Most?

Beyond pension options and private healthcare, many employees value flexible work schemes and benefits that help them to achieve a better work/life balance. Of the respondents to a recent Jobsite survey, just under half were interested in flexible working provisions such as access to remote platforms and co-working software. That made flexible working the third most desirable benefit behind more holiday days and an enhanced pension scheme.

Perhaps the most important finding was that 94 percent of the employees surveyed said a personalised package, where they can pick and choose the perks that were most appealing to them, was “very” or “quite” appealing.

Thinking ‘Outside the Box’

While letting employees choose how their benefits package is made up is clearly important, that hasn’t stopped some employers from creating a few unique perks of their own.

One UK company has introduced a mortgage fund that helps employees save a deposit for their first property. The scheme requires employees to deposit 20 percent of their basic salary for a three-year period into the fund. At the end of the period, the employer tops up the fund by 50 percent.

Other unique benefits include the annual stipend Airbnb gives it employees to spend travelling anywhere in the world. Then there’s the yearly allowance a UK accountancy firm gives its graduate employees that goes towards paying off their student loan.

What employee benefits do you value the most? Please drop us a line or leave a comment on our social channels. We’d love to hear from you.