Having competitive benefits for your staff can help you to attract and retain quality staff members, the people you really want to work for your business. While there are a number of mandated or legislated benefits, such as providing a minimum amount of superannuation, sickness and other leave benefits, businesses can also offer a wide range of voluntary or extra benefits to employees.
Some businesses will offer the benefits to every employee, but others will offer a special or additional benefit instead of a direct pay increase as a reward for exceptional work or service to the business, or for employees at a certain level, such as managers.
One easy way to provide competitive benefits for employees is to provide higher than the minimum mandated benefits, also referred to as legislated benefits. Mandated benefits include superannuation (10% minimum as at July 1, 2021, increasing 0.5% every financial year), holiday leave (20 days for a full time employed person), long service leave (8.67 weeks of paid leave in addition to the annual leave payable on completion of 10 years’ service), maternity / paternity leave (government paid leave available for those eligible) and sick leave (while not mandated to offer this, most companies offer between 5 and 10 days sick leave each year as a voluntary benefit).
However, companies who are looking to gain an edge over their competitors might consider offering employees 12% or more superannuation payments, additional holiday, long service, maternity or paternity leave and sick leave than others in the same industry.
These are some of the sorts of benefits some businesses will offer employees to provide a competitive edge in attracting or retaining quality staff members. This is where you have plenty of freedom to offer benefits that employees particularly want to have, and that can be cost effective to the business to provide, depending on what the benefit is.
Some of the common supplementary benefits include health insurance, educational or training for advancement opportunities, company vehicles, childcare or subsidized childcare, voluntary benefits such as discounts at third party businesses, gym on site or gym membership subsidization and workplace canteens.
Perks of Competitive Benefits for Businesses
Businesses can also provide perks to employees, including general wellness perks like break out areas with activities like a table tennis table, or bubble chairs to relax in during breaks. Some businesses provide healthy meals like a breakfast selection, fresh fruit delivery or a juice bar. A free flu shot, or vaccination or gym membership could be considered as a perk for employees.
Providing a bathroom or shower facility can enable employees to walk, run, or cycle to and from work or participate in exercise during a break, knowing that they can shower afterwards. Some employees are offering membership to group benefit pools where employees can receive a range of discounted goods and services throughout the year.
For small business owners with only a few employees, some of the corporate benefits that large companies can offer due to higher employee numbers may be out of reach but think creatively about what benefits you can offer. You may be able to join with some other small business owners in the local area to approach a local gym for a group / corporate style discount.
You may be able to offer another owner in your business network a deal for their business or staff that can be ‘traded’ for a deal for your staff. You might provide discounted lunches for the staff of the hairdressers next door to your café, and the hairdresser may provide discounts for hairdressing for your staff. Both small businesses benefit with more customers from this deal and all employees receive a benefit that makes them feel good about staying with the business. Spending a small amount on a weekly fresh fruit delivery can help staff members both feel appreciated and encourage healthy lifestyles.
Flexibility – the ultimate competitive benefit!
Another relatively easy to provide, employee benefit those small businesses could offer is flexibility in hours, for example you may have an employee who prefers to work 7am to 3pm to be able to pick up the kids from school, instead of the traditional 9am to 5pm. If this is not really going to affect your business (and it may only be suitable for some roles), you can make a flexible working agreement with the employee, which could prevent the employee from leaving to find a job that offers that flexibility. You can offer the option of working extra hours in the week to gain a rostered day off or time off in lieu, which can offer employees more flexibility to juggle the work / life balance. You may be able to offer some employees the option to work some hours remotely or from home, depending on the type of role / tasks that they complete.
Developing competitive benefits that employees appreciate can help any business to attract and keep high quality employees, reducing all the costs associated with staff turnover, including training new employees. It could be easier and more cost effective to provide competitive employee benefits than you think, especially if you can offer something that others cannot.
If you are looking to implement competitive benefits in your business, seeking expert advice and ongoing support can ensure that you not only attract and retain the right employees through offering the most attractive competitive benefits, but who can also assist in implementing policies and procedures that measure the relevance of such benefits, then you need to contact Dreamstone HR. With over 45 years of combined HR experience, our dedicated, diligent team can assist you with all of your HR related needs, and equip you with the knowledge, skills and support you need to seamlessly manage your employees and contractors. Have some further questions about competitive benefits for your business? Contact the Dreamstone HR team today!