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How To Create The Perfect Benefits Package For Your SME

Attracting and retaining staff is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses and organisations. Recruiting staff is time consuming and expensive and a settled staff line-up means more productivity and continuity as opposed to interruptions and slow-downs caused by gaps in the workforce and the time taken to replace them.

Along with a competitive salary, an attractive and flexible benefits package is a major driver in attracting and keeping staff. Indeed, some 60% of employees say the benefits package heavily influences their decision to join and then stay with a given company or organisation.

Once you’ve got quality staff in place, you must look to keep them.

How to choose what benefits to offer

Much may depend on the types of employee you’re recruiting and certain benefits will appeal to people in different age ranges.

Offering flexible hours with the option to work from home could be worthwhile if you find flexibility is a barrier to attracting the right staff. Employees with young children may also find flexible working a key attraction

It’s important to offer benefits that are appropriate to your staff and, ideally, serve as an incentive to improve their performance as well help to retain them in your organization.

It’s also worth looking at your rivals too and seeing what your up against but, in general, some of the most popular employee benefits to consider are:


A good scheme is a sound option for both younger and (especially) older employees. It’s compulsory for many firms to have some sort of offering but smaller firms might want to look to match this and offer something a little bit better than the mere basic.

Company car

Although taxed as a benefit in kind, it’s still a popular choice. Perhaps subsidised help with learning to drive would appeal to some employees – or the carrot of a company car would at least encourage new recruits to get on with passing their tests.


Various benefits could be offered under this heading such as health screening, dental cover and private medical insurance.


A great way of enhancing loyalty as the employee feels more connected to the business with a ‘stake’ in it, and it may make them feel extra incentive to perform well.

Gym membership

Encourages employees to be healthy, and shows you’re interested in their well-being outside of the office.

Childcare benefits

Can remove a major obstacle for employees facing childcare costs while they work.

Season ticket loan

Helps employees buy cheaper travel as opposed to purchasing weekly or monthly passes.

Flexible working

Popular with employees with families, this can include job sharing options, working from home days and variable start and finish times.

The benefits of benefits

While you’ll inevitably weigh up the costs of providing fixed or flexible benefits packages, it’s also worth considering the costs of not offering one – or a very limited one.

It’s clear that, if you get it right, a good benefits package helps with both recruiting and retaining staff, and so is a sound investment in your business from an operational point of view. Less money is spent on recruiting and training with a more stable workforce, and benefits can sometimes replace a salary rise.

For example, some employees would happily take a lower salary if they could work from home part or all of the time to avoid the daily commute. This run down of how a benefits package helps the employer offers food for thought.

The intangible benefits to you of offering a benefits package can include; parity with competitors, improvement of staff wellbeing and the meeting pensions regulations before they are imposed.

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