Employee benefits provide value when you communicate their worth

30 April 2022 by
Employee benefits provide value when you communicate their worth

Evaluate what you offer to employees to help attract and retain talent, says Alex Keddie, financial adviser at Davidson Asset Management

We are all too aware of the recruitment and retention challenges the hospitality industry has struggled with over the past few years and we hear a lot about salary as an important element of the retention package.

However, speaking to general managers in the industry regularly as I do, the allure of the promise of a higher salary is often diminished when pension contributions are based on qualifying earnings – the lost employer contribution can be significantly lower and new life cover (as part of the pension package) can be a lower income multiple.

Begging the question: could hospitality operators benefit from investing more in communicating the value of employee benefits, as happens in other industries?

The whole package

While pension – deferred salary – may not always be perceived as a strong retention factor in hospitality, the above scenario clearly demonstrates the importance of evaluating not only pay but also the total reward offering. Although the importance of employee benefits may not always be apparent at face value, sooner or later their intrinsic value will be demonstrated.

I've come across many scenarios of this. Take the pandemic, for example, where life assurance payments have provided vital financial support for families impacted by the loss of loved ones and their income, and the bereavement support provided under these policies has proved invaluable.

We all think "it will never happen to me" but just watch an episode of DIY SOS to see how life-changing situations can and do occur. Imagine suffering a stroke and needing to finance the installation of a lift or wet room in your home. Day-to-day activities can be stressful for someone diagnosed with cancer, such as the cost burden of taking taxis to hospital appointments and treatment sessions. This is where support from critical illness cover can demonstrate its worth.

Commit to it

Isn't it time to make a commitment to educate employees up front about the intrinsic value of their overall benefits package?

If your colleagues don't fully understand the benefits they have and what they can do, where is the recruitment and retention value and return on your investment?

Individuals will still "jump ship" for that quick buck, which surely must be a race to the bottom as employers cannot keep competing purely on an increase in salary to lure talent.

Of course, there is a cost in offering employee benefits. Certain ones, such as pensions, are required by legislation.

However, if we can instil a culture of employees' truly understanding and valuing their full benefits package which leads to an attitude where fewer jump ship, then the return on investment in terms of the impact on business operations will be more than acceptable.

An employee benefits package is a way for employers to demonstrate their brand values in action, but only if engagement and understanding among your staff occurs will it truly assist in turning a business into an employer of choice.

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