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The Gender Absence Gap: How to Invest in Women in the Workplace

The Gender Absence Gap: How to Invest in Women in the Workplace

What is the gender absence gap, and how can organisations address it?

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What Benefits Matter Most to Employees?

5 February 2018 7 min read

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Employees are one of the most important components of a successful business or organisation. Without their commitment and dedication, there’s no question any business operation would falter.

But, as the talent market becomes more competitive, employers are increasing their focus on employee benefits as a tool to acquire top talent, keep employees engaged, and prevent employee attrition.

A recent report showed that 75% of employees are more likely to stay with their employers because of a great employee benefits program. As such, companies need to offer competitive packages including generous benefits to attract and retain top talent.

Typically, a good employee benefits program includes health insurance, accident, and disability insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, and paid time off. Some employers even go the extra mile by offering other customised benefits to make sure that their employees are happy and satisfied with their jobs.

However, employee benefits do so much more than that.


The Benefits of… Benefits

A competitive employee benefits package results in a multitude of benefits not just for the employees, but also for businesses. It allows them to grow, expand, and ultimately, achieve success with a competitive advantage.

1. Make Your Company More Attractive to Talent

Benefits and perks are a great way to attract new talent to work for your company when offering them a high salary isn’t enough.

A Gallup study reveals that 57% of candidates in the US consider benefits and perks before accepting a job offer. Who wouldn’t want to work for a company that provides huge benefits and perks to their prized employees?

Just think about how candidates and applicants would enthusiastically line up at your door when they hear about how attractive your benefits package is!

2. Minimize Employee Stress

By offering private health and dental insurance, your employees won’t have to worry about waiting for important medical work, which can be an issue with public health insurance. [AW1] The stress relief will be even more phenomenal if the health insurance you provide extends to their immediate family.

If your employer offers retirement benefits such as long service award pay-outs or private pensions, you can worry less about what the future has in store and focus more on the present.

3.Increase Employee Satisfaction

According to the same Gallup study, 84% of employees with high benefit satisfaction are highly satisfied with their jobs. Furthermore, satisfied employees perform better and produce a higher quality of work, reducing the risk of burnout.

Health insurance benefits could also decrease absenteeism and improve the overall health of your employees, as they are more likely to seek preventative care and practice healthier living.

4. Reduce Turnover

Employee turnover and attrition are among the top concerns of most employers. But, when employees are satisfied and engaged with their jobs, would they leave?

According to a survey by FlexJobs, almost 80% of employees would prefer new or additional benefits to a pay raise. It’s more than just about money.

If you offer competitive benefits and perks that they can’t easily find elsewhere, it’s unlikely that they’ll turn their backs on your company.

5. Increase Employee Loyalty

By offering great benefits, you’re giving your employees more reason to love working for your company and remain loyal. As a result, they’ll work harder and produce a higher quality of output, contributing to the success of your business.

Plus, they’ll tell their family and friends about the excellent benefits they receive, further contributing to a positive brand reputation.

But, how do you know what benefits to include in your package?

Fractl and HBR surveyed 2,000 employees in the U.S. from 18 to 81 years old. The respondents were given a list of 17 benefits and asked how heavily they would weigh the options when choosing between a high-paying job and a lower-paying job with more benefits.

The survey found that after health insurance, employees value benefits that help them achieve better work-life balance.


Employee Benefits Infographic


Think Outside the Box

There’s an endless variety of employee benefits, and employers can customize their own employee benefits package according to what their employees want and need.

Aside from health insurance, paid time off, and pension plans, you can also offer additional benefits and perks that will show your employees how much you value their service.

1. Gym Membership or On-Site Fitness Classes

Most companies, nowadays, partner up with other businesses or establishments to provide employees with fun/healthy perks. A gym membership or on-site office fitness classes show your employees that you care about their health and wellbeing.

2. Sports Tournaments

Sports are great for building camaraderie within your organisation. Not only does it contribute to health and fitness, but it also encourages your employees to engage in healthy competition outside work. It can be a regular and fun event that your employees look forward to.

3. Free Housing

There may be some employees who live a long way from the workplace, and commuting may take a toll on them. If you have the facilities for free housing, you can offer them a place to stay during the weekdays, meaning they don’t have to expend time, energy, and fees getting to and from work.

4. Bring Your Dog to Work Day

Studies show that dogs at work reduce the stress of employees and increase their productivity.

If your office is in a pet-friendly building, then why not make one day out of the week a bring your pet to work day? That will surely be a welcome treat for pet owners, as well as the other employees who get to spend time with the dogs at work.

5. Resort or Hotel Vouchers

Giving your employees free vouchers for hotel or resort accommodation will encourage them to use their paid holidays or vacation days. Additionally, they also get to relax, rejuvenate, and recharge their creative juices on the free vacation sponsored by their company.

6. Discount Coupons

As mentioned, you can partner up with external establishments so that your employees can get exclusive discounts just by showing their company ID. It’s an additional perk that’s cost-effective and can make your employees happy that they belong to your esteemed organisation.

Whether that’s a salon, a grocery store, a clothing shop, or a nearby café, your employees will surely appreciate the added perk.

7. Team Building Getaways

Summer outings sponsored by companies are not only excellent team-building tools but also show your employees that you’re invested in them. You want them to have fun at work and outside work with their co-workers.

Include fun office games and activities during your company outings to build camaraderie and strengthen teamwork.

8. Free Beverages and Snacks

If you often find your employees heading out for a coffee from their favourite local spot, then you know they’d appreciate free refreshments. Some companies even include a juice bar to encourage healthy living.

Place a long table by the refreshments area or pantry, and deck it out with snacks they can munch on while working. That way, they don’t have to head out so often.

It doesn’t have to be gourmet. Cookies, biscuits, sweets, and crisps will go a long way in showing them that you care for them.


Focus on What Really Matters

Health insurance can be costly, but if you consider the advantages that it can offer your business, then it’s a win-win situation. Providing additional perks like the ability to telecommute or go on vacations whenever they want doesn’t have to cost you extra. In fact, it can even save you overhead costs such as hardware and utilities.

You don’t have to be a large company like Google to offer great benefits and fun perks. What’s important is that you provide the benefits that matter most to your employees. Throw in some innovative perks whenever possible, sometimes a little goes a long way in making employees happy and satisfied.

Learn more about the top 5 things HR Directors are prioritising for 2021 in our free e-book.

Read now >


Katrina Bennett People Director at edays
February 5, 2018

Katrina is edays' own People Director with significant UK and international experience in delivering people strategy and value-adding HR solutions across a range of organisations and sectors (including Arriva, Boots, Rolls Royce, the utility and charity sectors). Katrina has over 20 years of experience in Human Resources and is CIPD qualified.