When considering future employers, job-seekers often consider the overall remuneration package available rather than just the salary. Employers must ensure they stay ahead of the curve and offer modern benefits that appeal to top talent. Positive benefits also ensure current employees remain motivated and productive is also essential. The challenge is finding benefits that offer the maximum appeal to staff but are also cost-effective to the company.

When considering future employers, job-seekers often consider the overall remuneration package available rather than just the salary. Employers must ensure they stay ahead of the curve and offer modern benefits that appeal to top talent. Positive benefits also ensure current employees remain motivated and productive is also essential. The challenge is finding benefits that offer the maximum appeal to staff but are also cost-effective to the company.

Fresh fruit

Offering fresh fruit as a benefit is growing in popularity as people become more aware of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Rushed employees may find it difficult to prepare a healthy meal every day so providing fruit can go a long way. It shows you care about their wellbeing. In terms of value for money, this is a very good benefit. The fruit you provide doesn’t have to be expensive – go for seasonal, local produce to keep costs down and ensure you don’t rack up too many air miles.

Cycle to work scheme

The Bike2Work scheme provides employee with a tax-free bicycle and offers significant savings on the purchase of the bike. Providing this benefit not only benefits your employees but also improves your green credentials which consumers increasingly take into account when choosing products and services. As the low-carbon lifestyle continues to gain in popularity, this benefit will become more and more valued in the coming years. As an added bonus, much of the administrative work involved in the scheme is taken care of by its operators, reducing the cost to the employer.

Flexible working

Many studies have shown that flexible working delivers many benefits to an employee’s mental and physical wellbeing, particularly fathers and mothers who may find it difficult fitting in a full time job around being a parent. Flexible working procedures are extremely varied; from mobile working to variable working hours there are many different possibilities. Brainstorm and come up with an idea that’s beneficial to both your company and your employees.

Creche

Helping employees cope with parenthood is a great way to show you care, and a very valuable benefit. The number of parents you employee will determine if you’re able to cost-effectively offer a crèche, but if you do employ enough it’s a fantastic benefit to offer. One of the biggest advantages to employers is that it will improve your employees’ productivity and morale by reducing their stress levels.

Deborah Harrison, Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at the University of East Anglia, told inspiresme.co.uk: "Being a working parent is extremely stressful, but as many people delay becoming a parent until their thirties, an employer cannot afford to lose these skilled and experienced employees from the workforce.

"The challenges with childcare are not just related to cost; the care must be reliable and the parent must also feel that their child is safe. The working parent who is stressed about their child’s welfare will lack concentration at work and productivity will fall. Ultimately high stress levels can lead to increased sick leave and potentially the employee leaving the company. This can have a negative impact both economically and emotionally for all concerned."

Gym membership

Corporate gym membership is growing in popularity – there’s very little cost to the business apart from the initial impetus and completing the necessary paperwork. Corporate gym membership can offer substantial savings depending on the number of employees interested, and there are a host of benefits to your employees: improved health, reduced stress levels and the knowledge that their employer cares about their wellbeing.

Deborah Harrison, Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at the University of East Anglia, told inspiresme.co.uk: "Getting regular exercise is beneficial for the cardiovascular system, preventing heart attacks and strokes."

She added: "There are also excellent psychological advantages. The employees who cycle to work and/or use the gym regularly will a sense of being in control over their lives and their health. It’s called self-efficacy and is a positive psychological benefit to promote strong motivation and feeling good."

Tax implications

Bear in mind that some benefits are tax-deductible and some are not; check with HMRC if you are unsure, or speak to a qualified accountant. The rules can be complex. Some private medical insurance policies, for example, have a ‘cash equivalent’ that must be deducted from employees’ gross pay each year. Make sure you remain fully compliant at all times to avoid fines or investigation.