human resources

The Best Employee Benefits That Won’t Break the Bank

Zoe Papadakis

By Zoe Papadakis Feb 24, 2021 · 4 mins read

The Best Employee Benefits That Won’t Break the Bank
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The benefits package you offer to employees plays a massive role in attracting and retaining top talent. Many companies overlook this but a recent Glassdoor study found that 80 % of respondents would choose additional benefits over a pay raise and 60% say that job perks are one of the main deciding factors of whether or not to take a job.

It may seem like an expensive investment but there are many affordable employee benefits you could offer that will still make an impression.

A separate study by Fractl found that staff place more value on cheaper employee benefits. The research also found that certain benefits are more likely to win over job-seekers than a higher pay offer.

But where do you begin? You may not have the resources available to compete with Apple and Google, both renowned for their impressive job perks, but these affordable employee benefits could go a long way:

Additional leave

According to the BCEA, an employee is entitled to 21 consecutive days of annual leave with their salaries paid in full but have you considered offering additional leave? This could be one of the most effective and affordable employee benefits you could offer.

The great thing is that it need not be several days, it could simply be an extra day or two, or even unpaid leave at certain time periods. The best part is that it won’t cost you much, it will lead to increased work performance and loyalty among staff and it will be simple to process in your online leave management system.

You can get creative with how to offer additional leave. There are countless ways to go about it but if you are stumped, here are some great ideas to consider:

  • Give an extra day off for birthdays: Staff will feel appreciated, which will have a positive impact on their job performance. Because it’s one day off, it’s also a really great and cheap employee benefit and it will make it easy to to track your employee’s leave.

  • Give an extra day off to employees achieving performance goals: Offering additional leave to employees who achieve certain goals will boost performance and motivation.

  • Offer leave to parents during school holidays: This could be unpaid leave. School holidays can be a stressful time for working parents and they could end up feeling overwhelmed, which could negatively impact how they perform at work. Being able to have a flexible schedule could alleviate some of that pressure.

Flexi hours

This is music to any employee’s ear. A survey by Flex Jobs found that 30% of respondents left their jobs because their companies did not offer flexible work schedules while 16% were looking for another job because there was a lack of flexible options available to them.

Many companies believe that staff left to their own devices will slack off and struggle with time management, leading to a decrease in work performance. It may sound like this could cost you but offering flexi hours is probably one of the best employee benefits you could provide. Why? It will improve staff retention.

In the same survey, Flex Jobs discovered that 80% of respondents said they’d be more loyal to their employer if they were offered flexible work schedules. It is affordable and employees benefit as well as your business.

Additional health benefits

You need not break the bank with this one. Additional add ons such as dental and vision insurance are low cost but are great contributions towards healthcare affordability. You have the option of placing a cap on how much each employee chooses so if you are a small business you can still afford it.

You could also consider offering other supplemental insurance such as spousal life insurance, cancer care or even pet insurance.

Further education

Offering staff the opportunity to further pursue an education will benefit you as well as your employees. They will learn new skills and expand their knowledge, which will directly influence their performance at work.

It may not seem like an affordable employee benefit but there are options available to suit your budget.

If you are offering reimbursements and not in-house training and seminars, you need to structure your program according to the needs of your business. Reimbursements come in various forms but if you are a smaller company you could offer one course a year, which is work-related. This can help you first gauge your employees’ enthusiasm before committing to offering this as a long term benefit.