Side view of a business person working on laptop with EMPLOYEE BENEFITS inscription, modern business concept

One of the most topical trends in employee benefits right now is financial assistance, which is no surprise in a time of economic uncertainty.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that money worries impact one in four employees’ ability to do their job.

The latest research from BHN Extras, a flexible benefits program for employers, reveals that 65% of employees agree that benefits need to be part of the solution to help them through the cost-of-living crisis.

Here are the top five benefits for employees in 2023 and beyond:

1. Offer flexible working

A recent survey of British employees found ‘flexible working hours’ to be one of the most valued benefits, swiftly followed by ‘flexible working location’. Plus, with 97% of hybrid or remote workers preferring working in hybrid or remote models, this trend looks here to stay.

Whether it’s providing a hybrid working environment or offering flexible schedules, introducing flexible working arrangements can boost employee engagement and loyalty and reduce staff turnover. And flexible working can also be a last minute request, so considering requests due to the unforeseen will also show the company’s support and flexibility when an employee is facing a crisis.

2. Introduce cost-of-living savings

Salary sacrifice schemes are one of the most popular types of employee benefits when it comes to supporting staff through the cost-of-living crisis, as employees don’t pay tax and/or National Insurance on the money spent.

From childcare savings to employee discounts, here are a few ways that you can help your employees cut everyday spending costs:

● Childcare: Eligible employees can save up to £933 per year on the cost of childcare with the UK’s leading electronic childcare voucher scheme, care-4.
● Technology: Whether it’s a new smartphone or laptop, employees and their families can save up to 13% on thousands of tech items and appliances with Techscheme.
● Cashback: A prepaid shopping card that gives up to 15% cashback every time employees spend is a great way to offset rising costs. Find out more about bYond.
● Discounts: Help employees save on groceries, dining out, and more, with up to 15% off physical and digital gifts cards from leading brands with Extras Discounts.

3. Give career progression opportunities

Did you know that 65% of UK employees see a lack of personal development as a reason to look for a new job?

Introducing ways for employees to grow, such as via mentoring programmes, educational assistance, training and qualification opportunities won’t just help with retention. It can also boost job satisfaction, make staff more productive, and help them feel that they have a greater purpose within the company. And letting employees know that you recruit from within is another way to keep them engaged and encouraged.

4. Reduce commuting costs

In the Commuter Census 2022©, 61% of Britons were very concerned about the current price of petrol and diesel. As a result, 81% were open to trying an alternative mode of transport.
Here are two commuter benefits schemes that can help to offset the rising price of fuel:

● Employees can save up to 40% on the cost of a bike and accessories at more than 2,000 retailers in the UK with Cyclescheme.
● Staff can save on transportation expenses and access the next generation of green cars at an affordable monthly amount with Green Car Benefit.

5. Offer health & wellbeing benefits

When looking for a job, 80% of people seek workplaces that offer mental health benefits. That’s why many companies offer staff wellbeing benefits such as employee assistance programmes, mental health first aiders, and opportunities to get active.

Numerous studies have shown that physical activity can help to boost feel-good hormones and make anxiety more manageable. So, it’s worth considering adding a healthy salary sacrifice scheme to the mix, such as MyGymDiscounts, which offers savings of up to 25% off gym memberships, or the aforementioned Cyclescheme, as cycle commuting makes 82% of participants feel less stressed.