Diligent and committed employees are one of the most valuable resources that companies possess. However, despite this being widely recognised in business, many employers fail to consider that most employees are looking for more than just a pay packet from their company. In reality, salaries are more of a baseline expectation than something that helps businesses stand out to prospective employees.
In fact, 80% of people look for jobs that offer a comprehensive benefits package rather than a pay rise when looking for new work. This has led employers to compete for talented employees by providing increasingly complex perk packages. These can quickly become overwhelming when you join a company, so here are some of the best ones you can look out for when starting somewhere new.
1. Private Health Insurance
This is a common policy for employers to include in their benefits packages. While the NHS is an excellent source of national pride in the UK, waiting lists are long due to Covid-19 and recent cuts to services. In fact, millions of people in the country are waiting for standard treatments, and more than a million people have waited more than six months to be seen.
For this reason, private health insurance can be a valuable benefit to look out for when comparing prospective employers. If you have to wait for a long time to get a health condition treated, your quality of life would undoubtedly suffer. This can impact your productivity and day-to-day life, so your employer would also lose out if you are unable to work at full capacity.
If you are weighing up the benefits packages on offer between different employers, look out for medical insurance. It means you will not have to bear the total cost of private treatment should your health deteriorate and will get you back into a fighting form more quickly due to decreased wait times.
2. Group Life Insurance
Death in service insurance cover is another great option to look out for in benefits packages. This seeks to provide support to your loved ones should you pass away while working for an organisation.
While most households would struggle to make ends meet if a primary wage earner in the family passed away, only around a third of adults in the country have life insurance. This would lead many to struggle financially while dealing with the trauma of losing a loved one, so death in service insurance is an excellent way to look out for your family should the worst happen.
Group life insurance will pay out an amount proportional to your salary, which will generally be two to four times your annual take-home amount. Your family will then use this money to pay funeral costs, cover loans, or day-to-day expenditures. If you are looking to provide for your family even in the worst-case scenario, consider group life insurance.
3. Work From Home Allowance
Since restrictions were implemented in March 2020 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, many people have found themselves working from home at least some of the time. While there has been some push for staff to return to offices, many people still work remotely. If you are applying for roles that involve working from home, then a work from home allowance perk could be highly beneficial.
Many people do not have a dedicated home office set up with ergonomic chairs, desks, and monitors to help them stay comfortable during the working day. Using a work from home allowance, you can invest money that otherwise would have come from your pay packet into your home office. Ultimately, this can increase your productivity and support your wellbeing.
It is well-known that sitting in unfavourable conditions for many hours a day can negatively affect your health. Whether it’s lumbar pain, carpal tunnel, or poor circulation, much evidence suggests that office workers require some degree of ergonomic support in their day-to-day activities. Therefore, if you are going to be working from home, a work from home allowance could save you significant sums.
4. Mental Health Support
Over the past years, the conversation around mental health in the workplace has been propelled to the forefront. Awareness around mental health problems and their association with stress, anxiety and burnout from work grew during the pandemic. Now, many people consider mental health support as a work perk essential.
Many companies now offer on-call counsellors or provide money to help with the costs of therapy for those that need it. This will help you to stay on top of your mental health during your employment.
When looking at jobs that offer such perks as part of their employment benefits, look for Employee Assistance Programmes. These are confidential services that will enable you to talk to a mental health professional as and when you need to. This way, you can air any concerns or stresses that you might have at a given moment. These programmes tend to provide round-the-clock assistance and allow you to receive support in a way that you find most comfortable.
If you were to seek mental health support on your own, you would undoubtedly have to decide between getting on a lengthy waiting list for low-cost help or going private. Private mental healthcare carries a hefty price tag (as much as £70 per 50-minute session), so it is easy to see how a support scheme from your employer would save you a substantial amount.
5. Local Discounts
Everyone likes going out for a nice meal or experience from time to time. Employers know this, so many will offer discounts on local goods and services. You will most likely go out for food enjoy a day out at a local attraction regardless of whether there are perks available to reduce the cost, so if you do this regularly, such discounts could save you a lot of money.
In addition, many companies will also offer their products and services at drastically reduced prices to their employees. This is relatively standard practice, especially in the retail or hospitality industries. Therefore, if you are thinking of a job with a business whose products you love, you could save a significant amount using their employee discount scheme.
6. Employee Development Schemes
Suppose you are considering moving into a company to further your career and expand your skillset. In that case, you should look out for development opportunities that the organisation will provide for you.
These days, some argue that “lifetime employment” is no longer an attainable reality. Instead, they suggest that employees and employers engage in a mutually beneficial short-term relationship. This means that the model has moved from a transactional one to a mutually beneficial one for each party.
In practice, this means that you should do all you can to grow during your employment (which will likely only last 3-5 years) to give you the best chance of gainful employment in the future. Therefore, you should look for courses and professional development opportunities in the employee perks. Such things would cost a substantial sum if you wanted to pay for them on your own, and they will help you earn more in the future. On the whole, professional development is one of the most valuable perks of employment.
To conclude, the points mentioned above represent some of the most desirable perks available to employees right now. These can help you save substantial sums during your employment with a business and help you increase your earnings in the future.