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Employee benefits are just as important as salary increases in a time of wage inflation and worker shortages

Career advancement, employee benefits and flexible working are just as important as increasing salaries.

UK businesses facing real workforce shortages and growing wage inflation, can do a lot and it’s not just about increasing salaries.

Many firms may feel that they have ‘no option’ but to increase the wages they pay to staff – both existing employees and new recruits, to successfully compete for staff.  Whilst this may be necessary, it is important for businesses to also look at the ‘non-pay’ factors which they can use to both retain and where necessary recruit new staff.

Businesses should look to ensure that the workload of their existing staff is fair, and people aren’t being overloaded with extra work at this stage. It may be better, for example, for businesses to consider turning down some work, if this risks causing undue stress for their employees.

There are other things that businesses can do – outside of simply paying higher salaries – which include:

  • Look at improving the CPD and training opportunities for employees (and potential employees).
  • When businesses are recruiting new staff ensuring that onboarding procedures are smooth, efficient and as organised as they can be. If not, businesses could easily lose potential staff ‘at the last moment’, as many recruits have a range of opportunities at the present time.
  • Focusing on the career advancement options which are available for employees and ensuring that these developments and opportunities are actively promoted within the business, so that existing employees see them as a genuine opportunity rather than simply ‘hot air’.
  • Review the employee benefits package to understand how this compares to potential other employers. Can it be improved?  Or alternatively, if it is already leading edge, ensuring that this is actively highlighted within the business.  For example, if a business has employer pension contributions or other benefits which are much better than many other employers, it is sensible for the business to actively highlight this point to staff – e.g. by the production of an annual ‘compensation statement’ so that staff then understand the real value of all the benefits which they are receiving from the business in addition to their core pay.
  • Considering whether flexible working is suitable for your business and, if so, ensuring that the systems are in place to make sure this such arrangements are as seamless as possible. Whilst flexible working is not suitable for all businesses or roles, where it can be an option, businesses should pro-actively ensure that staff are provided with the correct support to ensure that these arrangements are as effective as possible.  This can include upgrading IT but may also cover other areas such as team socials and improving the skills of managers, who supervise flexible workers.

All of these factors can be at least as important as pay, in retaining or recruiting staff – and can provide businesses with a real competitive advantage in a time when staffing is – in many respects – more important than it has ever been to the overall success of a business.

Would you like to know more?

If you would like to discuss the above or how it may affect you and your business, please get in touch with your usual Blick Rothenberg contact or Robert Salter, using the details on this page.

For press enquiries, please contact David Barzilay using the details on this page.