In the modern world, compensation for your work is beginning to include more than just those green bits of paper. In the battle for talent, the battle for employee retention, and, perhaps most importantly, the war against disengagement, non-monetary benefits, perks, and salary extras are growing in importance.
Nowadays, having a Netflix account is akin to having a brain stem. Your Spotify account is your beating heart, and that Prime subscription is your musculoskeletal system. These are just some of the services from tech giants that form our new way of being. And we’re all quite happy with them.
As an employer, it is now your duty to make sure that, so your employees are working happily and efficiently, their hearts, brains, and limbs are all alive. We are seeing more businesses offering, as extras to salaries, discounts or full access to services such as Netflix and Spotify.
What’s more. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Salary extras now range from the deeply necessary to the flamboyantly not so. Here are ten that can keep you ahead of competitors, while keeping your employees engaged, happy, and motivated.
Just so we’re all on the same page, let’s categorise this list. First, we will look at some salary extras that will decrease your paycheck while making you richer in other ways. These are commonly called salary sacrifice schemes.
Then, we’ll move on to salary extras that can have a genuinely positive impact on the lives of your employees. And finally, we’ll see some of the fun salary extras that will round off your recruitment package very nicely indeed.
Salary sacrifice schemes, on the surface, seem a bit pointless. Why would you give up salary for a company car when you could just choose exactly how much to spend and at least entertain the idea of getting the Ford Thunderbird of your dreams.
Well, salary sacrifice is actually a win-win for both employer and employee. If less overall wages are paid out, both the employer and employee pay less tax and national insurance. So, to cut it all short, salary sacrifice schemes can save you both money.
There are a wide variety of things you can sacrifice your salary for, including bumped up pension payments. But here are some of our favourites.
With climate change ominously looming, now would be a pretty good time to get yourself an ultra-low emission vehicle as part of a salary sacrifice scheme. They will save you money on tax and national insurance, not to mention petrol.
Providing employees with transport can be an excellent way to take the stress of the commute out of their heads and into your hands as an employer. You will be greatly appreciated for this.
In fact, in addition to sacrificing their salary for a car, many employers will provide workers with allowances to spend on car maintenance as salary extras, thus keeping them safe and comfortable on their commutes. Isn’t that nice.
Another common headache parents have that can impact their work is what to do with the littluns. It’s fairly standard for a salary sacrifice scheme to include vouchers that allow parents to save money on childcare, while sacrificing some of their salary.
These can range from contributions towards children’s tuition fees or helping pay for after-school care. Whatever they are for, if it eases the financial strain of your children’s schooling, what could possibly go wrong?
Cycling is good. It is good for the environment, and good for your employees’ health, which is good for employee motivation and productivity. Employers often offer their workers the chance to take a small cut to their pay that is redeemed with a sum to spend on cycling equipment.
Like with the other forms of salary sacrifice, tax and national insurance-free vouchers can be used to save money, despite the cut in salary. These are being implemented more and more in cycle-to-work schemes, which are proving popular in many UK cities.
It’s in the employer’s interest to have happy, healthy, motivated employees. We all know this. But some employers might not take this literally enough. Indeed, the best employers take an active role in looking after their employees’ health, and ensuring they are advancing their skills and training.
To really turn some heads at recruitment drives, you can offer such positive benefits in the form of salary extras.
The NHS is a mighty machine that has rightfully gained international acclaim. Helping your employees to use the NHS in conjunction with speedy private services can make those irksome check-ups and niggling questions a lot easier to deal with.
Companies have a variety of ways of doing this. Some bring in nurses during clinics. Others will give their employees access to platforms such as Perkbox Medical. This can give you round-the-clock access to information and GPs, providing both employee and employer with the benefits of a more inclusive health package from work.
More and more companies understand that to attract, retain, and motivate employees, they must give them something to work towards, and help them gain the skills to improve. As such, we are seeing more salary extras include training programs.
Having a more skilled workforce can only benefit the employer, as well as keep the employees sharp. Relatedly, if the employer can’t offer an entire course as an extra, they might be able to help with student loan repayment schemes or tuition discounts, for example.
These types of salary extras will go a distance in truly enriching the lives of a workforce. Now, as an employer, you’re really beefing up your offering.
For many of us, simply doing your 9-5 won’t turn you into Paula Radcliffe. Commuting, working, commuting again, checking the ‘gram’. These rarely involve physical strain, except, perhaps, on your lower back and mutant thumbs.
Including access to gyms near work, or near employees’ homes, is a valuable extra. These could be memberships to sports clubs, gyms, exercise classes, or swimming pools (are spas too much of a stretch?).
Food is essential. So, any help with it is a worthwhile salary extra. Indeed, providing employees with a guilt-free way to enjoy nice food they otherwise wouldn’t spend the money on will be a welcome treat.
Ranging from extra days-off per year to discounts on holiday packages and booking companies, helping employees enjoy their time off-the-clock is a big one.
Discounts like this can be built in to reward schemes, optional benefits, or, given as allowances/vouchers as salary extras. Whichever way, employees will appreciate it.
As we said earlier, Spotify is vital to many employees. Paying for their music subscription services, whether it’s Spotify, Tidal, or whatever, will keep them ticking over.
It saves them the hassle of those pesky monthly fees, as well as ensuring people look beyond their 2005 itunes library.
In fact, why not go the whole hog and offer a range of subscription services that will make you the creme-de-la-creme of employers. Just watch they aren’t catching up with any Kardashians while on company time.
Whether it’s with the whole staff, certain teams, or for employees to use in their private time, allowing them to let off some steam is a great way to keep your employees engaged.
We are now seeing, as salary extras, paintball packages, theme-park days out, and other activities that can be used as team-building as well as just fun time off. We challenge you not to be ready to come back in to work after a weekend blasting your colleagues with exploding paint.
So that’s that. There are a wide range of salary extras that employers can give their employees to enhance their lives at many levels. As a modern-day employer, it’s far more common for you to contribute to the out-of-hours time an employee lives. If you can make this time more enriching, then you’re on your way to employment immortality.
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