Why Every Company Needs Employee Benefits!

We like to say we have a comfortable and relaxed working community in Australia - it might shock you to learn that one in four Australians are stressed and impacted by anxiety in the workplace. Research indicates that more than half (55%) of employed Aussies experience a period of constant stress throughout their working careers.

The general nature of work and employment means there's always a looming chance of instability in the job market, which often rides on the strength of the national economy. On top of this, when adding external factors that are out of your control to the mix (for example, a pandemic), this can cause a seismic shift in the employment market forces at play. These shifts can be the difference between it being an employer's market vs an employee's market and vice versa. In any case, to attract and retain highly-skilled people, a key approach is for employers to provide staff with access to company benefits and employee recognition programs.

This kind of motivation and the positive impact it has emphasises the importance of both mental and physical health in the workplace and provides a significant strategic advantage for businesses, not only in terms of retaining high calibre/quality talent but also in regards to promoting the overall well-being of your staff. The money which organisations had previously spent on office space and travel (following the shift to remote work setups as opposed to a physical office) can now be redistributed across to staff members in the form of these employee benefits - keeping them both motivated and aligned with business goals!

Why Employee Recognition Matters

Employee rewards/employee benefits are provided by a business to celebrate the actions or accomplishments of individual employees. Employee rewards usually come in the form of tokens, gifts, awards, trophies or dollar value incentives and are an effective way to reward employees for anything they do which benefits or has a positive impact on the business. The most challenging part of the process is working out how to utilise these rewards to best benefit your staff and business.

Amplify Your Employee Experience with Employee Benefits

Foster a culture in the workplace that sets the company apart. A recognition and benefits strategy improves employee morale, promotes positive attitudes and can generally enhance company culture - even with the recent setbacks and financial hardships being experienced due to COVID-19, many organisations continue to focus on these benefits in order to both attract and retain staff. Incentives for employee appreciation need to be well-rounded, appealing and pique the interests of those potentially receiving them. Organisational expectations from the perspective of employees are rarely ground-breaking or revolutionary - a simple gesture of acknowledgement and recognition goes a long way.

Gift cards (which can be FBT exempt in Australia for amounts up to $300) are a small gesture with a massive flow-on impact, stretching beyond just the employees receiving the perks. The concept of these reward systems can easily be introduced/implemented - once the organisation becomes synonymous with recognition and looking after the welfare/well-being of staff, it goes a long way towards luring in your picks from the talent pool, not to mention that ever-coveted retention of staff!

The Pros of Having a Structured Employee Benefits and Recognition Scheme

  • Increasingly devoted, motivated workers
  • Reduction in tension/stress and other associated reasoning behind absenteeism
  • Increased productivity
  • Setting the tone for the core beliefs and values of your organisation
  • Reducing personnel turnover through retention
  • Attracting and recruiting the best of the talent pool once the positive stigma of this recognition spreads

The "Dark Side" of Employee Recognition

While there are a host of positives, employee benefits aren't completely immune to cons!

It's imperative that employee rewards/benefits don't become an expectation - they should be regarded as a special occurrence and a reward provided to employees for their performance, as opposed to being a marginal gain that your workers believe they are regularly entitled to.

While competition among co-workers can (to a degree) be healthy for motivation and boosting productivity, it can also become detrimental if attitudes of selfishness and greed prevail - something which is unfortunately commonplace whenever human nature plays a part.

To Reward, Or Not To Reward?

Employee perks, benefits, and rewards with convertible monetary values have become a very common incentive and method for encouragement, the resulting appreciation/recognition can be pivotal to organisational success and very efficient tools for the development of a high-performance culture - remembering that they must be used appropriately and in instances which justify a reward. If you're still uncertain whether or not an employee should be rewarded for their actions, it's vital to perform a "sense check", reflecting on whether the situation is:

  1. Noteworthy: The award should be attached to something clearly exceptional for both the employee and their colleagues.
  2. Meaningful: It should almost go without saying, only reward positive actions/outcomes.
  3. Principles-based: Rewards in direct accordance with the ideals of your company.
  4. Purposeful: Contributes to the company's overarching vision and mission.
  5. Timely: Don't wait, reward good performance as it happens to enforce the link between performance and recognition

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Time spent ideating is time spent not trying, doing or learning. Following the creation of your employee recognition scheme, it's imperative you assess, re-assess and adjust as time goes on. Start with a modest, deliverable plan and expand on whatever works best, reducing the things which don't.

As the year comes to a close, many employers will be looking for ways to acknowledge the hard work of their employees. When the flow of revenue doesn't quite allow for cash bonuses, tax-free gift cards and vouchers are the way forward. Many employee recognition programs require you to design, announce and maintain existing rules and policies (and everything in between). If all you need is to recognise employees at your own discretion, why bother going to all that trouble?

Easy Benefits provides a simple, easy and straightforward solution for showing appreciation to your employees. For more information on employee benefits/recognition, whether it be gift cards or just some general advice, feel free to get in touch with the friendly, helpful team at Easy Benefits today!