Opportunities to reward your workforce will be in short supply if your company has been hit by the recession. However, there are still some small steps you can take to improve employee benefits packages without putting too much financial strain on the business.
The traditional way of rewarding employees has been pay rises, but the current economic climate means many organisations cannot afford annual increases let alone make discretionary awards. One alternative worth looking at is how you can improve the benefits programme your staff are eligible for.
That does not mean you have to introduce private healthcare, attractive pensions or other executive-level benefits. Your company can instead focus on small things that will assist your workers on a day-to-day basis.
It is not necessary to splash out huge sums on this type of initiative, as the fact employees feel their efforts have been recognised will help to improve morale and reduce staff turnover. There are some simple ideas that are proven to work well and be cost effective.
Flexible gift cards
This is a straightforward scheme that will allow your employees to save money at a range of high street stores. It works on a salary exchange basis, which sees a percentage of their wages paid into a flexible gift card account.
In return for this, your staff will receive an ongoing seven per cent discount when they use the card to purchase goods at any of the major chains participating in the programme. This enables them to make their salary go a little further when they do their shopping. It is a flexible scheme and workers have the freedom to pay less in if they need cash for something else, or more if they want to save towards a big-ticket item.
The costs will be relatively low for your business, as all it involves is a small annual subscription fee for each staff member. Organise it through a specialist in employee benefits and you will have very little paperwork to do, as well as the safeguard of your workers' money being held in trust by a firm authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
Christmas savings scheme
Christmas is an expensive time of year for most people and you can help your workers to cope with it by establishing a savings scheme. They can put money away throughout the year and will be given vouchers or gift cards for stores of their choice in November, in time to buy their presents.
Use a specialist to run the scheme and your employees will also receive a bonus of up to five per cent on the amount they have saved. The money will be held in trust, so there is no chance of them losing it.