With the end of financial year just past us, many Aussie businesses use this time of year to look at promotions and salary reviews. While many of your employees may be gunning for a pay rise, it could be a good time to look at what benefits you could offer aside from cold, hard cash.
In this day and age perks like flexible working hours, extra leave and even subsidised study can be just as attractive to employees as a higher salary. Giving these benefits may also be more affordable for small and medium businesses, meaning that they're better able to hold on to talent where they would otherwise start looking for more attractive offers. So what can you offer to your high-performing employees aside from money?
Company benefits make up the larger part of the benefits you can offer to your employee — special discounts, deals and partnerships that allow your employees to save more on their cost of living. While these are usually associated more with big businesses than their smaller cousins, it is possible for SMBs to work out their own partnerships for employee benefits.
One service that offers this is Employment Hero, an HR software company that also helps set small businesses up with benefits from their partners. These include everything from health insurance to home loans to utilities discounts and even discounts on premium fashion brands — all the little things that everyone has to spend money on at some point.
Employment Hero's CEO Ben Thompson points out that these savings can be just as good as a pay rise — and the money that employees might save won't be lost to tax, either. "If a benefits package helps you reduce all or most of your major expenses by 5 per cent, that's the equivalent of having a 5 per cent raise. It's all in the after-tax savings – if you and save money with after-tax money, then it's worth more than pre-tax money."
Employment Hero runs on a freemium model, with monthly plans starting free, then higher level plans being charged per employee, per month. While added HR features come in at the higher level subscriptions, all levels of membership include Employment Hero's employee benefits.
Aside from these partner-driven benefits, there are a number of other perks you could offer employees in yearly reviews.
In most industries, a lot of our work can be done from anywhere there's access to a computer or smart device, and a reliable internet connection. With that in mind, why not offer your employees a flexible work arrangement as par of their formal review? This could mean. a standard day every week when the employee works at home, or the ability to modify their schedule when the need arises. The ability to work flexible hours is attractive to many employees, especially young people or those with a family to look after at home.
If your employees love what they do, they could jump at the chance to further their skills — which is only going to help your business as well. See if you can assist your employees in gaining higher qualifications or undertaking further studies, whether you're able to organise training or just allocate time for your employees to further their skills.
Look at whether it may be more effective for you to offer an increase in annual leave, rather than a higher salary. Not many people would say no to an extra week of holidays even if it means giving up a percentage increase in salary.
Can employee benefits be just as good as a pay rise? Let us know what you think in the comments below!