A new study highlights the value of benefits to SMEs and their employees.
For many businesses, the balance between boosting the bottom line and ensuring employees are paid fairly is something of a tightrope.
Margins can be smaller than for larger enterprises, so the question of how to keep both financial equity and employee motivation is crucial to the company’s health and sustainability.
A new annual report from the CIPD – UK Working Lives: The CIPD Job Quality Index – seeks to review, understand and measure what it is that makes a workforce content.
Compiled alongside YouGov, the survey targeted 6,009 workers.
It found that overall, work has a positive value on people’s lives. Almost half (47%) do not think that ‘a job is just a way of earning money’, whereas 34% agree with the statement. More than half (59%) say they would enjoy having a paid job even if they did not need the money.
The survey found that 64% of people were satisfied with their job overall, while just 18% stated that they were dissatisfied.
Despite this, there were various issues picked out across the topics of pay and benefits: terms of employment, job design, social support, health and well-being, worklife balance, and representation.
THE KEY FACTORS
The survey found that health and well-being is the single most important aspect of job quality in terms of key outcomes
Tied to that, away from pay and pensions, the most valued benefit is health care and insurance (ranking ahead of softer benefits such as social, transport and technology perks).
WHERE TO START
Pay and pensions will always be powerful motivators for any workforce. But it is far from a fix-all solution for many businesses to simply up salaries across the board.
Considering the high priority placed on health and well-being by employees – and health and insurance in particular – a more efficient way of boosting job satisfaction and increasing that job quality index score could be to focus on employee benefits.
As a starter, Group Income Protection is a wide-ranging option for employees, funded by an employer’s manageable monthly premiums. The coverage helps employees when they need it most – when they are unable to work through sickness or injury, as well as offering rehabilitation support.
An employer should consider what employee benefits would motivate their employees, and this may depend on the average age, the age range, marital status and location of your employees.
The core employee benefits we see are:
■ Group Life Cover
■ Group Income Protection
■ Group Private Medical Cover
■ Employee Assistance Programme
Employee benefits take care of employees’ health and well-being, while keeping costs for employers manageable and consistent – a true win-win for businesses.
    CIPD. (2018). UK Working Lives: The
CIPD Job Quality Index, p5-43