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Employee benefits ‘crucial’ to combat Brexit and Blue Monday

Employee benefits are more important to businesses than ever and must not be overlooked as we approach Blue Monday and Brexit, leading recruiter Sellick Partnership warns.

Blue Monday falls on 21st January 2019 and refers to the day when people reportedly feel at their lowest, due to a combination of factors such as money worries, gloomy weather, Christmas ending and struggling to uphold New Year’s resolutions.

Job dissatisfaction can exacerbate this and, when combined with other negative influences on Blue Monday, could prompt employees to begin the hunt for a new role. But implementing a strong and relevant employee benefits strategy could help businesses to retain the best talent.

Skills shortages in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) sectors are already driving up recruitment costs for many businesses, but difficulties in recruiting for these industries are expected to worsen when the UK leaves the EU on 29th March this year, when there will be fewer candidates and even more competition to get the very best talent.

Jo Sellick, Managing Director, Sellick Partnership, says: “Disengagement is dangerous for businesses, but never more so than at a time when the economy is teetering and employers can ill afford to be without the right staff. When you couple the concern over Brexit with an event like Blue Monday, you can end up with a dissatisfied workforce that is much more likely to leave the business, resulting in time and money being lost.

“Employee benefits are one way to avoid this disengagement and also make sure your business retains the best talent. Incentives don’t necessarily need to be expensive, they just have to show your staff that you care about their wellbeing and happiness. Unveiling a new benefits policy on Blue Monday itself could be a great way for employers to bring positivity to the workplace on an otherwise downbeat day.”

Some of the most popular non-financial employee benefits include:

  • Flexible working
  • Extended lunch hours
  • Discounted or free gym membership
  • Social events
  • Mental health support
  • Supplemented or free healthy food
  • Reward and recognition schemes
  • Dress-down days
  • Charity events
  • Parking spaces
  • Competitive maternity/paternity packages
  • Company-wide away days
  • Medical care
  • Additional holiday leave

Jo says: “Business owners and HR teams should try to find perks to suit the particular needs of their workforce. For example, if you have a lot of staff who are likely to become parents in the coming years, they will appreciate benefits around additional maternity and paternity support. Or if you know that the majority of your employees commute in their cars and pay expensive parking fees, offering free parking spaces could set you apart from other businesses competing for the same talent.”