SMEs – Why You Should Consider Employee Benefit Packages
“Human resources isn’t a thing we do, it’s the thing that runs our business” (American real estate developer, Steve Wynne)
An effective employee benefit strategy is more of an advantage to an employer than may at first meet the eye. Although providing benefits naturally comes at a price, it also comes with substantial benefits, plus you stand to regain a portion of your investment from SARS in tax deductions.
Moreover, providing benefits that employees can’t readily access on their own could position you as an employer of choice in your industry, affording you the best pick of available talent. This leads to better products and service, meaning your business wins.
The year-old Africa Insights from the 2019/2020 Benefit Trends Survey shows that employers are getting more creative concerning the mental and physical wellbeing of their staff, as these companies are more aware of the benefits of a healthier staff.
A report by Johannesburg based HR firm, Willis Towers Watson states “A third of African employers are planning/considering stress or resilience management programs. A quarter is planning/considering mental health or substance abuse programs. 23% is planning/considering health coaching.”
Employee benefit packages are not forced by law on business policy; however the World Health Organisation (WHO) has drawn a link between employee benefits and a physically and mentally healthier workforce. The organisation’s Healthy Workplace Framework and Model, which is a guideline to creating a healthier working environment, says “the mind and body are one, and what affects one, inevitably affects the other.”
The document also advises that “If the insurance costs for health benefits in your enterprise keep increasing, even after implementing healthy workplace programmes, that does not necessarily mean the programmes have failed. Look at industry benchmarks for comparison. If health insurance costs have increased by 20% in similar industries, yet have only increased by 5% in your enterprise, that is an indicator of success.”
Five major reasons why SMEs should consider employee benefits
- The tax advantages via tax deduction of contributions.
- Health insurance as an employment benefit translates to a healthier workforce, which translates to improved quality of production and efficiency.
- Improved employee retention, which is key in certain industries where employees have to maintain relationships with specific clients, who may view continuity as a vital consideration.
- It improves the work culture between employees and employer.
- Improved staff recruitment, as the employer would be better positioned in the job market.
Changing or initiating an employee benefits strategy involves new financial responsibilities so take professional advice on the best way to go about it.