Wellbeing might be everything in 2022: your business planning14 February 2022
As we have noted in a previous blog, many equity directors of SME type businesses (usually defined as up to 249 staff) plan every aspect of their business to get the most from the assets that they have available. Sometimes referred to as 'sweating the assets', it's a process of deploying each asset in the right place to make it as effective as possible. On many, if not most, occasions the real assets of a business are its people. The team can be everything in the pursuit of the company's aims, and its profitability.
As a business owner, you might think that you offer a competitive package to team members. However, as you might have seen in the press, as the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved, many staff are now looking for flexibility along with their overall package, both to keep them engaged in their current role and when looking for a new position. Wellbeing in the workplace is going to become ever more important in the coming years as we extract ourselves from the effects of COVID-19 and we try to retain a cohesive and productive team. City AM reported on 29 December 2021 a worrying headline: 'Staggering 60 per cent of UK employees plan to find new job in 2022 with salary not the most important driver', noting 'over 80 per cent of UK employees feeling less connected to their company culture'. More can be found here: https://www.cityam.com/staggering-60-per-cent-of-uk-employees-plan-to-find-new-job-in-2022-with-salary-not-the-most-important-driver/
When is the last time you reviewed what you offer your team members? If you just 'rinse and repeat' for each available position, the benefits might be looking a bit outdated and stale.
Sure, many are looking for more salary, especially against the backdrop of significant rises in inflation. Some are looking for more flexibility to work from home, or be able to do so effectively, but what else can be offered as part of the menu of benefits that might attract and retain the right people?
And for the right people, who hold it all together for you, how are you really going to retain them for the long term? Pay raises and bonuses might work in the short-term as 'hygiene factors', but what about equity ownership for those that really count? Do you as an owner allow employees to buy into the company, and if you do, do the key people know this is an option? And if they do know, do they understand the real value they may gain and add over time? A conversation with key business advisers might well be valuable in tying in the right people at the right time.
Some employers have created a 'menu' of options and flexibility to the way employees can work and enjoy their time within a business and these might include a range of the following options:
- Flexible hours along with working from home options (in part or in full) to suit both parties
- Pension contributions above the minimum required by auto-enrolment legislation
- Private Medical Insurance (PMI) which is a taxable benefit to the employee
- Death in service benefits (non-taxable benefit) which can be a cost-effective way of adding real value into an employment package (generally 2-4 times base salary)
- Income protection for the employee
These options, perhaps in combination, can have a real impact in creating a feeling of belonging within a business culture.
Chapters Financial Limited is well placed to help employers and business with this planning and how a future benefits package may take shape, in conjunction within your HR function and accountants. We would be pleased to speak with directors/owners of your company to ensure that you meet the requirements needed. This blog should not be seen or used as individual advice or employer specific advice and you should seek independent financial advice for your own circumstances.
Keith Churchouse FPFS
CFP Chartered FCSI
Chartered Financial Planner
Chapters Financial Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, number 402899