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Using staff benefits to motivate and retain employees

In an increasingly competitive business world, nurturing your existing staff can help you avoid a high turnover rate. If you’re constantly losing employees you find yourself spending a lot of valuable time training new staff, but not reaping the rewards down the line.

In any small or start-up business, one of the most important aspects is to find the right staff for the company. Employees need to be a good fit for any business, and in a start-up environment staff need to have the drive, innovation and determination to ensure that they make any venture a success.

While training may be a big upfront cost, it is vital to retaining new employees and ensure that the investment you make in recruitment and training are not drained from the business as employees leave the company.

So what staff benefits can you introduce to help you draw high-calibre employees to your start-up or small business?

In order to attract and retain the most capable and competent talent, there are a number of different employee benefits you could introduce. As well as being a key driver in enticing prospective employees, they will also help ensure your staff are happy, motivated to perform at their best, and want to stay with you.

A 5-Point Guide to staff benefits

Here are five staff benefits businesses can offer, along with advice on how you can best use them to help ensure your staff stay motivated and stay with you:

1. Benefits package and pay reviews

Many companies offer a benefits package, not only to attract prospective employees, but to retain and motivate existing staff. Benefits might typically include healthcare benefits, salary sacrifice arrangements such as childcare vouchers, travel loans, and internal and external discounts.

Some companies take this further, and offer benefits such as a subsidised cafeteria, complimentary refreshments in the workplace, private counseling sessions, and paid-time off for charity work.

As well as benefits packages, many companies’ HR departments hold pay reviews, typically arising every 6 or 12 months. Constantly reviewing pay scales and bonus schemes, rather than just increasing wages with a cost of living increase, will ensure that the company remains competitive in the market.

This type of package can be an enticing offering for prospective employees, and well as an incentive for existing staff to remain within the company.

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Tip: Establishing a broad benefits package will differentiate your business from competitors, and help entice prospective employees

2. Personal development

Other than benefits packages, the importance personal development time is one of the most important and effective ways to reduce the turnover of staff.

While it can be more difficult to implement, especially is a small or growing team with a lot of on-going learning and training, the feeling that employees are making progress and that their careers can advance is vital to motivation and retention.

By focusing on the people, as opposed to the roles that they fill, you will instantly make staff feel more valued. Consider introducing personal development plans and programs accredited to universities. These will help your team members to learn, develop and enhance their skills, which will all benefit the business, plus you will almost certainly retain the employee for the duration of the program.

Tip: Having a personal development plan in place for each individual employee will motivate each member of staff to perform and progress within the business

3. Company socials and rewards

An effective incentive scheme will help to promote team working and have been seen to have a direct impact on employee retention.

In a start-up or small business with a small workforce, it is important to have all members of staff socialising, communicating and engaging on both a personal and professional level. Building rapport with colleagues will encourage team-working, and can boost productivity and motivation to succeed.

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Setting targets and introducing rewards for performance across departments will encourage wider communication and collaboration across the business, whether you have 5 employees, or 50. With incentives set for the wider team, it will highlight the need for co-operation to make the business a success, and motivate the workforce to do so.

Tip: Try introducing a reward scheme which encourages collaboration and team-work across the workforce, such as a company-wide prize for exceeding specific targets

4. Staff engagement

Staff engagement is usually not classed as a ‘benefit’ as such, but can be beneficial to making employees feel valued and trusted in their roles. Simply put, you should treat people as people. Involving and including your staff in the business are two of the key factors which help to retain and motivate employees.

The benefit in this sense is that when you incorporate staff engagement into a working environment and culture, all employees can make a tangible difference for a business. By involving your team in any issues or company changes you will increase the feeling of involvement and inclusion, which ultimately leads to motivated staff.

Tip: A horizontal management structure will encourage and reassure all employees that they can express any ideas or concerns to aid the greater good of the whole business, and that they will be valued for doing so

5. Flexibility

Ultimately, all employees are different, and have various personal and professional circumstances and needs. For example, some employees may have dependent children or external commitments and responsibilities which conflict with standard working hours. However, flexible working can be difficult to implement, with many considerations which must be discussed beforehand.

Such things to consider might include introducing core working hours, a set number of working hours to complete each week, working from home or building up overtime to take off in lieu. The correct procedure will differ between companies, depending on the procedures, day to day processes and client requirements.

Tip: Flexibility, whatever that encompasses to your business, should always be considered as a staff benefit – just be sure not to let it supersede the business needs itself


In conclusion, to help staff flourish you need to create as comfortable a working environment as you possibly can. Including a selection of suitable staff benefits are a key part in helping you to achieve this. This will not only result in a motivated workforce but will also improve staff loyalty.

For more advice and help on this subject, you can download this White Paper on Staff Motivation and Retention from