It’s vital that all employers know that there are certain benefits to which your employees are legally entitled; they include but are not limited to paid annual, parental, family responsibility and sick leave. An employer has the choice to provide voluntary benefits such as a provident and/or pension fund as well as membership of a medical aid scheme. In this article, we’ll discuss the multifaceted, mutually beneficial reasons why employers should invest in their employees.

From an employee’s perspective, a benefits package increases the value they receive by working for a business; appreciation leads to all-important trust and loyalty. From an employer’s viewpoint, it’s a reciprocal relationship because it promotes happiness as well as a commitment which will reflect in productivity and the quality of work produced.

‘Customers come second, employees first’

Richard Branson put it best: ‘Customers come second, employees first.’ It’s a philosophy that generates an emotional ‘profit’ to both the company and by extension, its clients. In addition to the required legal and voluntary benefits mentioned above, allowing your staff to take training courses is an investment that yields high returns in the form of employee development. Think of it as a ripple effect: the initial drop is the catalyst for widening concentric circles that represent potential revenue growth of your business.

The sentiment is reiterated, in an article published by Entrepreneur South Africa. It says ‘A study revealed that employees who do not feel they are developing in a company are 12 times more likely to leave. Many times companies see staff training as an expense rather than an investment and end up paying dearly in terms of low productivity and high turnover.’

A survey conducted by global analytics and advice firm, Gallup, found that the overall engagement among the employed population in 142 countries worldwide was only 13%; even more disturbingly, 24% were classified as ‘actively disengaged’. These are concerning statistics that reinforce the need to go beyond the call of duty and conduct intensive research about what this generation’s potential employees are looking for when considering business opportunities.

One of the issues that contribute to the abovementioned statistics is that employers don’t always realise that investing in employees has a profound effect on the business’s current – and future – objectives. Let’s use a financial investment analogy to illustrate this point: A short-sighted investor is likely to be looking for funds that, on paper, seem to be ideal for quick, lucrative returns. This may work for a bit, but funds that claim to offer high returns in a short amount of time are high-risk as well as more susceptible to market volatility. Read this paragraph again but now replace the word ‘funds’ with ‘employees’.

It can be argued that this is an unstable, unsustainable investment that Is likely to result in a toxic working environment and possibly cause a high employee turnover rate. The lesson that needs to be learned here is that if staff members are seen as disposable assets, and have no long-term investment aspirations, it may cost your business everything. 

Implement bespoke benefits packages for your staff

The reality is that we live in the age of digital disruption. Job candidates are more tech-savvy than ever. Due to the advancement of technology, they have many ways by which they can find out information about your business. It’s in this light that HR managers and employers need to find innovative ideas that grab job seekers’ attention – this can be achieved by offering benefits tailored to best suit your employees.

Pension and provident funds offer the following specific benefits
  • It attracts and retains valuable employees, stabilising the workforce.
  • Employees are forced to make tax-efficient retirement savings contributions monthly which assist them in securing financial freedom at retirement.
  • Tax benefits – contributions are tax-deductible up to 27.5% of the annual salary or R350 000.
  • ‘Group insurance costs’ are usually significantly less expensive than individuals can obtain in their personal capacity.
Group health benefits can also be considered
  • Group benefits are paid on death, disability, and any other insured benefit.
  • Medical underwriting on group schemes is far less onerous than individual policies with a free cover limit available to all employer groups.
  • Death and disability benefits will cover all employees up to the free cover limit against serious illnesses, without having to provide medical evidence. This is subject to pre-existing condition exclusions for a new cover or recent recruitments.
  • By offering health benefits, employees can go to the doctor for routine check-ups; when they are unwell, they receive high-quality care more quickly than their uninsured counterparts. This leads to an increase in productivity for the business.

The significant overarching advantage is to provide health coverage for all the employees to ensure everyone is protected and that there is a limited operational loss because of an illness.

Additional Group Insurance Benefits

Apart from death and disability cover, ‘group insurance’ benefits may be included to create a customised, competitive benefits package that meets their employees’ needs and expectations.

  • Funeral cover which may include protection for  the employees’ spouse and children
  • Education cover for children of deceased employees to pay for the child’s education expenses.
  • Dread disease cover who pays on a diagnosis of serious illnesses such as cancer, heart attack and/or blindness.

The above benefits can be structured either for a specific category of employees or for all of them, providing financial security for almost any eventuality.

In conclusion, it can be argued that professional and personal growth is a prerequisite for any candidate searching for a job vacancy. It’s critical that as an employer, you have their best interests at heart and want to see them grow in parallel with the business. However, the diverse options to consider can be time-consuming. As independent employee benefits consultants, Fio Human Resources can assist you by obtaining several quotations and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure the most appropriate package for your staff contingent.