Don’t Leave Your Employee Benefits Behind – A Guide To Growth
Why is a new business born? A spark of an idea. A frustration at the faceless corporation they have been slaving for without reward. A desire for a true sense of ownership over their future, and the returns that go with it. A group of people break away and form their own start-up, achieving that long desired liberty. Late nights are spent brainstorming over pizza and wine where everyone’s opinions matter and are given equal time. It’s easy at this stage because there are only a few people and the start-up thrives. New employees are hired to cope with the workload, and when they bring in more work more people are brought in. What were five people around a desk quickly becomes 100, and that small group of founders realise they have created the very corporate culture they originally left. In order to avoid fostering a negative environment, companies need to try and preserve their unique culture and reward their employees for their work – the way they felt they weren’t in the beginning. So how does a business upscale their employee benefits as they grow so they don’t end up left in the dust?
Keep Benefits Under Review
As your business grows, a lot of things will change. One of the elements of growth that are often forgotten is the reward package for employees, which can quickly become unaffordable or unattractive. What was affordable for a handful of employees may be less so when more staff are brought on board. Not only that, but the business owner must ensure that every employee is treated fairly and consistently regardless of when they joined the business, and a large part of this is in the employee benefits package. Instead of ignoring your benefits scheme until it becomes a problem, keeping it under review can help you make small alterations as the business grows, avoiding the need for larger changes later on. This also allows you to communicate with your employees about their benefits on a regular basis and hear their feedback in order to create and preserve a positive, communal company culture in which every employee feels valued.
Accept That thing Change
Medium and larger sized organisations are often fairly resistant to change, preferring instead to stay within their comfort zones of the familiar. But the development and growth of an organisation might prevent it from being able to offer the same benefits package as it did in the early days when there weren’t as many people to please. You may have been able to offer everyone a very healthy bonus at the beginning, but when you reach 100 staff members this might not be as realistic. Equally, when you are looking to attract new talent to your business your original benefits package may not be enticing. At some point, people are going to stop joining your business because it’s an awesome experience and great fun, and instead, they’re going to be asking your market competitive benefits packages. Keeping ahead of this curve ensures you never lose an opportunity because you aren’t offering as much as the next employer in line.
Often the biggest problem employees have with the benefits offered by their employer is that they aren’t suited for them. Many businesses offer extra pay as a motivational tool to perform and stay in the business, but often there are other factors missing. John Hayes from Constantine Law comments that; “it’s not all about pay. Increasingly, you need to give people a sense of ownership in what they’re doing that goes above and beyond pay.” This is why businesses are increasingly offering share equity ownership as a benefit to their employees, favouring this over, say, a company car. But this might not be as applicable to your business for any number of reasons. The best way to understand what will motivate your employees is to simply ask them what matters to them, and what benefits you could offer that would really make a difference.
Give Founders Extra Incentive
Offering an equity in the business to the founding members through shareholdings or other methods is the ultimate compliment and motivational tool. People who have been with the business from the very beginning will see this not only as a reward for their hard work but also as a reason to keep pushing the company forward. If they work hard now and the business is sold, later on, those shareholders could see a significant upside and reward for their efforts. It’s also advantageous to employees from the tax point of view.
As a business grows its processes must also evolve, but employee benefits are often one of those policies that get left behind. There may be challenges involved in changing your employee benefits schemes, but reviewing and listening to employee feedback on a regular basis can be a vital element in preserving that communal organisational culture during periods of growth. If you aren’t sure where to start, we can help with a review of your current systems and a proposal for improvement and management in the future. For more information talk to one of our employee benefits advisors.