Small businesses are currently grappling with the pressing issue of attracting and retaining employees in the face of evolving demands for comprehensive benefits packages. This paradigm shift is not merely a response to the pandemic but rather a new reality in the working world. In order to ensure long-term competitiveness and sustainability, SMEs must explore flexible working models, enhance their benefits packages, and highlight non-financial perks that enhance work-life balance for their employees.
Embracing flexibility in benefits provision:
According to Emma Cromarty, an independent Human Resource Specialist and director of ECHR Ltd, the key to attracting and retaining employees lies in offering benefits packages that outweigh the allure of higher wages. Small businesses can successfully attract top talent without exceeding their budgetary limitations.
“There has been a noticeable increase in the number of requests I receive from businesses seeking assistance in recruiting and retaining employees,” says Emma. “While this used to be a service primarily sought by clients with a retainer, more companies are now seeking support beyond the traditional recruitment agency setting.”
A study conducted by Aviva revealed that a significant proportion of employees (41 percent) were drawn to their current positions due to the favorable work-life balance offered. Surprisingly, this percentage surpasses those who prioritize salary as the main factor.
Addressing the rising cost of living crisis through improved benefits:
SMEs face the added challenge of coping with rising living costs and employees’ demands for higher wages. Balancing affordability becomes increasingly difficult, especially with recent hikes in the minimum wage. Emma assists employers in exploring alternative solutions, such as bonuses and benefits packages, to supplement wages without exceeding their salary budgets. These strategies promote job satisfaction, thereby maintaining employees’ interest in staying with the company.
The reluctance to embrace modern work practices poses a significant burden on small businesses. Failure to adapt can result in recruitment difficulties, decreased productivity, and challenges in retaining talent. Companies that cling to traditional models risk falling behind their more forward-thinking counterparts, missing out on valuable opportunities for growth and success.
“To remain competitive and sustainable in the long run, SMEs must adapt to these changes,” advises Emma. “This involves exploring flexible working models, enhancing benefits packages, and promoting other non-financial perks that enhance employees’ work-life balance. This paradigm shift is not merely a response to the pandemic – it represents the new reality of the working world.”