National Minimum Wage has increased on the 1st October and in April 2017 it has been announced the National Living wage will increase again.  How does a small business remain competitive and keep their talent?  By looking at the additional benefits that they give their teams.

I wish I could wave a big magic wand and say here is the answer – but I am afraid it is not that simple.  I know I hear you say – when is it simple.  But as small businesses, you can be more creative in the employee benefits you offer.

The Challenge

The National Living Wage stopped some small businesses from increasing staff of taking any on. With the unemployment figures decreasing finding the ‘right’ staff to fill vacancies – a can-do attitude makes up for a lack of experience sometimes.

By September 2017 the majority of businesses will have workplace pensions in place and that is an additional cost that the business needs to find from somewhere.  I know I hear you say where is the good news when is she going to get to the good stuff.

Staff Treats – what’s that I hear you say – it is basically an online website and now a lovely app that employers pay for each employee and they can access discounts online and in store.  Discounts range from grocery shopping to cinema vouchers, free coffee or 2-4-1 of high street chain restaurants – and it is cheaper than you think!

So an example if your employee spends £40 a week on shopping that’s £2080 a year.  If you save 4% on that is £83.20 that’s two free shopping weeks a year or some new shoes!  You would pay less than that discount per employee per year.

I would think about the following when thinking about additional benefits for your team

What makes them tick

Is it a drink at the pub on a Friday or a treat every so often – did I mention cake earlier?  No business is the same and there is no cookie cutter method of deciding what benefits will suit your team best.  Ask them.  I know that is a shocking thought but would they prefer you to give some extra holiday or invest in a perk like Perkbox

Blended learning

Ensuring your team is as best as they can be and developing their talent is what they want.  Spending time with them and increasing their skills costs you your time but not necessarily cold hard cash.  Not all training has to be sat in a classroom and is a huge benefit to an employee.  An employee may prefer you spending some money on enhancing their skills and there is still funding available.


Review your benefits every few years.  Times change and what people want changes, don’t get complacent.


Don’t forget to budget for all the costs – including the cake as it all adds up.  If you do something one year then employees will expect it the next.

If you want some ideas on different benefits then drop me an email or give me a ring.  A simple benefits survey can really help found out what your team want and where you should spend your resources.

Don’t keep it a secret

Found this blog useful? Think you have fellow business owners that would too?  Feel free to share or ‘like’ using the social media buttons.


Don’t keep it a secret

Did you find this blog useful? Think you have fellow business owners that would too?  Feel free to share or ‘like’ using social media buttons to the left.

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