Category Archives: Recruitment

The employee’s guide to work benefits

In the current climate of widespread financial uncertainty, millions of people across the country are feeling the pinch. Years of wage stagnation coupled with a steadily rising cost of living have piled pressure on countless households, crippling consumer demand and making a major contribution to tipping the economy back into recession. It’s certainly true that times are challenging for many employers as well as their employees, as the persistent weakness in consumer spending has forced them to find ways of cutting costs whilst simultaneously boosting efficiency. However, the secret to good employee management is to remember that a happy workplace is almost certainly a more productive one.

Wage cuts or freezes might seem at first like the only realistic choice for employers, but there are ways to sugar the pill. If workers feel they’re not being adequately rewarded for their efforts because of circumstances which are completely beyond their control, then there’s a chance that they’ll become demoralised and distracted or they’ll simply decide to seek better opportunities elsewhere. Employee benefits, however, can be a useful sweetener and help to maintain staff loyalty. Workers are more likely to be sympathetic to any difficulties their employer is having if they can see the organisation is at least making an effort to lighten the load on their own shoulders. However challenging the situation might be, employers must remember that their staff have concerns of their own to think about.

The effectiveness of employee rewards obviously varies from person to person, and this is something that both employers and workers ought to consider. For example, high childcare costs are commonly cited as one of the biggest financial worries facing working families. It’s often simply unrealistic to expect one parent to stay off work to look after their children, particularly when so many people have sky-high mortgages and utility bills to service. It’s perhaps unsurprising, then, that childcare vouchers are one of the most popular workplace rewards of them all. Providing workers with vouchers to help cut costs and make childcare more accessible is often gratefully received by workers.

However, not all employees have children of their own – indeed, many struggle to settle down in one place for a sufficient length of time in order to start a family – so handing childcare vouchers to these workers is clearly a waste of time. There are other schemes, however, which might attract their attention. Gym membership discounts, for example, might prove attractive to some members of the workforce. Regular social and networking events outside of work may also help to boost team spirit and camaraderie amongst the team by encouraging them to get to know one another better.

From an employee’s perspective, however, flexible working is one of the most practical and attractive work rewards on offer. Many people have to commute long distances to work – particularly in the current climate, when good job opportunities are at a premium – and this can be both expensive and energy-sapping. Giving workers the chance to work from home or to choose more practical hours, on the other hand, provides a real incentive and can result in a significant productivity boost.

Janice Lincoln is a freelance writer specialising in business and employee relations and incentives such as the cycle to work scheme and child care vouchers.

Standing Out To Employers In These Economic Times

Getting on to the employment ladder is a very tough task for a lot of people nowadays. The economy finds itself in a state of continued difficulty and there is little argument to be had regarding the assertion that the credit crunch has separated the weak and the strong in terms of supposedly simple things such as having a job.

The days of employees being able to casually amble on through their working lives, doing the bare minimum and spending half of the day watching the clock and waiting for the glorious moment when the little hand hits 5pm seem to have come to an end. In fact, to some people’s horror, it is quite the opposite; now there simply are not enough hours in the day and most people find themselves taking their work home with them.

The truth of the matter is that this is exactly what separates people in the employment game. Companies can no longer afford to hire staff that simply will not pull their weight any more. Of course they would not have wanted to in the first place, but financing for businesses is now at a situation where a few wrong moves in the recruitment sector and the business could be facing severe difficulties. Nowadays, companies demand the most from their employees and rightly so. A lot of companies can demand employees that are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty in their roles; they want employees that are willing to stay behind after hours to ensure that the work gets done.

This new found expectation from employers has no doubt come as a bit of a shock for some people and may be a factor that is directly attributed towards the high unemployment figures that seem to be reported every other day.

What is the solution for those people who would not exactly classify themselves as the dedicated type when it comes to giving their all in the name of employment? The only thing those people can do is either adopt a working pattern to make an employer sit up and take notice or alternatively they can join the millions of other people in the Job Centre. The tough economic times are certainly not what anyone wanted or envisaged but they are still here and they are affecting people so the only solution is to, as with most things, get your head down and work.

This blog post was written by Kelvin Whittaker, a specialist in the recruitment field, particularly accounting and tax recruitment writing on behalf of