Special & Unique Benefits During Times of Financial Uncertainty

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With the Australian 2023 budget passed down just two weeks ago, both employers and employees are now assessing the real affect. Whether it is a significant or marginal benefit, employers can continue to support, and assist to minimise financial stress on their employees. 

In our annual Great Place To Work® workplace experience survey, employees tell us what “special and unique benefits” mean to them. In recent times when everyone is focusing on how they can stay within budget, more and more say they appreciate when their employers and managers give a little extra to take the edge off their financial burden. Insights from 2022 Australia’s Great Place To Work® Certified™ community show a positive relationship between having special and unique benefits at work, perceptions of great place to work and overall trust in management and the organisation.  

Perks & Benefits 

It is now an expectation that employers would offer perks such as discounts on movie tickets, gym memberships, healthcare providers, retail stores, food/beverage outlets and car insurance. Going beyond these, employees are now looking for more relevant benefits that could help them manage their everyday budget:

  • Discounts on essential goods and services, such as groceries, transportation, utilities 
  • Allowance on mobile phone/plans and personal efficiency devices, 
  • Annual Wellbeing Allowance they can use with greater flexibility, inc. pet related services,
  • Subsidy for childcare,
  • Financial education suited to different stages of employee life circumstances,
  • Comprehensive health insurance plans include preventive care, mental health services, fertility treatment, and extends to family members.

Employee Recognition and Rewards 

Recognising employees’ contributions and providing rewards for exceptional performance not only enhance job satisfaction and increase motivation, financial incentives, one-off bonuses, or profit-sharing programs provide additional financial support. A few Great Place To Work employers have even offered one-off support payment in light of rising living costs.

Leveraging Flexible Work Arrangements

Work from home and various hybrid work options have become a norm in most organisations post-pandemic. Leveraging on this new normal including 9-day fortnight, provides greater flexibility which can help employees save on commuting time and costs. This flexibility can also better support employees with children responsibly (i.e. saving on after school care), pursue other interests, side gigs, other part-time work to supplement their income and enhance overall wellbeing.  

Long term investment:

Strategic long-term partnerships with financial service adds depth to special and unique employee benefits and strengthen Employer Value Proposition (EVP). Employees from Australian Best Workplaces™ say, having salary sacrifice options, smart lease arrangements for high-value items, and incentives for superannuation co-contribution adds to long term financial security.  
Education sponsorship (i.e. technical qualification or leadership program) or contribution towards non-work related training program are other examples of EVP that helps lessen employees’ financial burden and supports their growth. This in turn makes employees feel values and increases loyalty and retention.  
Lastly, transparent communication on competitive compensation, regular salary reviews and findings from salary benchmarking exercises can help employees understand how the organisation is genuinely attempting to ease their financial stress.  

Ready to help your employees thrive at work? Get in touch with us today.

Valentina Lwin-Bailey

Valentina brings 25 years of experience in organisational development, people and culture, and teaching and training experience from across higher education, government and private sectors in Australia and Myanmar (Burma). In the past 15+ years, she has been focused on employee engagement, workplace culture, leadership development and strategic planning. Her recent HR leadership roles included heading up functional HR teams in large and complex organisations, including crisis management during the pandemic and political unrest. She exercises her passion for people development by teaching, mentoring and coaching young HR professionals in the areas of HR, management and career planning. Valentina is a strong advocate for full-person wellness, and achieves balance through yoga, outdoor activities, cooking and enjoys spending time with family and friends.

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To be eligible for the World’s Best Workplaces list, a company must apply and be named to a minimum of 5 national Best Workplaces lists within our current 58 countries, have 5,000 employees or more worldwide, and at least 40% of the company’s workforce (or 5,000 employees) must be based outside of the home country. Extra points are given based on the number of countries where a company surveys employees with the Great Place to Work Trust Index©, and the percentage of a company’s workforce represented by all Great Place to Work surveys globally. Candidates for the 2017 Worlds Best Workplaces list will have appeared on national workplaces lists published in September 2016 through August 2017.