Skip to content Skip to footer
Female coworker working with colleagues around a table

How to attract and retain employees beyond just fair wages

As the recruitment market continues to grow and become more competitive by the day, higher salaries aren’t the only answer to being a top choice as an employer.

A recent survey by Hays revealed that more than half of UK workers are planning to change jobs in 2023, and although discontent over salary and benefits package were the top reasons, others included lack of opportunity, commute, job security and the work itself.

In fact, our Mental Health Report shows that 56% of employees would leave a company if they felt their mental wellbeing wasn’t supported, with a whopping 66% saying a good mental wellbeing policy would increase the likelihood of joining a company. Debra Clark, Head of Specialist consulting at Towergate Health & Protection, says: “The big recruitment drive is on, and employers need to make sure they have the right health and wellbeing support in place to ensure they can attract, but also retain, the best staff.”

How can employers offer more for a prospective employee’s wellbeing?

1. Flexible working

A flexible working policy is the most popular benefit that employees want, with 88% of employees saying they would consider a lower salary if flexible hours were provided. Our research also shows 31% of employees feel that hybrid working has had a positive impact on their mental wellbeing, with 53% saying flexible hours would be the most useful way for their employers to support their mental health.

And it benefits the business too, with greater productivity, lower costs, and higher employee retention with 33% less likelihood to quit. Here’s our handy article that talks about how you can better support remote workers.

2. Good work-life balance

Flexible working contributes to a good work-life balance, which is a top priority for many employees. A third of them consider it crucial when looking for a job, two-thirds are willing to take a pay cut for better work-life balance, and 41% of employees seek flexibility to be able to maintain it. Employers could offer benefits such as early log-off on Fridays, a no-contact policy beyond working hours, or an overtime package to appreciate when employees do put in the extra work.

3. Creating a sense of comfort and openness at work

Our research revealed that 32% of employees attribute mental health deterioration to poor workplace culture, and 36% even cited workplace bullying. So, creating a positive company culture that values and supports their employees can not only help win them over, it’s also necessary. Here are more ideas on how you can improve workplace culture in a way that works for your employees.

4. Financial support – especially during a crisis

With financial worries looming over the economy, research shows that 69% of employees feel their employers have a duty to assist with their finances. And although the issue of financial well-being at work is more important, studies suggest that only 18% of employers have an employee financial well-being policy in place. 37% of employees feel less loyal towards employers that don’t have a policy in place to support their financial wellbeing. See how you can better support your workforce’s financial wellbeing here.

5. Digital healthcare

Many employees may not have the time to pop in to see their GP as standard opening hours pose a challenge for those working a non-flexible work pattern. Plus, with the increased pressure on the NHS, it can be hard to even get an appointment. Offering healthcare that’s easily accessible can help alleviate employee stress and support them in getting the help they need when they need it. 26% of workers said they would be more likely to stay with an employer that offered digital health solutions.

There is a strong need to instil an all-round supportive culture that focuses on physical, mental as well as financial well-being and making employees aware of what and how they can access this. Not only do these benefits help employers gain a competitive edge in the recruitment market, but also helps them demonstrate their appreciation and care towards their employees – which goes a long way in attracting and retaining the best talent.

For more information on how to better look after your employees’ wellbeing, head over to our mental health workplace hub. You can also find out how to keep your workforce happy and healthy by signing up to our employee engagement newsletter.