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Employee benefits in the media sector

Are you concerned that you are missing out on some clever ways to incentivise your staff that your competitors are already successfully utilising? Are you unsure about how much you should be paying out in benefits to your team and whether you are getting the maximum value out of the schemes you currently have in place? Are you effectively using bonuses to incentivise your talent and are you confident that they are in line with the industry norm?

At our seminar on employee benefits, held on 16 May 2017, we explored the financial and non-financial incentives that are often easy wins in retaining and motivating your staff. Our speakers, Mark Slattery, Andrew Kavanagh and Ian Graham have subsequently put together their top considerations:

  • One size doesn’t fit all (very well). An effective incentive scheme is unlikely to treat all members of the team the same.
  • Employee engagement is essential. There is no point paying for an employee benefit unless employees understand, appreciate and value what is being offered.
  • Make sure you communicate every year the benefits that you provide and the cost/value for your employees.
  • Think about benefits in a really broad way – career development and opportunities to gain additional experience are valued just as much, if not more, by your team.
  • Get your core benefits offering right, given agency size and budget.
  • Add some benefits that your team really value – more paid time off and gym membership often top that list.
  • Consider what you are trying to achieve with your bonuses. Is it a reward for hard work or are you trying to drive certain behaviours?
  • Set clear targets for company and individual performance with performance against target influencing bonus payments.
  • Restrict equity incentives to ‘superstars’ only. Use structured cash bonuses to lock in your ‘nomads’.
  • Employer pensions contributions need to be 3% by April 2019.
  • Salary sacrifice is very tax efficient and is still allowable for pension contributions. It offers employee and employer savings in National Insurance Contributions.
  • Registered Group Life Assurance benefits count towards an individual’s Lifetime Allowance (LTA). Those individuals with large pension benefits or high levels of cover should review their arrangements, as benefits paid over the LTA (£1 million for 2017/18) may be subject to a 55% tax charge.
  • Private Medical Insurance is a very popular and highly valued insured employee benefit. As an annual renewable contract, regular market reviews are essential to ensure cover remains competitive.
  • Keep things under review – as the agency grows and the aspirations of your people grow, make sure your benefit offering keeps pace.