Employees in a meeting

The importance of employee benefits for small businesses

19 June 2024

Many small business owners are now making the health and wellbeing of their team a priority within their business. A healthy and happy workforce is not only good for your employees, but it’s also good for business too. One way to do this is by offering an employee benefits package. This can not only help you to keep your team healthy and happy, but it can also help you to attract new team members to your business. One survey found that 42% of the general workforce said employee benefits were a priority, with this rising to 55% of 18-34 year olds who believe that a good benefits package is the most important thing they look for when searching for a job.1 Despite this, one report found that 45% of employees felt their employee benefits package was inadequate.1

There are lots of employee benefits for small businesses to choose from, so it can be difficult to know which ones will best suit your business. When deciding which benefits to add to your offering, it can be helpful to ask your employees which benefits they find important. This can help you to build a package that will be valued and utilised by your team. 

Which benefits do employees value?

Private medical insurance

Private medical insurance is often cited as an important benefit by employees. One report found that health insurance is a key driver for over half (57%) of people when choosing a job.2

Small business health insurance can help your employees get quick access to diagnosis and treatment, which can help to minimise the amount of time that they spend away from work. It also comes with the added benefit that appointments can often be made at a time and place that suits your employees, so they can fit their appointment around their day.

Employee benefits that support health and wellbeing can not only have a positive impact on your employees, but they can have a positive impact on your business too. One report found that in 2021, services provided by insurers prevented 14 million sick days and helped 12,500 full-time workers to stay in work rather than leave their jobs due to ill health.3

Remote working

Before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, only around 12% of employees reported working from home.4 During 2022, the percentage of working adults reporting having worked from home varied between 25% and 40%4 which shows how popular remote working has become since the pandemic. 

Remote working can have a number of benefits for employees, including being able to save time and money on the commute. 

Read our blog post to find out more about the benefits of remote working

Career development and progression

Career development and progression is important for many employees, as it helps them to feel valued in their career and in the business. 91% of millennial professionals said they consider career progression important in one report, with 53% saying they’ve been disappointed by a lack of personal development training when starting a new job.5

Offering training and career development opportunities to your employees can help keep them motivated and can help you to retain team members in your business. The type of training you offer will depend on the industry you operate in, as well as the needs of your team. A good place to start when developing a training programme for your team is to speak to each employee and ask them which skills they would like to develop. You can then start to tailor a training programme for each employee based on their priorities and skillset.

How we can help

At AXA Health, our business health insurance plans can be tailored to suit the needs of you and your employees. We offer a range of cover options for you to choose from, so you can build a plan that works for your business and your budget. Whether your priority is giving your employees quick access to diagnosis and treatment, mental health support for the pressures which come with your area of work, or speedy physiotherapy access for your team, you can choose the best combination of cover to suit you. 

Plus, regardless of the cover options you choose, you and your team will have access to the following included as standard:

  • 24/7 access to a private GP - Access to phone or video appointments with a GP or Advanced Nurse Practitioner via our AXA Doctor at Hand service, powered by Doctor Care Anywhere. Appointments subject to availability. Advanced Nurse Practitioners available 8am-10pm
  • Muscles, bones and joints support – Get to the bottom of aches and pains with no need for a GP referral. Speak to the right expert over the phone or online. Our muscles, bones and joints service is available for members aged 18 and over
  • Cancer and heart care – Telephone support from our experienced healthcare practitioners, through the uncertainty of serious illness
  • Health information phone line – 24/7 health support through our health information phone line
  • Access to wellbeing incentives – Up to 40% off monthly gym memberships for you and all your employees. Find out more and get full terms and conditions

Find out more about our business health insurance, including what we do and don’t cover, and get a quote today

Business health insurance is designed to cover acute, new conditions that arise after your policy has started

Sources and references

1People Management, 2023

2ABI, 2023

3ABI, 2023

4ONS, 2023

5Robert Walters