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3 countries with the top employee benefits: How HR teams can learn from the best

Every Human Resource (HR) professional and leader knows that offering employee benefits is standard practice for attracting and retaining top talent – especially post-COVID-19. But knowing which ones will make an impact depends on many factors like the demographics, locations, and needs of each employee.

To give you some insight, this Pacific Prime article looks at 3 countries and their most popular offering(s). Who knows, from reading this, you could even experiment and see if your workforce will appreciate their inclusion. In the end, happy employees equal better productivity for the business. A win-win for all!

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1. Luxembourg

Companies in Luxemburg offer great employee benefits (benefits in kind) to their employees. In fact, the country is considered one of the best countries for workers from all walks of life. One excellent offering by companies in Luxemburg is the luncheon meal vouchers.

Free luncheon meal vouchers – Luxemberg’s popular employee benefit option

Did you know? The classic adage “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” clearly does not apply to companies in Luxembourg. This is because companies in Luxemburg commonly offer luncheon vouchers that employees can redeem for meals. In fact, 18% of employees receive meal vouchers as part of their salary package, according to 2019 Statec data.

The meal vouchers can be used to pay for meals in restaurants or eateries that accept this type of payment. Interestingly, meal vouchers are personal and must mention the employer’s name, which makes it fool-proof and widely accepted. Hence why they are very popular in Luxemburg.

If your company can offer this benefit, why not check to see if similar offerings are available in your country. Perhaps you could even invite restaurants and places to eat to offer you special discounts if you include them in the network of vendors for employees to choose from.

Noting that your employees are likely to be working from home, you could even send luncheon vouchers for employees to use so they can order food straight to their homes. To address the healthy living aspect of life now, you could even work with local suppliers or restaurants to supply healthy alternatives to employees at home or in the office through delivery services. Of course, it goes without saying that adopting digital solutions could make it more convenient and quicker too.

Further reading: Pacific Prime acquires CXA Group’s brokerage arms in Singapore and Hong Kong

2. Switzerland

Without a doubt, countries with the best work-life balance can help retain and attract talent. That said, Switzerland is a prime example as companies there champion the idea of a healthy work-life balance. The country has a robust social security system that covers everything from parental leave and health benefits to efficient services and great infrastructure. On top of that, employees also have access to talk about work-life balance!

Four weeks of paid vacation (20 days)

Companies are obligated to provide a legal minimum of four weeks of paid vacation (20 days), to which employees can add public holidays which average nine days; but that depends on the canton (a subdivision of the country). Moreover, most businesses close between Christmas and New Year’s, essentially giving employees an extra week off work.

Although your company may be limited to the guaranteed amount by the government, you could create extra days off. Why not try introducing a rest week or company outing week which allows employees to take a break from work entirely or commit to a special outing with colleagues to team build, respectively. More so, you could give employees the last Friday of each month off as credit for their hard work during the month. It’s good to experiment to see what works best for you.

Flexible working arrangement – a must-have employee benefit option

Companies in Switzerland are also known for embracing flexible work arrangements, which is common in both industrial and commercial sectors. According to Pacific Prime’s Global Employee Benefits Trends Report 2020, the most popular types of flexible working arrangements are remote working and flexitime. Interestingly, from the research gathered, working flexible hours would make 76% of workers more willing to stay with their current employer.

Offering flexitime means employees can start earlier or start later in the day. Employees can also choose to finish earlier or later so that they can attend to other chores and activities in their personal lives. Examples include:

  • Caring for a loved one
  • Visiting the doctors
  • Taking the pet to the vet
  • Dropping the kids off at school
  • Picking up the kids from school
  • And more

Further reading: Smart working modernizes the 9 to 5

All in all, the combination of annual leaves and days off above with flexible working arrangements, means employees have sufficient time to maintain a healthy work-life balance. In turn, they are more productive and efficient when working for their employers.

Pacific Prime’s video on flexible working arrangements and other non-monetary benefits

Further reading:

3. Iceland

Compared to the rest of the world, Iceland now boasts a four-day workweek, in which employees are paid the same amount for shorter hours of work. Initial trials that took place between 2015 and 2019, successfully showed that productivity remained the same or improved in the majority of workplaces.

Today, around 85% of workers in Iceland are currently, or on the way to, working four days a week instead of five. As of this writing, several other trials are now being run across the world, including in Spain and by Unilever in New Zealand. Perhaps this could become a norm for the future of work and something you could consider for your operations.

Go flex benefits – it’s the future of employee benefits

To enhance a 4-day workweek, you may want to consider offering flex (flexible) benefits. These should be benefits that meet the needs of your diverse workforce. This can be done through a next-generation flex benefits platform, which offers a more efficient way to manage flex benefits. See Pacific Prime’s complete guide to flexible benefits and stay ahead of the curve.

Review or design your employee benefits plan with Pacific Prime today!

There’s no secret when it comes to knowing what to do to make employees happy and productive at work. If you are looking to build a stronger and dedicated workforce, you’ll need to invest in suitable employee benefits solutions that are beneficial to every single employee. This means they should be personalized and support employees whatever their situation.

Our trusted and experienced corporate team would be more than happy to discuss your company’s needs, determine how existing solutions would help your employees grow and remain happy, and review options that will improve your bottom line.

Contact us and arrange a consultation with us today!

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Content Creator at Pacific Prime
Jimmy is a content writer who helps simplify insurance for readers interested in international private medical insurance. He is on a mission in Thailand to support locals, expatriates, and businesses by bring the latest news and updates to his Pacific Prime blog articles.

His expert view and wealth of knowledge on insurance can also be found in his blogs for China, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Singapore.