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How to use benefits as a retention tool

By Alex Blow, on 5th January 2024

As much as some people don’t like to admit it, or at least openly talk about it, we all know that Pay is the #1 driving factor when people are searching for a new role. But did you know that according to our latest research, Benefits are the third most important factor? (Job Security is second, for those paying close attention).

So the big question I want to answer is how can benefits be used to attract, but more importantly retain top talent.

Afterall, it’s hard to let go of some of those perks even if the cash value isn’t clear, isn’t it?

We’ve all seen the viral LinkedIn posts that waffle on about how paid time off or basic pension contributions aren’t benefits, they’re legal requirements, (obviously) but they never seem to talk about what a good benefit policy looks like. So I thought I’d do the honours and highlight the best benefit policies that our clients use to make their people matter and keep hold of their best people.

There are many great benefits that you can provide your employees that are tried and tested, and people love (at least they do at these companies). Here’s some examples and why they help attract and retain people.  

We practice what we preach so here’s a Chatter example to kick us off…

As a relatively small agency, it’s difficult to implement huge benefits programmes that flex and change to individual’s needs. So a lot of our benefits are wrapped up in our Vitality health plan. It’s an optional plan that not only looks after our health brilliantly when we need it, but also encourages and rewards us to keep active and stay healthy.

For a very small Benefit in Kind tax contribution each month, we get access to 

  • Physio

  • mental health support

  • a personal health fund to cover a chunk of our dental and optical costs 

  • pretty comprehensive serious illness cover 

But beyond that we get every day discounts such as free Cafe Nero coffee, free cinema tickets, discounts to hotel chains and spa days, activewear and equipment, and even a huge discount off an Apple watch. 

It’s definitely something I’d miss if I ever left Chatter!


But enough about us, I asked some of our clients two simple questions:

  1. What is your best or most unique benefit that candidates and colleagues love?

  2. How do you think it helps you keep hold of the best talent

And here’s what they said…


Flutter UK & Ireland

At Flutter UK & Ireland, home to some of the biggest entertainment brands like Sky Betting and Gaming, Paddy Power, Betfair and Tombola, they have a huge focus on personal development, not just professional. And this means providing their people with a breadth of benefits to support them as professionals and individuals. But one part of their offer that sets them apart is their continued innovation in personalised benefits. 

For a little while now, they’ve had a generous Self-development fund (up to £/€ 1000 per annum) that colleagues are in control of themselves and allows them to invest in courses or books that aid their ability to support the business the way that they want to. This includes resources like their newly launched Learnerbly tool which gives access to thousands of books and online courses. It’s been a huge hit, with over 4200 requests for materials in the first few weeks of it being live.

Robert Mahady, Skills Development Manager said, “Since the launch of Learnerbly, it really has brought back a sense of purpose for me to think of my self-development again and put myself back in a positive direction outside of work. I’ve managed to apply for a course, books and get back onto language lessons I started last year so all in all it’s been super helpful. As well as that, the fact we’re investing in colleagues’ development, where other businesses don’t, supports that we make the right decision working here. I’m sure I speak for most of our colleagues in that I can’t wait to get started with everything!”

But, as ever in this innovation driven space, Flutter UKI have taken it one step further and introduced a Wellbeing fund as they recognise that physical and mental health are so important to their people. 

Helen Irwin, Head of Reward said, “We recognise that our physical and mental wellbeing is crucial within our organisation, and with this in mind our Wellbeing Fund has been introduced as an inclusive benefit so our employees can select options based on what this means specifically to them. With a fund of £250/€250 per annum, our policy enables employees to partake in a sport, indulge in a spa therapy or purchase an app for mindfulness for example.  The fund has been available now for 2 weeks and already employees are applying for funding and engaging with this new benefit.”

We love this idea! Beyond the basics of pay and working conditions, we’re all searching for that purpose and belonging, and we think this really aligns with Flutter UKI’s desire for their people to feel free to be themselves.



Many organisations give their colleagues a discount off the services they offer, but there’s few where that can add up to hundreds of pounds every year. At Asda, their colleagues are entitled to a 10% discount on all their in-store shopping all year, with ‘double discount’ events throughout the year including near Christmas! This can be a huge financial boost to colleagues at all levels across the business.

Senior Manager for Talent Acquisition, Anne Jackson-Todd also mentioned that for their colleagues who are part of their Company Car scheme, Asda’s recent move to an all-electric fleet had been hugely successful, “moving to an eco-friendly fleet has helped us reduce our carbon footprint which as a food retailer can be difficult to do. It’s also saving our colleagues significant amounts of money as electric vehicles are exempt from certain taxation.”

You can imagine that discount on weekly shopping and a great value company car really adds up - to an amount that would be difficult to replace through salary alone.



It’s nothing new to offer shares or options to colleagues for a publicly listed company, but the vast majority require a contribution from the employee and is usually only available after a certain tenure. At world-renowned games developer Team17, all of their colleagues receive £1000 of shares in the company on Day 1.

Head of Talent Acquisition, Simon Halkyard said, “Plenty of companies have share save schemes – but I don’t know many that give you shares for free without a personal contribution and certainly not on your first day with the business. It might not be a huge sum but it means from the start you have a stake in the business you are working for. It really helps drive engagement and means that people really care about their work on another level.”


Moneysupermarket Group

As a company who are all about helping households save money, Monseysupermarket Group are also experts in their own right when it comes to retention and what makes people tick. That’s why Clive Smart, Head of Talent Acquisition, loves their holistic physical and mental wellbeing benefits that have a practical impact on their colleague’s wellbeing:

“The benefits at Moneysupermarket Group that I am particularly fond of are a mindfulness app to support mental wellbeing and Virtual GP on demand app, we all know how hard it is to see a Doctor these days!”

Things like this really help take the pressure off when it comes to people finding the time, money or resources to look after themselves and their loved ones. We love this. Simple, but effective - and super useful!

In a world of work where most people will only spend 2-5 years in a role before moving on, we have to accept some level of attrition, but it’s important to make sure that our colleagues are looked after beyond their base salary and job security. Afterall, life doesn’t stop when we close our laptops for the night. Benefits are a great way to help differentiate your offer from your competitors, and if you can align them with other strategies or initiatives such as ED&I or your wider EVP, you’re onto a winner.


I’d love to hear about the best benefit you’ve ever seen on offer, and also a benefit you’d love to see being brought to market!

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