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Why Innovative Employee Benefits Are Your Competitive Advantage

A shortage of skilled workers remains a challenge. South African SMEs, in particular, have found themselves in a race to attract and retain scarce talent.

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Samantha Jagdessi
Samantha Jagdessi

Samantha Jagdessi, Head of Benefits Consulting at Old Mutual Corporate Consultants

Vital stats

The 2017 Old Mutual Corporate SME Employee Benefits Monitor revealed that the provision of employee benefit solutions can be a significant source of competitive advantage. However, the research also found that SMEs perceive employee benefits as another cost or administrative burden to ‘comply’ with.

This isn’t the case

Retaining a talented workforce is crucial for business success. Frequent staff turnover can have a negative impact on employee morale, productivity and company revenue. Studies predict that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it can cost between six to 24 months of the salary — depending on the role.

While well-resourced corporates tend to hold the advantage over SMEs in offering better benefits, SMEs can tailor their benefits package to suit their means, giving them a competitive advantage. But, while the Monitor shows that SMEs acknowledge the value and role that employee benefits can play, this isn’t translating into action, as only 32% have retirement funding on their agenda.

Related: With the Right Incentives Loyal Customers Will Become Brand Advocates

There is a perception that the costs and administration outweigh the benefits — this is despite the various affordable solutions available that support businesses of all sizes, ranging from a five-man executive team business to a 100+ strong employee base.

A new generation of retirement fund models, such as Umbrella Funds (multi-employer retirement funds), have dramatically lowered the ‘burden’ to employers and decreased costs thanks to the economy of scale created by group participation.

To further support SMEs in delivering tangible benefits of retirement provision, professional employee benefit consultants are also available at a minimal fee to provide support, appropriate advice, education and communication tools.

When implementing an employee benefit structure, there are three aspects to consider:

1How the retirement provision will be funded

SME decision-makers need to consider whether the business will contribute toward employees’ savings fully, partially or only manage the administration thereof.

While the introduction of enabling retirement saving will ensure positive outcomes for staff, debt-burdened staff may struggle financially should they experience a dramatic decrease in take-home pay in favour of contributing to long-term retirement savings.

To avoid such an instance, decision-makers could consider using a percentage of their staff’s annual increase to fund retirement provision before they grow accustomed to an increase in salary. Other options that have often worked for a mixed workforce (blue- and white-collar workers), is a ‘like-for-like’ funding model where the employer matches the contribution made by the employee.

Related: 3 Ways Workplace Gamification Can Backfire – And How To Avoid Them

2Levels of flexibility required by staff and associated costs

By limiting choices available to low-income employees (who tend to rely on their employer to make responsible financial decisions on their behalf), administrative costs can be reduced, passing on more value to employees.

White-collar workers, however, generally want more flexibility and control over their investments. A good retention strategy for companies employing highly skilled workers is to offer staff some control over their contribution level, investment choice and risk benefits.

Another option, often implemented in a mixed workplace, is purchasing advanced payroll software that allows staff to individually tailor their contribution level. The initial costs associated with this offering can offset the degree of flexibility required to encourage positive relations with all profiles of employees.

3Are your staff investment-savvy and what level of support is required?

White-collar workers tend to have greater levels of formal education and are in a better position to take responsibility for their own retirement provisions. Often highly digitally connected, these employees have sufficient access to information required to make good decisions. However, when needing assistance, they generally demand immediate individual attention.

Blue-collar employees generally display higher rates of consumer vulnerability. With limited access to the Internet, they rely on the fiduciary duty of trustees and decision-makers to make good decisions on their behalf.

Related: 10 Traits Of Managers Whose Teams Are Happy To Come To Work

In a workplace with both white- and blue-collar workers, hands-on seminars and workshops should be facilitated by trained employee benefit consultants to bridge the gap in education and financial confidence.

When making these decisions, it can be beneficial to seek expert advice. Employee benefit consultants can assist in advising on the best structure for a specific business or workforce — one which not only delivers positive retirement outcomes for its staff, but also delivers on long-term strategic goals for their business.

Old Mutual is a Licensed Financial Services Provider.

Old Mutual offers investment products, life and disability cover, funeral plans, short term insurance, financial advice and loans. We also offer business-to-business solutions such as asset management, employee benefits and insurance for your business.

Company Posts

With Hundreds Of Franchise Options Out There, Choose The One You Can Trust

If you’re looking to invest in a business venture that offers you years of experience in the industry, the trust and loyalty of its customers, and franchise support from an expert team – then Hi-Q is the one for you.

HI-Q

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What you’ll become a part of

Since opening their doors in 1999, Hi-Q has gone from strength to strength, growing a humble three store enterprise into an extensive 130-store franchise network with a unique multi-product and multi-services automotive offering.

Hi-Q’s approach to business is centred around being ‘the one you can trust’ to their customers, their suppliers and their franchisees.

“That has always been the key driver in everything we do,” says Sean Harrison, Hi-Q’s Managing Director. “For example, when it comes to our customers, they need to know they can rely on us to put their safety first.

Related: Don’t Tread On Toes – Why Investing In A HIQ Franchise Will Offer You More Opportunities

That we’ll always strive to offer them expert, friendly service and top of the range products, while also keeping up-to-date with the latest technologies and advancements in our field.”

An acclaimed and awarded brand

Hi-Q has again and again proven themselves to be a leader in the industry.

They’ve been voted South Africa’s No.1 tyre retailer for eight consecutive years (2010 – 2017) by consumers in the Ask Africa Icon Brands Survey, the biggest of its kind in Africa – a clear indication that they are respected and trusted by their customers.

Business support

Hi-Q Franchisees all have the support of an expert and knowledgeable team with years of experience in the industry, who are available to guide them on their business venture. This includes areas of business such as marketing/promotional, commercial, organisational structure, tools and equipment, sales and more.

Franchisees also have access to various skills training opportunities for members of their team.
Hi-Q is invested in providing their network with the tools needed to thrive and grow in an ever-challenging market.

Relationship with Goodyear

Hi-Q has the support and backing of international tyre of multinational premium tyre manufacturer, Goodyear, and its full value proposition. This means access to incredible promotional and marketing opportunities in partnership with the brand.

Franchising opportunities

Hi-Q has embarked on an extensive expansion plan and have identified areas of opportunity to extend their Franchise footprint growth countrywide.

You’ll find more information on our website www.hiq.co.za We’d like to invite those who are interested to become part of our team to contact 011 663 2431 or bernie_andrews@goodyear.co.za

Related: We Want To Invite You To Join Us On The Hi-Q Journey And Become A Franchisee

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Company Posts

Get The Edge This Winter

Five short courses from WITS kicking off in July will give you the competitive edge.

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From Gauteng’s most trusted provider of the best learning experiences, come five WITS-curated courses starting in July 2019. Use the longer, colder days to curl up with a “good book” and emerge from winter with a new edge.

There are three online short courses offered via the WITS Digital Campus, starting 15 July.

Managing Labour Relations

This 10 week course will equip you with sound knowledge of South Africa’s complex labour landscape and an understanding of your legal rights as an employee or employer.

You will also learn skills for navigating employer / employee relationships successfully, and get tools for managing disputes effectively. There are eight modules, covered in online lectures over eight weeks, requiring a commitment of five to seven hours per week. The exam is in week 10.

Logistics and Supply Chain Management Practice

This 10 week course is packed with practical and theoretical information to help retail managers, supply chain supervisors, stock controllers and even CEOs drive efficiencies in the value chain.

It covers everything from improving exporting transportation, warehousing, order processing and procurement to financial management and managing waste. There are eight modules, covered in online lectures over eight weeks, requiring a commitment of five to seven hours per week. The exam is in week 10.

Applied Digital Marketing

We operate in an increasingly digital world and traditional marketing must include digital aspects and channels to be relevant.

This 10 week course will teach you to think digital, talk digital and deliver effective digital campaigns to elevate marketing and brand-building initiatives. You will learn to conceptualise and implement successful digital marketing strategies that drive customer acquisition, optimise your digital footprint and deliver business results.

There are eight modules, covered in online lectures over eight weeks, requiring a commitment of five to seven hours per week. The exam is in week 10.

Related: Thinking of Immigrating to America from SA? Now Is The Time

Comprehensive onsite courses in July include:

Real Estate Investment Analysis

This intensive five day course is for people who have been introduced to the real estate discipline at NQF 4 and NQF 5 levels. It is designed to provide higher level, more focused training as well as tools for analysing different types of real estate investments at the individual asset level, and measuring investment performance.

The course will benefit property practitioners who do not have property degrees; past graduates of SAPOA programmes in different aspects of the real estate business and people from different disciplinary backgrounds considering entering the profession.  The course takes place over five days from 1 to 5 July 2019.

Advanced Performance Management

Presented by the School of Accountancy together with Wits Enterprise, this course is designed to prepare students for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Professional level exams.

On completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Use strategic planning and control models to plan and monitor organisational performance
  • Assess and identify key external influences on organisational performance
  • Apply strategic performance measurement techniques in evaluating and improving organisational performance
  • Advise on business performance evaluation as well as recognize vulnerability to corporate failure

The course will run from 15 July to 22 October 2019.

For more information on registering for any of these courses, criteria for registering, and costs, visit.

Related: The Importance of Outsourcing Your Payroll

This article was originally posted on Entrepreneur.com/sa.

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Accounting & Payroll

The Importance of Outsourcing Your Payroll

One of an organisation’s biggest overheads is that of salaries and wages. And yet, if these are not processed on time, it can negatively impact staff morale and create the impression that the company is not financially stable.

CRS HR And Payroll Solutions

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For a small business, payroll is normally the responsibility of an accountant or bookkeeper, but even administrators can sometimes be roped in to do the job, even though they have no expertise in the matter. This is where the value of outsourcing your payroll comes in.

When should you outsource?

  • If you want to grow your business but are not aware of ongoing legislative changes that could pose a risk to your company, then it is better to get professionals to assist.
  • Accountants and bookkeepers are not specialists and do not keep up with the compliance environment. If you outsource your payroll, you enable them to focus their core duties and not get bogged down by legislative complexities.

How to choose an outsourced service provider

Understandably, payroll is a sensitive subject dealing with highly confidential information.

This is often the last thing a small business owner wants to outsource. It is therefore vital that the company does its homework and researches the potential outsourcing partner thoroughly.

Instead of going with the first available service provider or the cheapest one, here are some questions to ask:

  • Is the service provider a one-man band and, if so, what backup resources are available?
  • Is the service provider a recognised payroll provider belonging to a professional body?
  • Do they have the necessary training and skills on payroll?
  • What does the service provider do to ensure it stays up to date with legislation?
  • How secure is the payroll data and can the service provider take on historic data?
  • How easy is it to recover your payroll data in the event of a disaster?
  • What value-adds can the service provider offer? These can include anything from leave management and third-party payments, to employee self-service, time and attendance management, and any other related human resource service.
  • Can they process salaries and/or wages hourly, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly?
  • Can the service provider accommodate your growth requirements if you open new branches?
  • Is the service provider able to assist with payrolls in other African countries, manage their currencies, and deal with their regulatory environments?
  • What processes are in place to ensure the timeous processing of payrolls?

The advantages of outsourcing your payroll

One of the most obvious benefits of going the outsourcing route is freeing up your resources to focus on your core strategic objectives. This ensures you provide quality of service and control costs while an experienced partner takes care of your payroll.

Here are a few other benefits:

  • Reduce operating costs.
  • Statutory compliance and consistent service delivery.
  • Access to the latest technology, as well as skilled and dedicated payroll resources.
  • Access to a secure, risk-free and confidential payroll environment.
  • Increased flexibility and responsiveness.
  • Streamlined internal processes and procedures.

This article was originally posted on Entrepreneur.com/sa.

Related: Thinking of Immigrating to America from SA? Now Is The Time

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