Employee Benefits: What we’re Really Thinking
Findings in our most recent survey showed that only 24% of employees are happy with their current benefits package, meaning a resounding three quarters of us are not.
Could it be that our career expectations have changed? Or do long hours and feeling stressed mean greater numbers of us need healthcare benefits and flexi-time than ever before?
Healthcare for all
For the 2000 people surveyed, a paid healthcare package was the most important benefit, with 21% of employees selecting this as their top choice. Interestingly though, employees stated that they thought healthcare packages were the responsibility of their companies, but the majority of those surveyed didn’t currently receive this benefit. So, should a paid healthcare package be a standard entitlement?
According to the survey, people are being provided with a benefits package that doesn’t respond to their requirements, and employers must recognise this.
It has also been suggested that a tailored benefits package could result in loyalty from staff and longevity within an organisation. However, there does seem to be a difference across age groups as to which benefits are most important to them.
Should we be addressing individuals and providing a more specific type of benefits package? The figures suggested that younger employees’ preferences sit with healthcare, gym memberships and an open holiday policy when compared to over 55s. The middle age group, on the other hand, rated flexible working more highly, while those aged 44 and above ranked having a company pension as the most important benefit to them. So, as the survey indicates, our age and situation does have an influence on what we perceive as the most important benefits, and to grow as a business, we may have to consider tailoring our offering to the individual, no matter how admin-heavy the task.
Pensions are important too
Company pensions were considered the second most significant benefit to employees, with 19% selecting this option. The survey also found that nearly half of respondents weren’t offered a pension as part of their employment package prior to the government introduction of mandatory pensions.
Weird and wonderful
Though many were not offered the chance to opt into a company pension scheme, or reap the rewards of an employment healthcare programme, there were more unusual benefits on offer to the employees surveyed. Egg freezing for fertility, having a fruit bowl and bringing a pet to work were some of the more weird and wonderful, but these all fell short of what employees actually wanted. Bringing a pet to work was actually thought to be the most poorly-valued workplace benefit, with 17% thinking so.
Though many of us may think that employees will be attracted to the more obscure and competitive benefits on offer, what we actually look for is the more traditional package of healthcare, bonuses and pensions. It’s up to companies to ensure that the flexibility and choice that employees’ desire is put into practice, in return for loyal service.
This article was first published on 11th December 2015.
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