Are you confident that the benefits you offer are the benefits your staff want and value?
When joining a new company having a great range of benefits is a high priority for candidates. Recent research of 2,000 full time and part time employees conducted by Benenden, a health and wellbeing provider, found 56% of respondents value a strong benefits package when choosing a new employer. The study found 76% of employees believe their employer should do more to support them with benefits and less than a quarter (24%) felt happy with their current benefits package.
Perhaps surprisingly, healthcare was found to be the most valued benefit with 21%, closely followed by company pension at 19% and 10% for monetary bonus. Understandably there were some obvious differences between generations. Employees aged between 18-44 believe employer provided healthcare to be of most value. Whereas older employees, aged 45+, think the most of a pension scheme. Employees aged 35-44 and 45-54 appreciate flexible working more than their younger counterparts. And 8% younger workers (compared with 1% of those 55+) preferred gym memberships and unlimited holiday with 5% (against 1%).
With 28% of those surveyed stating that a strong benefits package would make them more loyal, boost their morale (23%) and feel cared for by their employer (23%). Benefits are essential tools for recruitment and retention. It’s key to understand your employees’ wants and needs, and what you can do to implement the right benefit provisions.
Are you confident that the benefits you offer are ones your staff want and value? If you answered no, then it’s time to find out what motivates your employees. Give them a voice by asking what they want – conduct staff surveys, hold focus groups, run HR forums, have a suggestion box in the canteen, schedule regular 1 on 1s – you’ll hear just what your employees value most and what they really want.
Consider your overall benefits package and what changes you can make to ensure that you can offer benefits that employees value. Review your benefit spend and ROI; benefits should maximise the value to employees at the right expense to you. To help manage the cost of benefits you could consider making use of salary sacrifice, or even introduce voluntary or subsidised benefits.
Having a great range of benefits is essential for any recruitment and retention strategy, when you can attract and retain the best candidates then you are sure of a strong workforce. Whilst it’s becoming more common for companies to introduce striking and unusual benefits in the hope of attracting a wide workforce, it is important to remember what works for the people in your organisation.