What Employees Want From Their Employee Benefit Schemes

Over time, the working environment changes. With this, so do employee expectations. This goes beyond the way we work, with employees desiring new employee benefits and different reward strategies.

Meet the needs of your workforce and you increase engagement and motivation and keep your employees happy. Happy employees are productive employees, so by meeting the ever-changing needs of your workforce, you increase business productivity too.

So where exactly does the UK now stand on employee benefits?

 

What employee benefit schemes do people want most?

Unsurprisingly, competitive pay and employee benefits factors highly into an employee’s decision to join and stay at a company. According to CareerBuilder, 32% of workers are looking to change jobs in 2019, citing low pay and lack of benefits as the main reason. As well as this, 72% of employees said having more work benefits would increase job satisfaction.

Forbes concluded that there are three other main benefits as to why employees choose to start and remain at a place of work. This includes permanent flexibility, commitment to health and wellbeing and working with a purpose.

Regardless of industry, flexibility remains incredibly important to employees and job seekers. The 2018 Global Talent Trends study found that 51% of employees wish their company offered more flexible work options. Whether it’s flexible schedules or working from home, flexibility helps employees maintain a healthy work-life balance, reducing workplace stress and boosting mental wellbeing and productivity.

As workplace expectations have evolved, workplace wellness initiatives are on the increase. Through these benefits, employers can show employees that they truly care about their health and well-being. Forbes also concluded that one in two employees would like to see a greater emphasis on wellbeing in their company, including physical, psychological and financial wellness.

One of the most underrated desires of a modern-day workforce is the need for purpose. According to Forbes, many employees often feel that they are just working to receive money and aren’t contributing to the greater good of society. Working with a sense of purpose boosts employee motivation, productivity, morale and overall job satisfaction.

Different studies have shown that different employee benefits matter the most. That’s because they do. At the end of the day, your benefits work dependent on your workplace. Depending on your employees, industry and location, your business will need to offer unique employee benefits. Yet, traditional workplace benefits continue to remain popular. The key is a tailored approach to your employee benefits offering.

 

What new employee benefits are in demand?

Although traditional benefits remain popular, there has been a slow emergence of new, atypical benefits that are desired in the workplace.

According to Metro, one of the newest benefits are ‘duvet days.’ This benefit essentially allows employees to take a day off, no questions asked. They offer a great opportunity for your employees to take a break during difficult times. Time 4 Sleep found that 61% of participants have taken a duvet day to recover from a hectic work schedule, with tiredness, anxiety and stress being the main reasons.

Another emerging benefit, ‘wellness allowance’, works as part of the traditional wellbeing strategy. In the UK, a wellbeing allowance of £500 a year can be spent on wellbeing initiatives such as gym memberships, fitness equipment, mindfulness courses, retreats, personal training sessions, meditation courses, life coaching, sleep therapy and financial advice. The benefits purchases must be something that employees can specifically set a goal for and report back on their progress.

 

Why do people not take advantage of the employee benefits on offer?

If your employees are not engaging with your benefits, perhaps your employee’s want something different from what you offer or perhaps they are not aware of the benefits your business provide.

Technology can help regardless of reasoning. Through online platforms such as Smart Hive, you will receive statistical data about how many of your employees are using your benefits. They also act as a message board, pushing communication out about your reward strategy. Find out more about the analysis and development of employee benefits.

 

Does your benefit system need improving?

All good businesses should have a good benefits system – it really is integral to your wider business strategy in attracting and retaining employees.

However, if there is a lack of interest in your employee benefits offering, perhaps it is time to refresh your reward strategy. Research into what employees want has allowed us to conclude that there are many main factors you may want to consider when building the base of your strategy:

 

Consider: the commute.

Where is your business located? How does your workforce get there?

Run polls through email or ask your employees face to face to gather detailed statistics about how your staff get into the office in the morning.

If a large percentage of your employees’ cycle to work, perhaps you should offer a cycle to work scheme. If, many of your workforce drive, car leasing schemes may be beneficial.

 

Consider: the wellness revolution.

Like we stated previously, wellness is integral to achieving a work-life balance and improving motivation, employee satisfaction and productivity in the workplace. Ask your employees about what factors of wellness they are most concerned with. Is it their physical health? Can you offer benefits such as gym discounts?

What about financial wellbeing? Or Employee Assistance Programmes to support with mental wellbeing?

 

Consider: social life.

Company events and social outgoings improve your business’s company culture while enabling your workforce to get to know each other outside of the office environment.

Social benefits do not necessarily have to be related to work. For example, you may want to offer discounts to restaurants or the cinema through Smart Hive, which allows your employees to enjoy their time outside of work at a discounted rate.

If you are interested in finding out more about the different employee benefits you can offer, call us on 0330 333 9100 or email us at information@busybeesbenefits.com.