If your company has an employee benefits package, is it offering your employees what they really want? For employers finding the right employee benefits scheme that helps to motivate and retain staff and that employees actually want can be quite a difficult task, particularly when there are discrepancies between what employers care about and what matters most to employees.

Most employers would agree that employees are crucial to the success of a business. Therefore finding an employee benefits package that helps to reward and retain these employees should be a priority.

Aside from pension schemes, the most popular benefit schemes in the UK are:

Annual/performance based bonuses

Within the private sector the most popular benefit offered by employers is annual or performance based benefits. However most employees acknowledged that whilst pensions were the second most popular employee benefit overall, it is the most effective way to save for retirement.

Currently in the private sector the top five important factors for an employee are; salary, flexibility and work-life balance, team morale, actually enjoying the work they do, and good facilities and work environment.

What employees value the most from an employee benefits package varies with age.  Younger generations tend to value an annual bonus or performance reviewed bonus whereas older generations that are closer to retirement age value pensions. Although those aged 25-34 value annual bonuses over a pension scheme a pension plan is still considered an attractive benefit.

Graduates and entry level employees are more likely to value non-financial benefits like gym membership than a pension scheme or health insurance.

Furthermore generation x and generation y employees would like more varied opportunities for money saving benefits and investments. 

By gaining insights into what best attracts and helps retain employees, employers can offer a robust benefits package that effectively works for the company.   

Education and communication is essential for employees to effectively understand their employee benefits scheme and how it benefits them. Communication also enables employers to understand what their employees really want out of an employee benefits package. A flexible benefits scheme that is tailored to your workforce’s needs helps to reduce benefits spend whilst enhancing the effectiveness of the scheme.

Implementing a flexible employee benefits scheme that is targeted to your workforce’s needs, helps to strengthen employee engagement, motivation and productivity.