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Annie Hayes

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Bosses fail to match benefit expectations

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Employers are being urged to reconsider the employee benefits they offer as new research reveals benefits are failing to match with workers’ lifestyles.

The survey by pay and benefits specialist Croner Reward highlighted the fact that although employers offer many different perks, just over half (52.9 per cent) admitted employees were not utilising the benefits because they did not fit in with their individual lifestyle requirements.

According to the study, out of the top five benefits offered by employers, only two appear in employees’ top five most desired perks.

Company pension and death in service top the list of employer-favoured benefits at 93.1 per cent and 72.4 per cent respectively. However, figures differ greatly for employees with 80.4 per cent of employees viewing the company pension scheme as important, and 29.9 per cent viewing death in service as a priority perk.

Nearly half of employees would like to have the benefit of private medical insurance and 33.6 per cent would like to be able to work flexitime, both of which are not widely offered by employers.

Croner offers the following benefits tips:

  • Consider the needs of both the business and employees: Achieving a balance between the two will help maintain a stable working relationship between employer and employee.

  • Review the current company benefits scheme: Decide what needs to be changed and what can remain the same.

  • Involve staff: Involve staff in agreeing working patterns in line with the ebb and flow of business. Show workers that their needs are being considered by conducting an internal survey. This will give you, as an employer, an insight into exactly what your workforce require, making the review process a little easier.

  • Achieve a benefits balance: Try to achieve a balance between offering the more traditional benefits, such as a pension scheme and the ‘softer’ benefits, such as flexitime and duvet days.

  • Have clear policies on benefits and fully brief line managers: Explain the details of the benefits to line managers and ensure that they implement the organisation’s policies fairly.

  • Improve recruitment processes: When recruiting new talent, ensure that recruiters emphasise the benefits opportunities, setting them out in a clear manner so that prospective candidates are fully aware of what the company can offer them.

  • Measure results: Establish benchmarks for recruitment, retention and absence, and measure these regularly to establish the effect the new scheme has had on the workforce.

  • Count the cost: Estimate the cost of implementing new benefits as it is important to recover the investment.

  • Review: Review on a regular basis how the benefits operate to ensure that operations are not compromised, all staff have equal opportunities, and that expected business improvements have materialised.

  • Allow for change: In your policies, ensure that there are provisions for future change to meet developing business needs.

Andrew Walker, at Croner Reward, said: “Although an important factor to all employees, we are increasingly seeing that workers are not solely motivated by money. With modern day lifestyles becoming ever more demanding, employees are looking to employers to help them achieve that essential work-life balance, whether it is by allowing them to work more flexibly or through something like free health care.

“Businesses can help employees achieve this balance by regularly reviewing their schemes and bringing them up to date with the requirements of their employees,” he added.


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Annie Hayes

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