Employers ‘increasingly valuing benefits’ – research

The value of workplace benefits is being increasingly recognised by employees as financial pressures increase, pushing financial wellbeing up the corporate agenda, new research suggests.

A 55 per cent majority of employees highly value the benefits they receive at work, according to MetLife’s UK Employee Benefit Trends Study 2017, up from a figure of 44 per cent when the same research was done two years ago, with 52 per cent of employers saying they understand the personal financial pressures on their employees.

Talent attraction is an increasingly important reason for offering benefits, with 73 per cent of employers using the perk package to attract new talent, compared with 61 per cent in 2015. A significant proportion of firms – 46 per cent – say they expect a talent shortage in the next 12 months.

Employers’ appreciation of physical wellbeing programmes is increasing, with 38 per cent now very satisfied as to their impact compared with 21 per cent in 2015. Around 87 per cent of those that have taken part in such programmes say they have had a positive impact on their health.

The study found 39 per cent of employees believe they are paid fairly for the job they do compared with 25 per cent in the 2015 study.

MetLife head of marketing Jo Elphick says: “The increasing value that employees place on their benefits creates a real opportunity for businesses to align their benefits strategy with their business strategy.  In times of uncertainty employees are looking beyond salary and a well-designed benefits programme can help employers build stronger businesses and succeed in the growing war for talent.”

“Nearly three in four employers are using benefits to attract and retain staff as they worry about the potential risk to their business from a shortage of talent over the next 12 months.”

“Efforts to tackle  physical wellbeing through benefits are bearing fruit for employers but uncertainty over personal finances is emerging as a key challenge. A key goal for employers is to help their staff feel energised and focused at work and addressing employees’ financial concerns  through benefits can help.”