01 Aug Research shows benefits are increasingly valuable to employers
Life assurance provider, Met Life, has recently released its annual study of workplace benefits. The findings revealed that the value of workplace benefits is being increasingly recognised by employees as financial pressures increase, pushing financial wellbeing up the corporate agenda.
According to MetLife’s UK Employee Benefit Trends Study 2017, a 55 per cent majority of employees highly value the benefits they receive at work, 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.
These findings certainly reflect trends in society, which unfortunately do include rising inflation and stagnating wage growth. The value of these benefits should be appreciated, but this has previously been where many employers fall down. Appreciation levels in this research are historically higher than in other recent studies, which indicates increased understanding of the benefits available. Financial education programmes are certainly helping to deliver this understanding.
If there’s one thing you can guarantee in these surveys, it’s that people feel they’re underpaid. In this example, for two out of five employees to feel they’re paid fairly is surprising. This could change in the coming months if, as predicted, inflation bites.
The expected talent shortage could be down to concerns about Brexit, but along with anticipated inflation it does amplify the need to compete in the market – and employee benefits are a big part of what firms can offer their people, both to join in the first place and then to stay.
Wren Sterling specialises in aligning workplace benefits to unique workforce demographics and your business objectives.