If you offer your employees benefits & perks as part of their package that's definitely a wise move - they may be even more valuable than you realise. And if you don't currently offer benefits & perks, this note is definitely for you!
I read an interesting comment from the Manchester Chamber of Commerce a few weeks ago. It said “Current UK unemployment of 4.8% is perhaps as low as it may ever fall – it means that there is NO large willing and able pool of spare labour from which to draw”.
Yes, we’re close to full employment here in the UK, and since that GMCC comment, the pool of available labour has actually fallen even lower in July 2017 to 4.5% .
Over 95% of the available workforce is currently in employment and that means there isn’t much labour capacity left for growing businesses. And with fewer European workers planning to come here (and many going back home) to fill our skill shortages post Brexit, it could well get worse before it gets better.
So it’s all the more important that employers know how to attract good employees and then KEEP their staff happy in their work.
One of the popular ways to attract and (in particular) keep the best talent is by offering benefits & perks to supplement earnings. But how do we make sure the benefits package really does it’s job in helping retain staff, and delivers value for money? Offering the right perks is critical!
We don’t see much guidance on what employees REALLY value when it comes to benefits & perks, so recent research by Jobwise made interesting reading. They canvassed 1000 employees across the UK for their views, asked some interesting questions and got some highly valuable answers!
It’s quite a lengthy report (too lengthy to fully reproduce here) but here’s a couple of the most telling questions they asked and, in order of popularity, the fascinating answers the employees gave.
Question 1. AS AN EMPLOYEE, HOW DOES A GOOD BENEFITS PACKAGE MAKE YOU FEEL?
Answers by volume:
- (1) More motivated and happier
- (2) Feel valued by the company
- (3) More likely to stay with the company
And the one I was most keen to read...
Question 2. WHICH BENEFITS ARE YOU MOST INTERESTED IN?
Answers by volume:
- (1) More annual holiday - 52%
- (2) Enhanced pension scheme - 48%
- (3) Flexible working - 45%
- (4) Private healthcare - 34%
- (5) Free or subsidised lunches - 24%
- (=6) Travelcard scheme – 19%
- (=6) Gym membership - 19%
- (8) Social events (e.g. parties, away days) - 18%
- (=9) Mental health and stress support – 17%
- (=9) Office-based perks (e.g. free fruit, games room) – 17%
- (11) Wellbeing perks (e.g. yoga classes, at-desk-massages) – 15%
- (=12) Childcare vouchers – 10%
- (=12) Cycle scheme – 10%
Of course we have to bear in mind that results of surveys like this are "an indication" not gospel.
There will always be differences between the wants and needs of individuals and between sectors, and in particular, the authors noted some interesting differences between age groups, geographic regions and professions. Here’s an example:
- Engineers stressed the importance to them of training and professional development.
- People in London had a particular liking for Gym membership.
- Workers aged over 45 say that a better work/life balance is their priority, and
- Professional services & IT sector workers expressed a strong preference flexible or work-from-home option.
So, how do you make a Benefits & Perks package suit everyone? Here's food for thought…
How about a Multiple-Choice, Flexible benefits & perks package with a ‘points’ score applied to each benefit, based on cost. The points available to each category of employee could be graded or scaled according to job type, seniority etc.
So, for a junior engineer you may grant them 1000 points to ‘spend’, whilst a long serving senior engineer may be granted 2000 points, and so on. They choose from the benefits & perks menu, tailor the package to suit their needs and ‘spend’ their points for maximum personal return.
Worth considering? I’ll leave you to ponder that one.
In closing, I return to the point made at the start of this missive.
The latest published stats say over 95% of the available workforce is currently in employment, so do you agree it’s important employers know how to attract good employees and then KEEP their staff happy? OK, now take another look above at the answers to the question “As an employee, how does a good benefits package make you feel?” The answers employees gave to that question says it all !
NOTE. The full report is too big to host here but I have the original if you’d like a copy. Just call 0161 408 6110 or drop me a message here http://theworkpoint.net/contact/ and I’ll happily forward it to you.