All businesses want to ensure that they attract and retain the best candidates, and implement procedures to ensure the greatest level of productivity. One way to do this is to implement a competitive benefit package (perks at work). For a lot of organisations the cost of benefits is in excess of 20% of salary.
66% of staff said they would be more likely to stay with an employer that offered good benefits, and over a third report that perks at work are the most important consideration before accepting a job. There is a growing trend for organisations to offer quirky benefits in an effort to attract and retain staff. A study of global workers by Sage, however, uncovered what people really want from their employers. The UK findings show the disconnect between the benefits employers provide and what employees want. This failure to listen is costing UK businesses in the form of reduced productivity levels and a disengaged workforce.
A strong, relevant and well-communicated benefits package not only helps employers make sure they get the pick of employees at recruitment, but can also help them retain happy, committed workers. However, it’s important to ensure that your benefits package is relevant to your workforce. Just because it works for Google doesn’t mean it works for you. Only 9% of employees believe company outings are a valuable benefit and 6% said office games, such as ping-pong, were a valued part of their work experience. In fact, in some cases people felt these ‘games’ were doing more harm than good: with over half saying they are distracting and experience decreased productivity.
Productivity is a major issue for businesses, the research showed that more than half of respondents say they’re productive in their role for less than 30 hours per week. Distractions, such as a ping pong table and company outings, could therefore be adding to the productivity issue businesses are facing rather than solving it. Crucially, those surveyed stated they wanted their opinions on workforce experiences heard in the workplace, yet many organisations don’t proactively consult their employees. Almost half of UK workers have never been asked for their input by their employers, and only 13% are asked on a regular basis.
Developing and managing workforce experiences has the power to drastically improve recruitment, retention and productivity. Businesses’ HR practices are key here to support the implementation of a flexible and voluntary benefit package in line with a more individualised approach to reward. The personalisation and flexibility of such schemes can address the diverse needs of the workforce, and also provide a cost-effective approach to benefits provision.
Not everyone needs the same perks at work. At different times of life, and in different family situations, different things are important. When creating or reviewing a benefits package, employers need to consider the demographic of their workforce and employees need to think about whether the benefits they have are the right ones for them. It is also important for employers to know what other organisations are doing and decide what is right for the candidates that they are targeting.
Paul Burin, VP at Sage People said “Organisations need to make it a priority to know what motivates and drives their people, and work with them to create positive experiences so that their people are doing their best work.”