How employers are missing the mark with employee benefits

Almost half of employers do not measure how useful their benefits are to staff.

According to new research by Group Risk Development (GRiD), the group risk protection industry body, 42 per cent of companies do not measure staff appreciation of benefits.

Typically, benefits that are offered to staff include perks such as gym memberships, free food and beverages in the office, health insurance, and dental plans.

However, GriD insists that companies which are failing to measure staff reaction to these benefits are “missing a trick” as they are disregarding a vital tool for recruiting new staff and retaining valued employees.

The advantages of measuring staff appreciation give employers insight, this shows which benefits are understood and if they have any value for the employee. As well as making staff feel engaged and more appreciative towards the benefits that they do receive.

Considering the amount of time and resources that are used to offer benefits to staff, GRiD believes it is in the employer’s best interest to figure out which benefits are relevant and valued, both to the workforce overall and also to specific demographics.

Additionally, asking staff which benefits they like and use will make them feel listened to. Not only this but statistics show that asking these questions leads to greater staff appreciation of the benefits offered. Of the companies that do measure staff appreciation, over half (55 per cent) believe that their staff do value the benefits offered. Conversely, of those companies who do not measure staff appreciation of benefits, only a quarter (25 per cent) believe that staff value the benefits offered.

According to research by Gallagher, a global insurance consulting services firm, despite 72 per cent of UK organisations expressing their intention to enhance the benefits they are offering, only one fifth (20 per cent) of organisations allow their workforce to customise their individual benefit packages. Gallagher’s report states that employers should “trust and empower employees to make decisions that are right for them, their team and their work.”

Nick Burns, CEO at Gallagher’s employee benefits consulting division, UK, said:

It’s long been accepted that the brand experience an organisation creates — the way it looks, feels and acts on the outside — is vital to attracting new business. A shift that many don’t yet recognise is how it looks, feels and acts on the inside is now just as important.

Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, said:

The more that companies understand which benefits resonate with their staff, the easier it is for them to make decisions about future benefits.

When employers don’t measure how much their benefits are valued, they’re only really doing half a job. Offering them is one thing, but it’s crucial that employers know which ones are adding value to their company.

Understanding what staff need is key to ensuring that what’s offered is relevant.

We’d also encourage employers to talk to their advisers about help they can give in this area. Advisers see it as important that the benefits they recommend are appreciated and being utilised by employees. They often have tried-and-tested ways to help employers with the seemingly onerous task of investigating the relevance of benefits.