Employers in the UK and Ireland are at risk of losing staff over unsatisfactory benefits packages, according to new research by Boundless.

More than eight out of ten (84%) UK and Irish employees are unhappy with their employers’ current benefits package.

More than half would consider switching jobs in the future to get a better benefits package.

While more than eight out of ten employees would consider changing jobs for a better salary, 55 percent would also consider a move for a more competitive benefits package.

The vast majority (90%) of employees take the benefits package into account when considering a new job and more than a third (37%) would move roles to secure specific desired benefits not offered by their current employer.

Dee Coakley, CEO and co-founder of Boundless, says: “In today’s hyper-competitive and increasingly global job market, it’s key that employers consider how well they are satisfying employee expectations around benefits, the areas they need to improve, and how they’re adapting to the changing requirements of a more flexible and demanding workforce. For example, only 10 percent currently give employees an allowance to choose their benefits as they please.”

 

What are the top benefits employers can offer?

According to employees, the top five benefits offered by their organisation are pension, mental health support, flexible work, education/training and additional annual leave.

However, the study revealed a disconnect between the benefits being offered versus what employees desire, with a four-day working week topping the list from those surveyed. Healthcare, additional paid parental leave, family and home and transport benefits are also high on employees’ wishlists.

This demonstrates the breadth of different benefits sought after by employees according to their life circumstances and preferences.

 

One size does not fit all

According to Boundless, the research suggests that a ‘one size fits all’ approach to benefits – i.e. offering the same benefits package to all employees – is no longer fit for purpose, and employees are more than willing to leave a company if their benefits needs are not met.

Fortunately, employers are now waking up to this risk and recognising the need to change how benefits are managed in their organisation – particularly those employing overseas workers in remote-only roles.

More than half (52%) of HR directors offer a flexible benefits plan, while a further 16 percent would like to empower employees to manage their own benefits allowance.

 

 

Flexible and remote working are here to stay

The research also highlights the extent to which, in the aftermath of the pandemic, flexible working is now commonplace across organisations.

Many employers have stepped up to support remote working, with home office equipment, mental health provision, and money towards co-working spaces or WFH bills and expenses for employees.

Currently, almost half (45%) of employees enjoy flexible working hours, 38 percent location flexibility and 15 percent the ability to choose their own benefits, and the study shows that employees are craving even more flexibility over both their roles and remuneration.

Almost three quarters (73%) said flexible hours are important to them, while 57 percent prioritise location flexibility and 35 percent feel flexible benefits are key. Crucially, seven out of ten employees said they would consider changing jobs for greater flexibility.

“Most organisations recognise that remote working is here to stay – this is no longer a new concept,” Coakley adds. “However, there remains a big gap between the flexibility employers are offering and what employees are demanding. The organisations that take note of this will be the big winners when it comes to attracting and retaining talent.”

 

 

 

 

 

Editor at HRreview

Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview. With a master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.