Are UK companies updating their staff on employee benefits?

Employment & Skills | Surveys
Sean McSweeney

Research by Chase de Vere, the independent financial and corporate advisers, in conjunction with Lightbulb, an independent research company, shows that employers risk wasting the money they are spending on employee benefits by not effectively engaging with their employees.

The research, conducted in 2018, consisted of making around 10,000 phone calls to employers which are representative of the UK company population and then conducting in-depth interviews with senior HR decision makers in 300 randomly selected businesses, ranging from 30 to 38,000 employees, to capture their attitude and current perspective on benefit provision.

For what reasons do you provide employee benefits?

  • Important for recruiting and retaining good quality staff – 58%
  • Staff value the benefits reward package – 40%
  • Makes employees feel secure about their jobs – 29%
  • To provide a range of benefits to a diverse workforce – 28%
  • Providing a good range of benefits supports company goals and strategy – 24 %
  • It is cost effective for us to offer –  21%

The results show that companies have very sensible reasons for offering employee benefits. It can be seen that these benefits should be used to support the company strategy by helping them to recruit and retain the right people and for their employees to feel valued and motivated.

What is the most important reason why you provide your current range of employee benefits?

  • Popularity with staff – 30%
  • It is a historical benefits package – 27%
  • Cost – 22%
  • Noty reviewed them yet – 7%
  • Range of choices for employees – 7%
  • Recommended by an adviser or accountant – 7%

Popularity with staff is a great reason for companies to determine which employee benefits to offer. However, by sticking with a historical benefits packages or being dictated by cost it could mean that the benefits offered aren’t those that would be the most valued by employees.

Does your company give regular updates on employee benefits?

  • Yes – 59%
  • no – 41%

While companies understand the reasons why employee benefits can add value to their business, it is disappointing that 41% don’t provide regular updates to their employees. This suggests that the money they are spending may not be appreciated or valued by their employees.

If your company gives regular updates on employee benefits, how often does this happen?

  • Weekly updates – 3%
  • Monthly updates – 25%
  • Quarterly updates – 33%
  • Annual updates – 39%

Of the companies that give regular updates, 39% provide these only on an annual basis, which means that employees may not be fully engaged with their benefits.

In which ways do you communicate with staff about employee benefits and pensions?

  • Individual personalised letters – 57%
  • Induction pack – 56%
  • Online communications – 43%
  • Staff handbook – 38%
  • Meetings – 32%
  • Noticeboards – 17%
  • Payroll – 16%
  • Automated trigger letters – 11%
  • Seminars – 5%

It is positive that companies are using a range of mediums to communicate with their employees. However, most of these methods don’t provide the opportunity for employee feedback or engagement, which means that the benefits offered may not be truly understood or valued.

Sean McSweeney, Corporate Advice Manager, Chase de Vere, said: “Employers understand the rationale behind offering employee benefits packages and how these can help them to achieve their strategic goals.

“However, many companies are likely to be wasting money by not engaging effectively with their employees. This could be through not reviewing their benefits packages to ensure that employees value them, not providing regular updates and not using communication mediums which allow for interaction and engagement with their employees.

“What this means is those companies that do put in the time and effort to listen to their employees and that provide benefits which are valued and communicate effectively, will have a competitive advantage in terms of recruiting and retaining the best employees for their business.”

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