New research suggests a reverse in the trend of benefits becoming less important to employee

flexible working

Research in the annual Capita Employee Benefits Insight Report suggests that almost three quarters (69%) of employees say they are more likely to stay with an employer that offers a good employee package, compared with 66% in 2015. In addition, 68% say they are more likely to take a job if their future employer offers a good employee benefits package, compared with 65% in 2015.

These results suggest benefits have reversed a trend that showed that they were of declining importance and are still a crucial recruitment and retention tool. Employees are expecting more from their employer in terms of the appropriateness of benefits and how they are communicated.

In terms of communication, 65% of employees say they expect their employer to provide guidance on the employee benefits they offer and how appropriate each benefit might be to them and their family. The report also revealed that younger employees are the worst served group; with only 13% of 25-34 year olds saying their employer communicates with them in a way they want. Additionally, a staggering 47% said their employer uses communication channels they are not interested in.

Furthermore, it follows that if flexible benefits were to be available all year round, employees would be more likely to use them based on when they become relevant or useful to their lives. 62% of employees who have flexibility in being able to choose benefits say they are in a good scheme, with just 9% saying they are in a poor scheme.

Alex Tullett, head of benefits strategy at Capita Employee Benefits, said: “The past few years had shown a steady decline in the number of people who say they would take a job based on a good benefits package, down from a high of 72% in 2013. This year, that trend has been reversed, as has the decline number of people who would stay in a job based on the benefits on offer.

“But the days of offering benefits because of tradition (industry or otherwise) or offering them because ‘that’s what’s always been done’ are ending. Employers want to see a business case for each benefit offered and for the overall benefit strategy, they want proof they are getting their money’s worth and that employees are responding to their benefits with the commensurate engagement and loyalty.

“People are much more likely to buy a benefit as and when it becomes relevant to their lives – why shouldn’t they expect to be able to buy travel insurance after they’ve booked their flights? It’s clear that guidance on how appropriate each benefit would be for individual staff would be greatly appreciated.”