Staff Rewards

Staff Rewards

Employees value benefits more as financial pressures rise

Employees are increasingly recognising the value of their workplace benefits as financial pressures increase, new research from MetLife’s UK Employee Benefit Trends Study 20171 shows.

The study, which is now in its third edition, shows more than half (55%) of employees highly value the benefits they receive at work – an increase of 25% on the 2015 findings -  as employers focus on the personal financial pressures their staff face.

More than half of employers (52%) said they understand the personal financial pressures on their employees and this in turn is driving the issue of financial wellbeing higher up the corporate agenda.

Findings from this year’s study show that talent attraction remains a key business priority: 73% of employers are using benefits to attract new talent  compared with 61% in 2015, with nearly half of the firms (46%) saying that they expect a talent shortage in the next 12 months.

MetLife’s study credits employers with making great strides in putting programmes in place to address the physical wellbeing of their employees. 38% of employers are now very satisfied with the impact of wellbeing programmes compared with 21% in 2015. Around 87% that have taken part in such programmes say they have had a positive impact on their health.

Jo Elphick, head of marketing at MetLife UK, said: “The increasing value that employees place on their benefits creates a real opportunity for businesses to align their benefits strategy with their business strategy. 

“In times of uncertainty employees are looking beyond salary and a well-designed benefits programme can help employers build stronger businesses and succeed in the growing war for talent.

“Nearly three in four employers are using benefits to attract and retain staff as they worry about the potential risk to their business from a shortage of talent over the next 12 months.

“Efforts to tackle physical wellbeing through benefits are bearing fruit for employers but uncertainty over personal finances is emerging as a key challenge.

“A key goal for employers is to help their staff feel energised and focused at work and addressing employees’ financial concerns  through benefits can help.”

MetLife is urging employers to harness the power of employee benefits to help tackle rising uncertainty among their staff, including a focus on financial wellbeing programmes in the workplace to support employees whose financial concerns have increased considerably over the last two years.

The study also found that around two out of five employees (39%) believe they are paid fairly for the job they do compared with 25% in the 2015 study.