Most Workers Value Employee Benefits Above Pay

Two recent pieces of research have highlighted just how much value workers place on the employee benefits they receive through their jobs. The second piece of research, in particular, underlines why organisations need to carefully consider the employee benefits they offer and ensure all staff are getting the same opportunities.

[Related reading: Employee Benefits Key To Addressing The Great Resignation]

64% Of UK Staff Would Sacrifice Their Salaries For Other Benefits

More than three out of five UK workers (64%) say they would think about taking a pay cut and accept a new role if it offered other benefits, new research has found.

According to Insurer Aviva’s latest How we live report, more than one in five (22%) would consider taking a job with a lower salary if it meant they could take advantage of hybrid working, while 31% said they would do the same if they could benefit from flexible working hours.

Job fulfilment and satisfaction, as well as working for a sustainability-focussed employer, were also plus points for employees. Indeed, 18% would be prepared to take a wage cut if they worked for a charity or not-for-profit organisation. Meanwhile, 15% indicated that they would do the same if the organisation boasted strong environmental credentials. This view is amplified among those aged under 25, with 25% of people in this group saying environmental credentials would outweigh salary for them.

Jon Marsh, managing director of partnerships at Aviva General Insurance, commented: “The latest How we live data shows that a great many employees are already involved in environmental initiatives in their workplace, from simply re-using cups, to limiting unnecessary travel, to making use of electric vehicle leasing schemes”.

44% Of Employees Say Their Employer Offers Better Benefits To New Recruits

Meanwhile, separate research reveals why employers need to ensure they are offering the same employee benefits across the board and not favouring certain groups.

According to the survey by HR solutions firm LHH, 44% of UK workers say their employer has advertised better employee benefits packages for new recruits. This includes offering benefits that existing staff do not currently receive.

The survey of 2,000 UK workers, and more than 1,000 HR directors and heads of learning and development, also found that nearly half of respondents say they have witnessed new hires receiving preferential treatment over the last 18 months. Almost half (45%) say they have discovered a new recruit is getting paid more than them.

Perhaps the biggest revelation that organisations should acknowledge is the fact that discovering a new hire was receiving better benefits and finding out they were being paid more were the top two reasons cited by employees for handing theory notice in over the last 18 months. Having to take time out due to burnout was the reason that rounded out the top three.

Jeanne, or ‘JC’, Townend, CEO of LHH UK and Ireland, said: “These findings are the tip of the iceberg and should serve as a warning to businesses. They need to recognise the warning signs that great talent could soon be walking out the door and take steps to address this before it is too late.

“This has to include open and honest conversations about things like compensation and benefits, but also how people are coping generally with their level of work and responsibilities”.

[Related reading: What Employee Benefits Do Staff Want In 2022?]


Have you considered the significant impact the employee benefits you offer have on your staff? Do you offer new recruits different benefits in an attempt to draw them in? And what effect do you think this has on your existing employees?


Author: Gill Adams - Head of SME Growth