What Employee Benefits Do Staff Want In 2022?

The uncertainty and raft of changes brought about by the pandemic has seen many employees seriously questioning their roles and even seeking employment elsewhere to achieve better work-life balances, better employee benefits and better working arrangements.

It’s a phenomenon that’s been dubbed the ‘Great Resignation’ by Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University. Organisations would do well to take note of what’s going on or risk losing some of their most valuable assets.

[Related reading: Employee Benefits Watch: Preventing An 'I Quit' Culture]

Employers Adjusting Benefits Strategies In Bid To Recruit & Retain Talent

In response to the Great Resignation, many organisations are actively reviewing their employee benefits strategies in a bid to retain their best talent and make them more attractive to potential candidates.

Indeed, according to the latest Aon Benefits and Trends survey 2022, 86% of organisations said they are now prioritising employee communications as a result of the pandemic. Moreover and very encouragingly, 71% of employers said they now poll their employees to better understand their needs – an increase of 9 percentage points on last year.

The Aon survey, which questioned 253 HR, employee benefit and reward professionals from across the UK in a variety of sectors, also revealed how 41% of organisations have noted increased difficulties in retaining staff over the past year.

In addition, 44% of employers highlighted how they have found it difficult to recruit new staff, with many citing the need to pay higher salaries or even so-called sign-on bonuses in a bid to entice new talent to join their workforce.

So what employee benefits do staff want in 2022? Here are four that are backed by research:

Flexible Working

Seven in 10 UK professionals would consider leaving their organisation to secure flexible working options that suited them, research has revealed.

A survey of 4,134 professionals and key hiring decision makers from 62 companies around the world by recruitment firm Morgan McKinley found that 71% of UK professionals would look for a new employer that provided their preferred way of working.

The research, conducted for Morgan McKinley’s 2022 salary guide, showed that nine in 10 global employers had changed their policies on flexible working since the pandemic began.

Engagement

Flicking back to the aforementioned Aon Benefits and Trends survey 2022, employee engagement is seen as the most important objective for organisations’ benefits strategies this year, with 80% ranking it first or second out of five in importance.

Employee choice, recruitment and retention were considered the next most important benefit strategies after engagement.

Burnout Support

According to Clear Review’s new report Performance management 2022, more than half of UK-based employees would leave their jobs and head to organisations that provide better support for stress and burnout.

The research also revealed that nearly half of workers do not feel their managers take any steps to help them avoid burnout. This problem affects more than 800,000 British staff, with more than half admitting that this is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Financial Peace Of Mind

Finally, reward and benefits provider Edenred’s survey of 2,000 UK employees shows that more than one in three employees would like more support from their employer to improve their financial wellbeing.

Employees specifically want additional workplace-provided help with budgeting and managing bills. Meanwhile 64% of those polled want further support to achieve a good work-life balance. Almost half said they now realise what they truly want from life as a result of the pandemic.

[Related reading: Financial Wellbeing At Work: Time To Review Your Benefits Package?]

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When was the last time you reviewed and adjusted your employee benefits strategy?

With employees proactively seeking new roles that give them the right pay, benefits and working arrangements, failure to adjust could see you end up losing your most valuable assets.

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Author: Stephen Hough - Managing Director