Employees increasingly value health and wellbeing benefits

wellbeing-packageEmployee benefits that help promote a healthy workforce are increasingly important when you consider that (perhaps unsurprisingly) 69.8 percent of employees say they felt less productive if they come into work whilst ill. But these benefits are increasingly as important to employees as an aide to productivity. A range of employee benefits are still a crucial recruitment and retention tool, with almost three quarters (69 percent) of employees saying they are more likely to stay with an employer that offers a good employee package compared with 66 percent in 2015. New research from the fourth annual Capita Employee Benefits Insight Report also reveals that 44.8 percent of respondents would judge an employer based on the quality of the health and wellbeing packages they offer. This is particularly valued by higher earners where nearly half (48.8) percent of employees earning over £45,000 a year said they would evaluate their employer or potential employer on the strength of their commitment to employee wellbeing.

What’s more, 43.1 percent of employees feel that their employer has a responsibility to help them manage their personal health and wellbeing, with over half (53.6 percent) welcoming incentives that reward healthy behaviours, such as contributions towards the cost of health screening. Interestingly, this is most popular amongst young employees, with 57.2 percent of 25-34 year olds saying they would appreciate this. But overall, 43.1 percent of employees feel that their employer has a responsibility to help them manage their personal health and wellbeing.

Drawing on interviews with more than 3,000 people in employment, the Employee Insight Report looks at employees’ attitudes towards pensions, retirement, auto-enrolment, benefits, savings and health in the workplace

The report finds that employees expect more from their employer in terms of the appropriateness of benefits and how they are communicated. 65 percent 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.

In terms of how benefits are communicated, younger employees are the worst served group. Just 13% of 25-34 year olds say their employer communicates with them in a way they want, but a staggering 47% say their employer uses communication channels they are not interested in.

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 percent 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.”

And according to the report: “a well-planned programme can deliver improvements in organisational performance, creativity and innovation, employee engagement, talent attraction and retention.”

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