Voice of the Employee

Over half of UK workers value good benefits and perks as much as their annual salary, new research has found. An in-depth study by employee engagement innovators HIVE360 has revealed that around 50% of UK workers say an employer that provides good benefits, including flexible working, a comprehensive benefits package, mental health support, perks for work and leisure time, as well as a competitive salary and bonuses, are what make them feel truly appreciated and looked after.

The ‘People at the Heart’ research investigated the key engagement drivers for UK employees and found that 52% of men believe good pay and bonuses are what makes a good employer, with almost the same number (53%) saying good benefits and perks are what make a company a good employer.

55% of women and 45% of men say a good employer is one that offers and supports flexible working, whilst for 36% of men, regular recognition from their employer of their performance and commitment are important, something that is equally valued by an additional 10% of women (46%).

“We know that feeling undervalued, being offered poor perks, rewards and pay, expected to work long and inflexible hours, and when there is poor leadership and management within the business, are amongst the top reasons why employees leave a job,” says CEO of HIVE360, David McCormack.

“Employee engagement is one of the fastest developing growth strategies for UK businesses, as it not only improves productivity, but also improves staff retention as a result.  A more engaged workforce has huge potential to improve customer satisfaction and push sales, as well as strengthen future planning and key business decisions. Indeed, many managers agree that focusing on retaining key employees in an organisation is necessary for long-term success.

“It’s powerful for an employee to feel looked after and rewarded by their employer, and these feelings are proven to have a huge positive impact on their attendance, commitment, performance, as well as loyalty.

“Today’s world of work is changing, and the workforce’s demographic is transforming, with multi-generations often working side by side,” he adds. “Growing numbers of staff are looking beyond financial remuneration alone, and we know that more and more people are actively looking for a positive work:life experience. They want a range of health, welfare and money savings benefits for them and their families, together with instant access to information about their pay, digital payslips, pension performance, training and development plans and opportunities – and the technology to make all this easily available.

“How much employees are engaged with the business and their employer plays a significant role in their overall health and wellbeing,” he explains. “A benefits strategy that reflects the face of today’s workforce is central to attracting and retaining talent that is right for the business. Employers that offer tangible support on issues such as mental, physical and financial health and wellbeing, report compelling evidence of improved employee productivity levels and the overall performance of the business.”

Training and skills development should also feature in every employee engagement strategy, as David explains: “Ambitious staff driven to develop at all stages of their careers, want help and with their personal and professional growth support from their employer. For instance, our research found that 45% of senior decision makers feel opportunities for learning and training play a key role in what constitutes a good employer. This type of support will not only increase employees’ confidence but also demonstrate that their contribution and input is valued.”

The research also found that:

  • 47% of men and 55% of women feel open and honest communication makes a good employer.
  • 25% of men and 15% of women feel investment back into the business makes a good employer.
  • 26% of UK workers have no idea what their pension is worth.
  • 26% of UK workers would find it helpful if their employer gave them more guidance on how to access information about their pension.

More than 1000 workers in a range of roles from senior decision makers to support staff took part in the ‘People at the Heart’ research commissioned by HIVE360. The study explored the issues and concerns the workplace creates for staff, to help UK employers better understand the opportunities to improve engagement with their employees and what they should change to ease workers’ biggest workplace worries to improve employee engagement.

HIVE360 works with businesses and organisations under a strategic partnership arrangement. Typically, its clients are organisations with between 50 and 500 employees. HIVE360 also works with recruitment agencies to provide their temporary worker PAYE payroll of 100+ temporary workers.

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