5 Employee Benefits Your Workforce Actually Wants

Using benefits as a strategic tool has helped companies increase staff retention by 28 per cent and company performance by over 58 per cent.


Retaining employees is a marathon and not a sprint. We have moved past the age when a handsome  salary was all that employees sought. The workforce of today values perks and benefits even more than their pay cheques.

Fortunately, organisations are more than self-aware about the importance of employee engagement and ensuring employee happiness. According to SHRM, more than two-thirds (72 per cent) of organisations have increased their benefit offerings to retain employees. 

It is easy to understand why companies are increasingly investing in providing well-endowed employee benefits packages. Not only can these employee benefits enhance a worker’s mental and physical well being, but also their financial well being. Subsequently, using benefits as a strategic tool has helped companies increase staff retention by 28 per cent and company performance by over 58 per cent.

Here’s the catch. Not every employee benefit is created equal. With companies looking to engage and retain their workforce, they need to make sure that they are not overlooking the fundamental benefits that employees actually seek. Offer the right perk, and your business may jump-start its growth.

Let’s take a look at the five benefits most desired by employees worldwide:

  1. Flexible working hours

Flexible work hours is a benefit that a majority of employees look for in any new organisation. According to Gallup, 37 per cent of employees categorically say that they are willing to leave their current job for another that offers greater flexibility.

Allowing employees control over their working hours can have numerous benefits. Flexible working benefits, such as telecommuting, work from home, and compressed work weeks, encourage work-life balance, resulting in higher productivity and more engaged employees. Being able to adjust hours can help employees to balance their personal life by contributing to better mental health and physical wellbeing. 

  1. Healthcare benefits

The most coveted among the list of must-have benefits is health care benefits. Many employees look for medical benefits to support their health and wellbeing, as well as that of their family members. When the health of employees suffers, their quality and quantity of work suffers as well. 

Businesses looking to stay on top of their game in the talent market can do so by thoughtfully packaging medical, extra medical services (dental or vision) and health benefits into plans that suit the needs of current and future hires. While this may seem like a daunting task, many such service providers regularly guide employers to the options that will meet their financial needs and also address employees’ (and their dependents’) requirements.

  1. Retirement savings plans

Other than healthcare benefits, it can be said that retirement and financial planning offerings are the most sought after benefits. 

Irrespective of the type of retirement savings plan offered—whether it was a benefit pension or contribution package— the majority of workers found it vital to their overall job satisfaction.

Saving for retirement is one of the significant personal financial challenges that workers face. Preparing employees to retire financially secure, will, in turn, contribute to a higher level of productivity, morale, and loyalty towards the organisation. 

When asked how these benefits would change in importance for retention strategies in the next three to five years, most HR professionals said retirement savings and planning benefits would remain or become even more critical, as reported by SHRM. 

For instance, in 2015, nearly three out of five (59 per cent) HR professionals considered that retirement plan benefits would grow in significance for their recruiting purposes.

  1. Wellness benefits

An SHRM survey found that because of workplace wellness programmes, 40 per cent of workers say they are encouraged to work harder and perform better, and 26 per cent miss fewer days of work by participating in such programmes. Additionally, 51% of workers believe that wellness programmes are very or somewhat successful in reducing healthcare costs.

Corporate wellness programmes are a win-win, especially when employers and employees look for budget-friendly options. Employers profit by retaining their top talent, engaging their staff, and driving holistic wellness of the workforce. In turn, employees benefit from improved physical health, reduced stress in the workplace, and the financial benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Most workers are interested in wellness programmes that improve their physical fitness, with 27 per cent saying they would like in-office fitness facilities, 23 per cent citing fitness centre discounts, and 19 per cent expressing interest in weight-management programmes.

  1. Paid leaves

Leave benefits include paid and unpaid time off from the workplace for activities, such as vacation, or as sick leave, bereavement leave, and parental leave. Paid leave benefits allow employees to revive and deal with personal issues, but their associated costs are significant.

In an SHRM survey on job satisfaction, 92 per cent of employees reported that paid leave is essential to their overall job satisfaction. However, only 73 per cent are satisfied with the paid leave offered by their organisation.

In addition to the impact of paid leave on job satisfaction, employers should also consider other positive outcomes, such as higher productivity and morale. Paid leave programmes are crucial to an employee’s overall benefits package, but they are also very costly and difficult to administer.

Additionally, unscheduled leaves can have a substantial negative impact on productivity as well as business processes. That is why, a paid time off (PTO) plan has been gaining popularity among organisations. A paid time off (PTO) plan combines vacation time, sick leave, and personal leaves into one complete programme. These plans give employees more freedom and flexibility in managing their leaves. For employers, these plans allow for easier tracking and effectiveness in reducing absenteeism.

Looking for a comprehensive employee benefits solution? See for yourself how Vantage Circle employee benefits platform improves your employees’ financial well-being and save money at no cost to you or your employees.


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