The top issue shaping employers’ benefits strategies in 2017 is their desire to improve employee engagement, however budget restraints remain the biggest barrier to introducing the benefits they would like to offer.

When tight budgets are in place, it is crucial that employees are taken into consideration and asked what benefits they would appreciate and be of substantial value to them.

Key Findings 
  • 82% of respondents offer benefits because they are an effective retention tool
  • 76% of respondents identify budget as a barrier to offering new benefits
  • 73% of respondents will use more targeted communications to adapt to future benefits challenges
  • 36% of respondents’ organisations offer enhanced parental leave
  • 66% of respondents’ organisations measure employee engagement through an annual employee survey

Top employee benefits

Extra holidays for long service

Companies are going above and beyond their standard number of holidays and offering extras to create loyalty amongst employees. 53% of employers are offering extra holidays to reward employees for long service.

Unlimited holidays

The number of companies offering unlimited time off is growing, see our blog post on unlimited time off to find out more on this benefit.

Maternity/Paternity leave

Netflix is one of the leaders in Maternity benefits, they offer unlimited maternity or paternity during the first year after their child’s birth or adoption. Employees can take unlimited time off and choose to return to work on a full or part time basis. Following this, 38% of organisations globally, now offer paid paternity leave above the statutory minimum.

There is a rise in the trend of an increase of benefits to support Mothers returning from maternity leave including flexible return to work, mentoring and counselling.

Flexible working

61% of employers offer flexible-working initiatives, this has risen from 54% in 2016. Part-time hours, working from home and career breaks or sabbaticals are all popular elements of flexible working.

Flexible hours give employees the opportunity to meet family needs and life responsibilities without any guilt whilst reducing employee burnout and allowing employees to enjoy their working schedule.

There are many benefits in offering flexible working to employers including increased employee morale and engagement, employee loyalty and reduced absenteeism.

Wellness/healthcare

Private medical insurance remains the top healthcare and wellbeing benefit to be offered by employers, with 79% offering it to employees which has risen from 71% in 2016. (Staffcare)

Employers that offer a range of health and wellbeing benefits can help to create a supportive culture, an inclusive offer of fitness benefits such as gym membership or exercise classes and healthcare rewards such as medical or dental insurance will appeal to most generations.

But not all wellness and healthcare benefits appeal to everyone, it’s difficult to create a program that will cover everybody’s needs. By offering a budget for employees to spend on whichever healthcare benefits they like, gives them the opportunity to create their own benefits plan.

Source:
The Staffcare Employee Benefits report 2017 highlights what benefits employers are offering at the moment and why. The survey was conducted in February – March 2017 among users of www.employeebenefits.co.uk and received 271 responses.