Communication – or rather the lack thereof – is contributing to the poor uptake of workplace benefits and rewards, according to new research from the leading expert in employee engagement, Sodexo Engage.
The research revealed only 11% of employees are taking full advantage of their benefits and just 10% have received advice on how they can use their benefits to help their salary go further. This shows a clear lack of HR-to-employee communication regarding benefits, leading to a majority of employees being unaware of the opportunities available to them.
Moreover, 28% reported that their organisation either did not offer any benefits or they weren’t sure if they did. This further highlights the importance of employers considering the benefits they offer and how to effectively communicate them to their workforce.
With 24.6 million full-time workers in the United Kingdom (as of November 2022), it is essential that everyone is informed of the benefits available to them, especially with the rising cost of living and challenging economic conditions. Unfortunately, without proper communication, a significant number of individuals may be left in the dark, missing out on valuable workplace benefits.
The ‘The Mountain of Lost Benefits: Making Employee Benefits Matter’ report by Sodexo Engage surveyed 500 HR professionals and 2,000 employees about their workplace benefits provision. The findings have provided invaluable insight into how businesses can enhance their benefits packages, uncovering key themes and some striking disparities. Although employers are offering benefits, it appears that there is a mismatch between the benefits offered by employers and what employees use, leading to 37% of employees not using their benefits because they don’t align with their needs. For instance, the results highlight that retail discounts and cashback rewards are one of the top-most used benefits by employees (23%), yet only 36% of organisations are offering them as part of their benefits package.
Burcin Ressamoglu, CEO of Sodexo Engage, explains: “Providing employee benefits are imperative, especially in the current financial climate where resources are limited and not all organisations can continue to raise salaries. But now our research has revealed that at times, employees still aren’t making full use of their benefits due to a lack of knowledge, or misinformation about what is available to them.
“It’s really important there’s a two-way conversation about benefits, where leaders take the time to listen to their employees and make informed decisions based on what’s important to them. Especially since 76% of employees said they feel more motivated when their organisation is supporting them.”
Ressamoglu continues, “All leaders, but especially HR leaders, should create more platforms for communication with their teams to ensure they are providing the benefits most valued by employees. By gathering more insight and delivering more relevant benefits to their employee base, leaders will find themselves with a happier, more productive workforce and ensure higher retention.”
Ultimately, the research has shown the critical influence of employee benefits on employee satisfaction. A whopping 74% of respondents said it was an important factor when deciding on a job offer and 71% said it was key to their decision to stay at a company. This is especially pertinent in times of talent shortage when HR must pull out all the stops to design an enticing benefits package to draw and keep talent.
Discover the full findings from ‘The Mountain of Lost Benefits: Making Employee Benefits Matter’ report, ready to download now.
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