Finance News & Insights

Employee benefits: What do people really want?

An employee benefit is only good if someone considers it desirable. Otherwise it’s little more than a waste of money and effort. So what do employees want these days?

A new survey by CareerBuilder collected tons of intelligence on the subject. And while every workplace may be a bit different in its priorities, there are some definite trends you want to be aware of.

Of course, nothing’s going to trump salary. That’s what the overwhelming majority said ranks as most important to them.

But benefits are important – certainly more important than job title if you ask most folks. In fact, having a certain title isn’t considered important at all to more than half (55%) of the employees surveyed!

The top five things they’d rather have instead of a specific title, some of which don’t cost a thing:

  1. Flexible schedule (59%)
  2. Being able to “make a difference” (48%)
  3. Challenging work (35%)
  4. Ability to work from home (33%), and
  5. Academic reimbursement (18%).

What will keep them

Not all benefits are created equal, though. Some of the right ones can actually help keep top performers at your company.

When talking about retention tools, here’s what topped the CareerBuilder list:

  1. Provide flexible schedules (51%)
  2. Increase employee recognition (awards, cash prizes, trips) (50%)
  3. Ask employees what they want and put feedback into action (48%)
  4. Increase training and learning opportunities (35%), and
  5. Hire additional employees to ease workloads, tied with
    Provide academic reimbursement (22%).

 The little things count, too

Then there are the little things that can make big progress to a more satisfying work experience. And employees have no shortage of items on their wishlists as far as workplace perks.

While some of them may be perfectly doable, a few of them admittedly may be a bit of a stretch:

  1. Half-day Fridays (40%)
  2. On-site fitness center (20%)
  3. Ability to wear jeans (18%)
  4. Daily catered lunches (17%)
  5. Massages (16%)
  6. Nap room (12%)
  7. Rides to and from work (12%)
  8. Snack cart that comes around the office (8%)
  9. Private restroom (7%), and
  10. On-site daycare (6%).

No matter what company offers now or what it has in the works, it’s important to talk with employees to find out what’s most important to you.

You won’t be able to please all of the people all of the time, but at least you can be more confident you’re spending those benefits dollars wisely.

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  • quallsrb

    Whoever did this survey is out of touch. People want portability and direct funding of benefits such as health care, dental, life insurance, disability and accumulation of vacation pay, sick days etc into a Bank than can be carried over until they want to use it. Work flexibility and core hours are important to all employees. People do not trust employers so their services must seem like their own and IRA/401K/Pension benefits need to accumulate for the little guy at a larger rate than for those at the top of the Corporate pyramid. Job security or a contract would be a plus just like the CEO seems to get. Corporate metric need to focus on people not on slash and burn profits which benefit the highest up in the chain; that is not leadership. Building up shareholder value for selling the company in a merger is not leadership.