Forget whining about too-stingy raises! More than half of employees now say they’ll take home less in their checks … for better benefits.
That’s the rather surprising finding of a just-released survey by Towers Watson.
Specifically, they’d be willing to turn over a larger portion of their salaries if it nabs them:
- More generous healthcare benefits, and/or
- More secure retirement benefits.
Could this changing attitude be an opportunity for your company? Quite possibly.
Looks like the years of tough economic times are making folks take a longer view than they have in the past. This may have a lot to do with feeling firsthand the pinch of the most recent financial crisis in their 401(k) balances, for example.
Now instead of just looking at how much money they’re making at the moment, many have been forced to take a hard look at where they’re headed five, 10 even 20 years from now. And some don’t like what they see.
So what are they willing to do about it? Check out what people told Towers Watson:
- 55% would pay a higher amount from every paycheck to ensure they have a guaranteed retirement
- 53% would be willing to trade a portion of their pay in return for more generous benefits, and
- 50% would trade a portion of their pay to ensure they have access to health care benefits if they chose to retire before they became eligible for Medicare benefits.
That’s information your company may be able to use to make some strategic shifts in your compensation and benefits.
Making attitude shift work for you
Of course first you want to see whether the survey’s results jibe with your own workforce’s attitudes.
So consider surveying employees to see if they match this trend. (Urge staffers to be sure not to send people into a panic thinking you’re going to start slashing their pay.)
Based on what you hear, it may be worth looking into the feasibility of everything from embracing a more comprehensive healthcare package (or at least offering an upgrade option at a higher co-pay) to considering extending healthcare benefits to retirees.
Even smaller steps like bringing in experts from your retirement plan to help employees better understand their investments and how to manage their plan would likely help put minds at ease and show employees you’re looking out for them in the long-term.