December 14, 2018

Our thoughts on employee benefits

Peter Shackleton
VP of Commercial

In getting ready to attend our first Employee Benefits Live event next month, I wanted to share some of our related thoughts and findings in relation to Employee Benefits.

Choice in all aspects of our lives is increasing. A situation that is particularly true for employees as the challenge to attract and retain top talent is truer for employers than ever before. The result has been an increased investment in discretionary benefits (benefits not mandated by law). Is that the right thing to do and what are employees feeding back?

Do Benefits work?

Before answering that question, it’s pertinent to ask, "why offer benefits? Why not just pay people higher salaries and do away with benefits all together? Fundamentally, the argument is the same here as it is for consumer loyalty schemes; employers are trying to create an ‘offer’ that is differentiated, compelling, and offers something that an individual couldn’t attain on their own.

The answer to the question “Do benefits work?” is yes. There is a distinct correlation between Employee Benefits, employee morale, and employee retention;

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Employee Communication is essential

It sounds simple in principle but, in 2018, almost a quarter of employees stated they were dissatisfied with their Employee Benefits; with 24% wanting different benefits and 22% stating they had benefits they couldn’t use (Clutch). Getting it wrong can be as impactful the wrong way as getting it right can have a positive outcome. And with workforces often spanning multiple demographics, cultures, and geographies it is important to create a portfolio of benefits that is relevant. Listening to Employees and adapting is fundamental.

Now we’re listening, what are employees saying?

Top of the list in terms of employee feedback is the fact that 80% of employees are saying they would prefer new or additional benefits over a pay increase (officevibe). That number gets higher (90%) with millennials. Benefits are becoming increasingly impactful.

Paid time off / flexible working, childcare and pension / retirement funding are the items universally at the top of Employee wish lists (health insurance adding to any US-centric list). Outside of these, the highest rated benefits come under the heading of ‘wellbeing’ with more than 50% of the top ranked employee benefits in 2017 being ‘travel’ related.

Upgrade Pack


At Upgrade Pack, we believe that by building a platform that upgrades existing travel bookings, we enable employers to demonstrate they care about work / life balance and employee wellbeing by offering a means of ‘enhancing’ every city break, family trip, downtime, or sabbatical they take. Upgrade Pack offers you, as an employer, a unique way  to incentivise and reward your employees - whilst managing travel costs.  Our B2B clients give membership to their team members as part of their  perks and packages and / or embed our platform in to their travel and  expenses policies.

Employee Benefits Live

If you’re attending Employee Benefits Live and want to find out a bit more about how Upgrade Pack can work for yourself and your colleagues, then please come and say hello.

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