Are you over-complicating workplace benefits for your employees?

Almost two in three Brits think businesses are wasting money on expensive benefits that employees don’t want, need or use.

According to new research by recruitment specialist Michael Page, more than eight in ten (82 per cent) Brits think businesses over-complicate workplace benefits, making them difficult to understand, and hard to use or claim.

The survey – conducted among 1,000 UK adults (18+) – also reveals that almost two thirds (64 per cent) of people believe businesses are investing in expensive benefits that employees neither want, need nor use. Rather than offering unusual job benefits, such as free massages, which seven in ten (70 per cent) find a gimmick, more practical benefits topped the most wanted list.

With 73 per cent saying that benefits factor into their decision to turn down a job, the results highlight the importance of getting the benefits mix right in today’s competitive job market.

Oliver Watson, executive board director for UK and North America at PageGroup, comments, ‘Whether you’re an employer scouting for new talent, or a candidate searching for a new job, the benefits package on offer needs to match both parties’ expectations. Yet while we may be accustomed to negotiating a starting salary, discussing more tailored benefits is rarely given the same priority – resulting in neither party getting an agreement that drives engagement for an employee and performance for an employer.’

As it stands, more than half (52 per cent) of respondents say there was no opportunity to negotiate the benefits package on offer to them last time they interviewed for a job.

In fact, more than a third (37 per cent) did not know what their benefits package comprised of before they took their current job, and two thirds (65 per cent) have been surprised to find out about a particular benefit after working in a role for some time.

Watson continues, ‘As working cultures become more flexible and dynamic, a ‘one-size fits all’ approach to benefits no longer applies. With only two in ten (20 per cent) UK consumers completely satisfied with their current benefits package and 85 per cent saying a flexible benefits package would make a job more desirable to them, employers need to relax their typically fixed policies and start an open conversation about benefits far earlier in the recruitment process.’

Further reading on workplace benefits

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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Employee Benefits