Debbie Lovewell-Tuck: Engagement is driving benefits strategies

Our annual Benefits Research 2014 surveyed 256 UK-based employers about their benefits strategies, practices and provision.

Debbie Lovewell, deputy editor, Employee Benefits

This covers issues such as the key trends shaping benefits strategies in 2014, what benefits employers offer and why they do so.

At Employee Benefits, we have been carrying out research into this broad topic for more than a decade, so we are able to draw on a vast source of data to track trends and to place current reward practices into a well-contextualised framework.

The economic landscape has shifted significantly since we first conducted this research back in 2004. However, the top reasons why employers offer benefits remain the same now as then: their effectiveness at supporting employee recruitment and retention.

This is clearly linked to the top issue shaping benefits strategies in 2014. This year, nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents told us that a desire to improve employee engagement was a key factor shaping their organisation’s benefits package.

This is similar to the key issues that shaped benefits strategies a decade ago, when matching benefits to employees’ needs and a desire to improve the perceived value of the package came out on top.

Ensuring staff know the value of their package remains a key concern for employers today. After all, there is little point in offering benefits if employees do not understand and value what is on offer.

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As employers begin to prepare for the expected war for talent, a vital weapon is to ensure their employee value proposition includes an irresistible package of benefits. This may be why more than two-thirds (67%) of respondents plan to increase communications to boost employee understanding or appreciation of benefits in 2014. A further 48% either carried out a communications exercise for this reason or began to do so during 2013.

Debbie Lovewell-Tuck
Deputy Editor
Employee Benefits