Best Companies Research: Employees are less happy with benefits year on year

Employees are not as happy with the benefits they are offered as they were a year ago.

Data collated so far for this year’s Best 100 Companies to Work For survey took an average score over four statements put to respondents to find an overall ‘fair deal’ score.†

The statements were: ‘I am happy with the pay and benefits I receive in this job’ (cited by 58.2% this year, down from 62.4% in 2009), and ‘I am paid fairly for the work I do relative to people in similar positions in similar organisations’ (now 55.3%, down from 58.3%).†

The final two statements are ‘I am paid fairly for the work I do relative to others within this organisation’ (55% compared with 58.8% last year); and ‘I feel I receive fair pay for the responsibilities I have in my job’, (55.5% this year compared with 59.2% in 2009).

Overall, the ‘fair deal’ score is down 3.4 percentage points this year, from 59.5% in 2009 to 56%.

Carla Cavanagh, research associate at Best Companies, said: “What is positive is that where scores have gone down, it does not mean people are less engaged, because where companies can do something [on benefits], they are doing something.

“The best companies drive to constantly improve their benefits and make them easily accessible. You can look at companies which offer the same type and number of benefits, but in one company people are happy and in another they are not.”

Employers that tailor benefits to their staff, rather than spending the most money, are often the top companies to work for. Cavanagh said less successful companies offered “a lack of accessibility, like a subsidised gym package which was still too expensive”. “The top 10% of companies are more likely to offer a flexible benefits package,” she said.

Every company that goes for Best Companies accreditation is given a Best Companies Index score (BCI). This score (on a scale of 1 to 1,000) is defined from employees’ responses to 16 key questions. The percentages mentioned here are percentages of the overall BCI score, not percentages of those surveyed.

Read more articles on staff motivation.