Employee Benefits Research 2009: Evaluation of and attitudes to benefits

There has been a significant rise in the importance of obtaining, and demonstrating, value for money on benefits over the past five years. When respondents were asked back in 2004 about their perceptions of their benefits package, just 29% said it provided value for money. This year, 79% said the same. This has become a growing focus for organisations as finance departments have demanded to see a return on benefits expenditure, and the recession has made it an even higher priority. A much greater percentage of employers now also believe their benefits reflect their brand. This has risen to 70%, up from 27% in 2004. This shows how a strong benefits provision can help to enhance an organisation’s reputation as a good place to work, which can help to recruit and retain key talent.

Not surprisingly, when it comes to what respondents believe is most important to their staff, job security is at the top of the list, cited by 94%. This is more than double the 44% of respondents that said the same in 2004.

Rather surprisingly, the percentage of employers that evaluate the effectiveness of their benefits strategy remains low at 39%. This may be because of a perceived lack of time or resources. But making the effort can be worthwhile, as there is little point in spending money on perks if they are not appreciated or do not achieve their aims.

As regards competitiveness in their own sector, the same percentage (56%) of respondents as five years ago believes their package falls into the median range.

But there has been a slight shift in the number that place themselves either side of this – more now believe they offer an upper-quartile package. Just over one-fifth (21%) feel they do so, while 16% believe their package is lowerquartile, compared with 17% and 20% respectively in 2004.


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