What Perks Do Employees Want the Most (According to Research)?

What Perks Do Employees Want the Most (According to Research)?

Some businesses don’t always position employee benefits or perks as a priority.

In fact, according to research, 26% of UK employees don’t receive any employee benefits at all.

This is a staggering revelation when you consider that more than a third of employees identify work perks as one of the biggest factors they consider before accepting a new job.

If you are experiencing a high turnover in staff, this may well be the key.

As we covered in our previous blog, ‘3 Ways Employee Benefits Can Save You Money’, addressing this important factor from the start can:

  • Reduce high turnover rates 66% of employees say they’d choose to stay longer with a company if they provide good benefits.
  • Lower your taxes – through salary sacrifice schemes.
  • Make recruiting easier83% of recruitment professionals believe that employee perks make the whole process easier.

Taking this into consideration, what perks and benefits do employees really want?

The latest research on employee perks

Using London Loves Business’ latest research, we’ve listed the results below to give you a good idea on what to offer.

Surprisingly, while flexi-time and sabbaticals are still classed as positive to employees, this research actually reveals that these perks have moved down the pecking order.

Instead, workers are wanting more access to social and learning-based benefits.

This shows that employees are always looking to improve themselves, whether it’s for work or in life in general.

Some key examples include clubs and activities like knitting and book clubs.

But what about the usual employee perks?

Well, the same report found that the more traditional benefits like sabbatical opportunities, free drinks on Fridays, Christmas Parties and flexi-time only average a score of 72 out of 100.

48% of Employees reckon that social and learning-based perks can help improve teamwork within the company, while 42% just appreciate the opportunity to do these sort of things on their lunch breaks and after work.

However, only 3% of businesses in the UK are currently offering these kinds of work perks!

In numerical terms, this means that millions of businesses are not giving their employees what they want.

Which in turn, could increase the likelihood of their employees feeling undervalued and actively looking to find a new opportunity.

What do the professionals say?

The CMO & Co-Founder at Perkbox, Chieu Cao, said:

“It’s interesting to see that extra-curricular clubs and activities such as book clubs are in such high demand by UK employees.

And it’s especially fascinating to see how so many are moving away from what are often more boozy perks like Christmas parties or free drinks on Fridays.

Whether it’s a case of workers simply expecting these more traditional benefits, or simply that people are wanting more unusual or innovative benefits from their employers, the workforce is changing.

Interestingly, this research has shown a bit of disconnect between what employees want and what employers believe they want.

In order to ensure the budget being put into offering employee benefits is being used as effectively as it can, this is something that employers should pay closer attention to.

If a benefit or perk that is being offered isn’t something the majority of the workforce is interested in, it begs the question of whether it is the best use of this budget.”

What does other research suggest?

Like many industry studies, there are always going to be slight contradictions.

For example, Reed’s findings found that free tea and coffee is the most popular all-year-round office perk and free ice cream is the best seasonal one.

The same study also found that workers favour flexible working hours as a seasonal benefit, which is in stark contrast to London Loves Business’ revelations.

However, the main thing to remember is to actually implement these kinds of employee benefits.

If you don’t you could face a high turnover rate or even struggle to attract new talent in the first place.

The best plan of action is to call a meeting and ask what your current employees want.

Just make sure that you give them a succinct list to choose from, otherwise you could get some strange requests!

Here are some examples to help get the ball rolling:

  • Social activities – like regular after work drinks.
  • Learning-based activities – including yoga, knitting and book clubs.
  • Salary sacrifice schemes – such as cycling schemes, ultra-low emission company cars and childcare vouchers. These three are perfect, as they are all tax-free!
  • Free things – offer food and hot drinks to all employees to ensure they are fuelled to work.
  • Well being packages – including free or discounted gym memberships, the ability to buy more annual leave and the option to take a job sabbatical.

Once you’ve established a nice list which is affordable and realistic for your company to achieve, it’s time to implement them.

Summary

These employee perks were just a starting point, so feel free to test the water with a  few creative ideas.

Just remember to ask your current employees – after all, they’re the ones who are receiving these ‘goodies’.

Get this right and you’ll soon see a major improvement in staff well being and turnover rates.

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