Listen to your people before you change their benefits, says HR coach

Updated benefits could lead to higher productivity, diversity, and employee retention

Listen to your people before you change their benefits, says HR coach

Employees deserve to be heard when it comes to the benefit packages offered to them, as employers seem to miss the mark in their offerings versus what benefits employees desire the most. A recent report from Paychex revealed that the top five most desired benefits by employees are:

  1. Home office stipend
  2. Internet reimbursement
  3. Four-day workweek
  4. No-meeting days
  5. Home gym stipend

This is extremely different compared to what the report found were the most added benefits for remote workers:

  1. Flexible working hours
  2. Performance bonuses
  3. Retirement fund
  4. Access to online courses
  5. Continuing education stipend

Marsha Akpodiete, Paychex HR Coach, told HRD that employers may need to start consulting their staff amid the disconnect, and become flexible amid shifting needs.

"Employers need to create a feedback loop with their employees to determine which benefits they find most valuable," Akpodiete told HRD in an email statement, referring to the process aimed at improving employee tenure and company culture. "Different generations often want different benefits, so it's important for companies to survey their employees to ensure they are not missing the mark when it comes to benefit packages."

"Employers should be prepared to be flexible and creative with their benefits offering as the needs of their employees have become more complex with the workplace transitioning from a remote model to a hybrid one," added the HR coach.

According to the report, 47% of small, 75% of medium, and 38% of large organisations updated their benefits package following remote work, with only three-fourths of them consulting their staff on the changes.

Read more: The Great Resignation: What benefits can help avoid employee turnover?

Benefits of updating benefits

Updating company benefits saw some massive gains for employees and employers alike, according to the report, as 64% of employees whose benefits had been updated said they had no plans to leave next year.

In fact, employees said that due to updated benefits, productivity greatly improved (73%), and so did job satisfaction (65%), employee diversity (58%), company loyalty (56%), and company culture (49%) improved.

For employers, they said employee morale also saw great gains (67%), and so did employee diversity (43%) and employee retention (43%).

"This was a much-needed change given the high turnover employers experienced due to The Great Resignation. The pandemic brought about a new business model which birthed varying needs for employees and their families," said Akpodiete.

According to the HR coach, this could also suggest that a "one-size-fits-all" benefit suite may "no longer be sufficient" to meet the needs of staff.

"Employee motivation continues to be a dichotomy within the 5 generations still existing in the workplace today, so it is critical for employers to keep a pulse on factors that help retain employees and attract new hires," she said.

"A high salary may get a candidate through the door, but a great benefits package is one of the most important elements that invokes loyalty in an employee's lifecycle."

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