Staff don't value benefits

Sep 02 2004 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Employers are wasting billions of pounds providing non-salary benefits that employees do not understand the value of, according to new research.

Although 90 per cent of employers believe non-salary benefits are crucial to attract and retain staff, up to 40 per cent of employees do not either appreciate the benefits or know their monetary value, a survey of 9,000 companies by PIFC Consulting found.

Even so, the survey uncovered evidence of a general move towards flexible employee benefits, with two-thirds of respondents preferring packages where employees could exercise choice.

"There is fierce competition for high calibre staff in a tight labour market, so there is a growing need to ensure that when businesses spend money on benefits they're relevant to employees' needs - and properly appreciated by them," said Jonathan Sandford, director of marketing and research at PIFC Consulting.

Jim Carson, head of reward at Global Home Loans, a third party mortgage administrator, decided to introduce the company's new benefits scheme in stages to ensure it was something its staff wanted and appreciated.

"We launched a voluntary benefits scheme in November last year and in December we produced employee benefit statements for the first time so staff could see what they were receiving," said Carson. "We are now running focus groups on this before moving to fully flexible benefits."