Perks Over Pay?

Half of employees would sacrifice part of their salary for personalised employee benefits

For years businesses have believed that higher pay and job security was the answer to a multitude of problems for employees and while they both remain vital, priorities have changed. Employees are now looking for a much more holistic approach to their benefits package.

In today’s COVID-19 environment, one in two (50%) workers admit they’d be willing to sacrifice more of their basic salary to get a personalised employee benefits package, according to new research from MetLife UK. 

Talk of a four-day week and flexible working had started to make their way into our corporate vocabulary before the pandemic but in practice they were largely left to smaller SMEs or start-ups to introduce. Fast forward to 2022 and we’ve seen a seismic shift in the way we work and where we do it. During the pandemic with social venues closed, the ‘softer’ benefits such as gym memberships and Friday drinks became obsolete and while many of us look forward to socialising after work with a colleague again, more functional benefits such as income protection are proving to be more worthwhile to employees going forward. 

Prior to COVID-19, employers ranked income protection as the 13th most important benefit for employees, yet, this has now risen to 3rd, with employers now viewing it as a vital benefit to offer their staff going forward. Going further, 58% of employees would like to see their benefits package covering all their dependents including their spouse.

Due to COVID-19, employers have also transformed how they talk to their staff about the benefits already available to them, 63% revealed they had seen an increase in employees’ queries about benefits since the pandemic and 61% said they had noticed an increase in the need for mental wellbeing products.

Covid-19 has provided a clear opportunity for employers to reflect on the current benefits they offer and re-shape for the needs of modern employees.

Adrian Matthews, EB Director at MetLife UK, comments: 

“Ensuring that the benefit packages employers offer suits all members of the team is crucial to protect productivity and encourage loyalty for the long term. Our research found that more than two thirds (69%) of employees ‘will work harder for an employer who provides employee benefits that support my individual needs’. Employers must recognise how the needs of their employees will have changed in the past 12 months and work with them to find practical solutions that can be introduced quickly.”

The transition to working from home has been a well reported challenge for millions of employees, across the world and forced employers to quickly adapt their benefits strategies in order to continue support employee’s wellbeing. 39% of employees say that their employer has introduced specific benefits to support them working from home. To support employees working remotely, MetLife recently launched ‘Connected at Home’, in partnership with HCB Group, a new support service for employers to help with home working and staff wellbeing.

Sophia Anderson

Sophia Anderson is a blogger and a freelance writer. She is passionate about covering topics on money, business, careers, self-improvement, motivation and others. She believes in the driving force of positive attitude and constant development.