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Posted on 12 July 2023

4 Hidden Barriers Behind Underutilised Employee Rewards and Benefits

3 minute read

Employee rewards and benefits have never played a more important role in how businesses maximise and retain their people. However, there’s a widening gap between what employees want and need from their organisation versus what employers are actually delivering.

75% of employees say they’re more likely to stay within their role if offered competitive benefits, and 66% believe this to now carry equal or more importance to their salary. Plus, 69% of employees report they’d choose one employer over another if provided with better perks.

Yet, despite this growing appetite, many businesses are challenged with their employee rewards and benefits offer gathering dust.

Only 18% of employees believe their employer understands their needs in an unprecedented climate, with 1 in 3 believing they don’t receive sufficient support for their physical, mental or financial wellbeing. On top of this, many rewards and benefits offers lack transparency across the workforce – with 85% of teams not clear on the package on offer to them.

As a result, employee satisfaction with benefits is at its lowest in 10 years.

So, what’s causing this? We’ve identified the four leading barriers resulting in underutilised and overlooked perks.

1) Lack of personalisation.

To maximise engagement and ROI, rewards and benefits must meet employees’ needs. And to do this, their needs must first be understood. Many businesses often overlook the power of employee feedback when designing their perks, leading to an irrelevant and underutilised offer. Regular feedback loops enable rewards and benefits to remain agile and personalised to the workforce demographics. Whilst following market trends is important, there is no one-size-fits-all approach – the package must be authentically aligned to the business’ culture and its people.

2) Lack of awareness.

Another trick commonly missed isn’t necessarily what perks are delivered, but how they’re delivered. Even with super competitive packages, if this isn’t centrally embedded within the internal comms strategy, how will teams know what’s on offer? Communication must be consistent and multi-level, with effective role models across the business amplifying their voices to ensure all employees understand the offer and how this supports them.

3) Lack of modernisation.

Employees seek rewards and benefits that are reflective of the current climate – meaning static and unchanging offers will only gather dust. Researching the market regularly to understand the latest trends is key to modernising packages and assess how your offer measures up to competitors. Quantitative data insights on reward and benefits engagement ensures People teams keep their finger on the pulse.

4) Lack of accessibility.

Accessibility is the cornerstone of engagement. To reach all levels of the business, particularly employees who are remote and deskless, rewards and benefits must live in teams’ pockets. Technology enabling mobile accessibility, push notifications and instant redemption of perks is a must. This is also key for making adjustments for global teams in line with cost of living benchmarks.

Interested in overcoming one or more of these barriers to maximise your rewards and benefits package? Talk to us!

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