Welcome to the 2023 Drewberry™ Employee Benefits & Workplace Satisfaction Survey, conducted by YouGov. This is our third Employee Benefits survey — and the landscape has shifted significantly since the last edition in 2021
Research tells us time and time again that a happy workforce is a more motivated and productive one. With this in mind we wanted to find out just how happy UK employees are.
74% of workers said that they aren’t looking to leave their job in the next 12 months.
66% of workers agree or strongly agree that they are happy in their current job.
Work life balance tops the list when it comes to what makes employees happy. Up from 2nd previously.
Despite being knocked off the top spot, colleagues (62%) closely followed work life balance in making employees happy.
Being underpaid (46%) was the main cause of employees unhappiness.
Lack of recognition (36%) second main cause of employee unhappiness.
With the cost of living at an all time high, we asked employees how it has affected them in terms of their financial, physical and mental wellbeing. We’ve outlined what they said below.
Cost Of Living Crisis
46% of workers said they felt worse off compared to this time last year.
73% of employees said they were either quite or very concerned about the current cost of living.
89.5% had seen a rise in the cost of groceries and food.
82.2% of employees had seen an increase in the cost of household heating and electricity costs.
68.3% of employees have seen an increase in the cost of petrol and diesel costs.
Nearly 1 in 3 employees have had to rely on a credit card, overdraft or borrowing from friends and family to pay everyday bills.
47% of employees feel that their mental health has been negatively impacted by the rises in cost of living.
1 in 5 employees feel that the cost of living crisis is impacting their performance at work.
19% of employees couldn’t survive on their savings for longer than a week if unable to work.
Employees Want More Support From Employers
Over half of employees said that their employers weren’t supporting them through the cost of living crisis.
Pay rises topped the list when it comes to the support employees want to see from their employers.
Second to a pay rise, 25% of employees said that they wanted their employees to offer one of payments.
23% of employees said they wanted their employers to increase remote working to help combat rising costs.
18.1% of employees said they had received a pay rise from thier employer.
16.3% said they had been given access to health and wellbeing services.
The last few years couldn’t have been more turbulent. We’ve experienced a global pandemic, lived through several lock downs and now are faced with a cost of living crisis.
There is no doubt these life events have had an impact, so we wanted to find out how its affected what employees want when it comes to employee benefits.
Employee Benefits Satisfaction
Pension (81%) and work from home options (48%) most common benefits employees receive.
Third most common benefit offered by employees is access to counselling (37%).
Nearly half of employees are satisfied with the benefits they receive from their employer.
When asked if they understood their benefits 70% of employees said that either agreed or strongly agreed.
Insurance policies which protect employees and their families most attractive benefits
Flexible hours (43%) takes the top spot when it comes to the benefit employees would most like to see their employer to introduce.
41% of employees would most like to see work-from-home options, this is closely followed by additional employer pension contributions (40%).
Private Medical and Critical Illness Insurance are in employees top 5 when it comes to benefits they would like.
Despite the challenging time businesses and employees are facing. The majority of employees (66%) say that they are happy in their jobs.
Out of the 1,000 employees we surveyed, when asked ‘are you happy in your job:
When it comes to what makes employees happy, good work / life balance topped the list. Of those we asked, 66% said it’s what makes them happiest.
This has risen by 26% percentage since our 2021 survey, knocking colleagues down to 2nd place.
When it comes to what makes employees unhappy, being underpaid (46%) was the number one reason given.
Not all employers can afford to give big pay rises, especially in todays challenging market. However there are other ways you can help an employees money go further.
Employee discount platforms are a cost effective benefit which could help save employees thousands of pounds a year.
Head Of Health & Wellbeing
Levels of stress have reduced since 2021. When asked ‘Do you feel stressed’ 45% of employees agreed or strongly agreed, this is down from 58% in our last survey.
This is good news, however a large proportion of the UK work force still feel stressed.
When asked what causes employees stress the top reasons given were:
Despite work being the main issue causing employees stress, only 26% of respondents said that they were looking to move jobs in the next 12 months. Although this is good news for employers, it’s still important that measures are put in place to help combat stress.
It’s well known that it has a negative impact on mental and physical health. If not addressed it can lead to conditions such as depression and anxiety. This has a knock on effect when it comes to work as it can affect motivation, productivity levels and overall workplace morale.
It can also result in employees having to take long periods of time off sick. A cost that you as an employer would have to bare.
EXPERT TIP 🤓
Many group risk products offer free additional benefits which can help your staff manage stress levels. Examples include free counselling services, mediation practices, fitness classes and more.
The cost of living is taking its toll on UK employees. Out of the 1,000 respondents we asked, 96% said they are concerned about the crisis.
When asked ‘How concerned are you about the current cost of living’:
Only 4% of employees said that they’re weren’t concerned, with 1% saying they didn’t know.
Unfortunately these concerns are a reality for 46% of respondents who said they felt financially worse off compared to this time last year.
When asked ‘Which rises in cost of living are you experiencing?’ the top three responses were:
With costs at an all time high savings are likely to be dipped into to help cover increasing costs. With this in mind we were intrigued to see how long people could survive on their savings if they were unable to work.
Positively 39% said that they could survive for over 3 months. However 1 in 5 said they wouldn’t survive for more than a week.
It’s no surprise then, that to help cope with the increase in cost of living, 33% employees have found themselves having to borrow money in order to pay everyday bills.
The cost of living crisis isn’t just taking its toll on peoples bank accounts, it’s also impacting their mental health.
When asked ‘Do you think your mental health has been negatively impacted by rises in the cost of living, 47% agreed or strongly agreed. 1 in 5 respondents also said that they felt their performance at work had been impacted.
Has Your Performance At Work Been Impacted?
With employees mental health and performance at work being impacted, it’s in an employers best interest to try and support staff through the crisis. However, when asked whether or not employees felt that their employers were doing enough to support them, 37% disagreed.
53% of respondents said that their employers weren’t supporting them at all. Out of those who were receiving support, pay rises and access to health and wellbeing services were the most common forms.
When asked what support employees would like from their employer the top five responses were:
Not supporting employees could potentially be very damaging. Feeling undervalued can lead to low levels of motivation and poor physical and mental health. This can result in a negative workplace culture.
Whilst it’s not always possible to give everyone big pay rises there are plenty of other cost effective benefits to help staff through these difficult times. Workplace financial education is a great example of this, yet only 9% of employers are offering financial wellbeing support.
This could be an opportunity missed, especially as nearly 1 in 5 employees said that benefits which provide them with additional financial support and knowledge are some of the most attractive.
EXPERT TIP 🤓
Educating staff about money can help them to make informed decisions when it comes to their finances. This can help to reduce levels of stress and anxiety, which could have otherwise led to absences from work.
After auto-enrolment it became a legal obligation for employers to provide employees with a workplace pension. With this in mind it will come as no surprise that when asked what benefits employees currently receive, pensions topped the list (81%).
After pensions the 3 most common benefits employees received were:
Although 81% of employees said that their employer offers a pension, through auto-enrolment every eligible UK worker should have access to a workplace pension. It’s an employers legal obligation to ensure that the right staff get enrolled and receive all the relevant pension scheme information.
Access to counselling is the third most common benefit employers are offering. This is positive to see considering 47% of employees said that their mental health had been negatively impacted as a result of cost rises.
70% of employees we asked said that they understood what benefits were on offer and how to use them. However when asked if they were satisfied with them, 35% said that they weren’t.
If employees don’t value the benefits on offer the likelihood is that they won’t use them. If they don’t use them what is the point in offering them?
An employee benefits package should benefit staff and employers, however in order for this to happen employers need to have a clear strategy to align benefits with the needs of employees but also with the overall objectives of their business.
A Total Rewards Strategy is one way of ensuring benefits work hard for your business and employees.
By outlining a clear plan of action, it helps make your benefits more effective in terms of employee satisfaction and pushing forward with company goals.
Senior Consultant, Employee Benefits
So what benefits do employees want? When asked which benefits employees found most attractive, the top three were:
There has clearly been a shift in employees priorities when it comes to benefits. In our 2021 survey the top 2 most attractive benefits for employees were those that helped to:
EXPERT TIP 🤓
Economic and personal factors will impact what employees value when it comes to employee benefits. As a result, in order for benefits to remain effective employers need to measure engagement and regularly review what’s on offer.
With benefits that protect employees and their family being seen as the most attractive, it’s no surprise that company health and critical illness insurance made it into the top 5 benefits employees wanted to see at their company.
Flexible Working, work-from-home options and addition pension contributions also made it to the top of the list.
Company paid group life insurance followed closely behind critical illness cover with 26% of respondents saying they would like their company to introduce it. Other than additional pension contributions, group risk products are the top paid for benefits employees want to see.
It’s important to get benefits right, if not employers could find themselves losing top talent. When asked ‘what benefits would attract you to a job role’ salary came out on top. However work-from-home flexibility (64%) and work environment (57%) were the next most attractive.
In todays market, attracting and retaining top talent isn’t just about providing a good salary. Employees want other benefits such as those listed below. By not considering the needs of employees you could find that they choose to work for a competitor that does.
In order for benefits to be effective staff need to be told about what’s on offer and not just once. They need to be consistently reminded. However this isn’t happening.
When asked ‘how often do employers communicate their benefits?’ 46% of employees said they either didn’t get any communication or only received information once / when joining.
This could go someway to explaining why 25% of employees said they were unsatisfied with their benefits. Without regular reminders, it’s easy to forget whats on offer.
One way of avoiding this from happening is to implement a total rewards statement. This will outline all the benefits / rewards employees get and the total value of them. It can provide employees with a holistic picture of their benefits package and clearly show how much their employer is investing in them.
Some benefits won’t be of value to employees. If after implementing a strong communication plan engagement levels remain low its time to do a review. A
s part of this you should get feedback from your staff to fully understand their wants and needs and align these with your wider business goals.
Senior Consultant, Employee Benefits