New research suggests employees would change jobs if the employee benefits on offer were more relevant to their personal circumstances.
In their What Workers Wants 2017 which surveyed over 13,500 professionals across a range of professions and sectors, Hays found that 13 per cent of the surveyed employees would accept a position elsewhere if the benefits were more relevant and meaningful to them, whilst 36 per cent would accept a lower salary if it meant they would have more annual leave.
In addition, 61 per cent said they would take a pay cut if the employee benefits package on offer was better than their existing one and 58 per cent said they would take a pay cut if the new organisation had a better culture in terms of diversity and engagement.
Over 80 per cent said they "always look" at an organisation's flexible-working policies when applying for a new role despite 28 per cent of employer respondents insisting that flexible working was not important in their company.
When asked about their current role, nearly half of employee respondents rated their work-life balance as either average, poor or terrible. Unsurprisingly, 67 per cent said they'd like to work for a company which restricted out-of-hours working to improve work-life balance for staff.
In contrast, 55 per cent of employers said they discussed employee benefits with candidates during the interview process but 21 per cent admitted they rarely - or had never - discussed health and wellbeing policies with potential employees.
Commenting on the findings, Clare Sheridan, principal at Aon Employee Benefits said it was a 'real turning point' that employees were starting to place more value around their whole benefits package rather than just the salary.
"It shows quite clearly that employees are now much better informed around benefits and rewards packages," she said. "But it's important however, for employers to really understand what employees want and what their needs are. Providing relevant benefits in relation to employee demographic can lead to higher satisfaction and staff engagement levels."
Meanwhile, Nigel Heap, managing director at Hays UK and Ireland urged employers to nurture ambition in the workplace whilst providing a good work-life balance and "positive career experience" for all employees.
"While pay remains the focus for employees considering staying in a role or moving jobs, employers need to be aware of other factors influencing employees' decisions," he commented. "Culture is important and employees want to feel their career development is being approached on a personal basis in an organisation where they are a strong cultural fit."
Sheridan added: "Providing a positive career experience is certainly a key aspect employers should be considering, but employers also need to offer employees more flexibility and choice around their pay and benefits which can lead to a better work-life balance and allow staff to address their particular lifestyle needs as they get older."
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