Studies have shown that 91% of UK employers face ‘significant challenges’ with recruiting and retaining staff. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), an estimated 4 million UK employees have changed their careers between 2022 and 2023 due to a lack of flexible working options.
When considering how organisations can attract and retain talent, research suggests employees are increasingly prioritising benefits packages over pay when it comes to selecting their next role.
A survey conducted by edays absence management asked UK employees which benefits matter most to them, with four out of five respondents saying that the most important is sick pay above SSP.
Another 65% of employees favour a four-day working week the most — making it the second most desirable benefit in the survey. A pilot programme of the four-day working week was carried out in 2022 – with results showing that 39% of employees reported feeling less stressed, almost three-quarters had reduced levels of burnout, and the number of staff leaving their roles dropped by 57%.
edays’ survey also found that nearly half (45%) of respondents would like bereavement leave that goes beyond the statutory entitlement, by extending it to include wider family and pets.
Other sought-after benefits included birthday leave (45%), unlimited annual leave (34%) and wellbeing days (34%).
Katrina Bennett, People Director at edays, says: “Since the pandemic, many employers have focused more on what employees want and need during different life stages. It’s important to consider what professional development can empower people in their roles and how to offer the appropriate support for various circumstances.
“By continuing to review benefits packages yearly, organisations can assess whether employees value and utilise all benefits. Employee engagement and pulse surveys are great for employers to gather data to help inform their decisions.
“Ensuring that you can remain adaptable and flexible around benefits can also give employers with a limited budget an edge in a competitive recruitment space.”