Partnering with a more human resource

Employees Benefits: why employers are terrible at it

Posted by: ADP on 1 August 2016 in Benefits

We all love a good benefit. Whether it’s health care, pensions, health and wellbeing schemes, salary sacrifice options, mobility allowance, or the myriad of other options, these are the perks that make our jobs more pleasurable. It’s a little birthday present given from an employer to an employee. Except unlike birthdays, these come once a month. And don’t involve cake.

Benefits are a vital way of attracting and keeping hold of the best people, but not all companies understand that and use the rewards schemes to engage the workforce.

The problem is also, most employers aren’t very good at offering the benefits people actually want. The demographic changes in workforces nowadays mean we all want different things anyway. And the technology and software systems needed to offer and track those benefits are costly and complicated to run. 

Too many employers are trying to deal with this alone. From increased retirement age to family-friendly perks, commission, increased workplace flexibility, remote working, child care payments, tax credits… the list goes on – managing benefits is an increasingly complex task. HR teams are buried under risk management demands and scrambling for local legislative support.

Whether it’s the EU Posted Workers Enforcement Directive, pensions auto-enrolment in the UK, new tax rates for company cars, or Sarbannes-Oxley compliance with US partners, there is a steady flow of in-coming laws that benefits can fall foul of. Dare I even mention Brexit, and the UK divorcing itself from decades of EU employment law?!

IT departments are just as stretched. And with each new change, the reward and benefits task becomes more complex.

No surprise then that only 9% of employees1 (less than one in ten!) claim that they fully understand the reward policy of their company. Most benefits strategies are not fit for purpose. Chances are, your business has the same problem.

It is more than obvious – a “one size fits all” benefits model is no longer an option. The majority of UK employees (57%) say that an improved benefits package could motivate them to remain with their employer.2 They want self-service options accessible online all the time, from employers who understand their needs. And if they don’t get them, they will vote with their feet.

To learn more how to use employee benefits as an engagement and recruitment tool, read ADP’s latest report “Benefits: The Forgotten Strategy to Engage Employees and Boost Revenue”


  1. AON Hewitt (2014), EMEA Benefits Communication Survey
  2. MetLife (2015), Employee Benefits Trends Survey
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TAGS: benefits child care payments Employee engagement employee rewards engaged workforce health care mobility allowance pensions remote working tax credits wellbeing schemes workplace flexibility

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