Employees who feel personally supported by their organisation are more likely to stay with their employer. Research released today by Thomsons Online Benefits reveals that employees who feel that their benefits scheme has a positive impact on their lives, are over 40% more likely to classify themselves as loyal towards their employer.

Findings come at a time when loyalty is at a premium. The average UK worker will change company every five years, with churn among tech talent even greater. Almost half (44%) of the UK developer population spend less than one year in a position, and Brexit is predicted to compound people issues further.

Thomsons’ annual Global Employee Benefits Watch research, surveying 2,200 employees from multinationals around the world, shows that employers looking to win the loyalty of their people must focus on supporting their individual needs, and stop thinking in generational stereotypes. In the over 65 bracket, almost 30% of employees still want to buy a house and over a third want to progress further in their career. At the same time, goals typically associated with younger generations do not apply to all – 17% of 26 – 35-year olds do not classify socialising as important and 25% do not feel that travelling is.

“There is clear incentive for global employers to get their benefits right, and focus on the individual,”comments Chris Bruce, Managing Director, Thomsons Online Benefits. Employees place benefits above career opportunities, culture and even colleagues when asked about the factors impacting their feelings towards their employer. This means that they are more likely to be loyal, have a better workplace experience and put in discretionary effort if they’re happy with the benefits their employer is offering. Furthermore, almost 30% of prospective employees would ask about benefits in a first round interview, exposing a direct relationship between an employer’s ability to attract talent, and the benefits they provide.”

Despite this, global employers are struggling to supply the range of options needed to support today’s diverse workforce. Almost 60% of employees want to improve their mental wellbeing and get fit and healthy, but only 23% of employees feel fully supported by their employer in this area. Meanwhile, almost half of employees surveyed want to buy a house or go on holiday, but these ambitions are fully supported by under 20% of employers.

Regional discrepancies

While stereotypes should be avoided, the research throws light on regional discrepancies, with employees based in APAC for example displaying high expectations of employer support around life events. While 42% of employees in APAC would appreciate support starting a family, less than half (19%) of those in EMEA would want this. Similarly, 70% of APAC employees would like help going on holiday, versus 33% in EMEA, and 47% would like support getting married, versus 19% in EMEA.

Accessing benefits

The shift towards personalisation is also evident in the way employees want to access their benefits. Employees now have a huge level of choice in how they manage information in their personal lives, and they want this replicated in their workplace. While many prefer to manage benefits via desktop and mobile – 45% and 35% opted for these options respectively – employees also value face-to-face communication highly (46%). This preference for a range of communication types is evident across age groups, confirming the need for organisations to forget generational stereotypes when choosing how to talk to their employees.

 What today’s employees really want is a range of benefits accessible in a variety of ways, that help them achieve their personal goal. “Employees are more than twice as likely to say they’re proud to work for their organisation and can see themselves working there for the foreseeable future if they understand the benefits on offer and can easily access them. In a world where great talent is increasingly hard to come by, it’s paramount businesses understand the role of benefits in attracting and retaining employees and use them to their full potential.”

For more information, download Thomsons’ whitepaper ‘Giving employees a voice on global reward and benefits’ which is part of the Global Employee Benefits Watch series. The annual Global Employee Benefits Watch 2018/19 report will be launched in September.