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Focusing on individual employee needs boosts your retention

By Chris Bruce


Employee loyalty is harder to secure now than ever before – especially amongst younger generations joining the workforce.

Forty-three per cent of millennials expect to leave their job in the next two years and only 28 per cent say they plan to stay more than five. For Gen Z, 61 per cent plan to leave within two years and only 12 per cent see themselves staying beyond five. It’s clear that younger employees need a bigger reason to stay with their organizations than just job security. But the annual Global Employee Benefits Watch research, which surveyed 2,200 employees from multinationals around the world, found that many organizations aren’t offering the benefits their employees are looking for. Employers are missing a huge opportunity to secure employee loyalty by providing personalized benefits that support the individual needs of their people.

If organizations want their benefits to support employees’ individual needs, they need to stop using generational stereotypes to determine their benefits programs. For example, in the over 65 age bracket, almost 30 per cent of employees want to buy a house and over a third still want to progress further in their career, goals which are typically attributed to a younger demographic. The idea that these employees are solely focused on retirement planning isn’t true. Misleading stereotypes aren’t just limited to older employees, for example only 17 per cent of 26-35-year-olds rank socializing as important. Each individual has specific life goals and priorities, which don’t always fit neatly within a stereotypical set of needs.

Relying on generational assumptions leads employers to offer benefits that miss the mark. But this doesn’t mean that employers should avoid looking at trends within groups altogether, for example within regions. North Americans place more importance on work/life balance, with 75 per cent listing it as a top priority. Yet, when it comes to travel, only 45 per cent of North American employees view travelling for more than a month as important, while 70 per cent of employees in the Asia-Pacific region see this as a huge bonus.

Dealing with regional nuances and avoiding generational stereotypes can be challenging. Fortunately, there are more straightforward issues that the majority of employees across ages and locations want support with. Almost 60 per cent of employees surveyed want to improve their mental wellbeing and get physically fit and healthy with benefits like therapy or gym memberships, but only 23 per cent said they feel fully supported by their employer in doing this. Additionally, nearly half of employees surveyed want to buy a house or go on a vacation.

Employee loyalty is a major goal for organizations across the board. This report revealed that 81 per cent of employees who feel that their benefits positively impact their lives feel loyal to their employer. There’s a clear incentive for global employers to tailor their benefits to support their staff’s individual needs. When asked about what factors influence their feelings toward their employer, employees rank benefits above career opportunities, culture and colleagues. Employees are more than twice as likely to say they’re proud to work for their organization and can see themselves working there for the foreseeable future if they understand the benefits on offer and can easily access them.

Attracting great talent is far from easy, and employers need to understand the impact that benefits have on talent attraction and retention. Offering easily accessible, customized benefits leads to more loyal employees, higher productivity and a better workplace experience. So, what are you waiting for?

Chris Bruce is the co-founder and managing director of Thomsons Online Benefits.




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