Benefits – the main motivation for employees?

The benefits offered may help to attract and retain them, but do not guarantee they will stay in the job.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

In the current situation, with companies struggling to find people to fill certain positions, firms are competing with one another by offering various benefits that would make the job offer more attractive for potential employees.

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The benefits offered may help to attract and retain them, but do not guarantee they will stay in the job. Generally speaking, employees stay with an employer mostly due to their relationships and the atmosphere in the workplace, and meaningful work, not benefits. Also, relationships with superiors and management are very important. In addition, employees want to participate in creating the vision and strategy, have trust in management, be respected, and feel they can count on them in the future. This creates a relationship with the company, as well as the long-term satisfaction and loyalty of employees.

The benefits make the job more attractive, though it is not possible to offer advantages that will be interesting across the board for all employees. It is necessary to distinguish benefits based on age (younger employees prefer different advantages than older ones), job character, working position, managerial level, and also region.

Older employees will appreciate benefits concerning family, health, healthy food and wellness. The benefits preferred by this group, like environment, additional pension insurance, home office (suitable for employees with small children), discounts on products also for other family members, or other company events for families, are not attractive for younger employees. They expect benefits to increase their qualifications, but they also seek flexible working hours as they really seek a “work-life balance”.

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There is also a difference between work positions. For traders, life insurance, and a secure business car with reimbursement for kilometres driven for private purposes belong among interesting benefits, while for IT specialists this may include reimbursement for dioptre glasses or technically-focused training. Regarding lower income employees, an increase in salary via various vouchers or higher meal vouchers is the biggest benefit. Senior management comprises a separate category, as they look at benefits also from the perspective of status. The best possibility is to offer employees to contribute to the creation and selection of benefits. Bigger companies offer a so-called cafeteria (the catalogue of benefits), from which employees can choose their “own” benefits. Smaller companies create benefits individually, while there are also companies which cannot afford to offer benefits. It is important to communicate within the company about financial results and benefits offered, as well as to carry out regular surveys about the satisfaction of employees. To communicate, to ask employees, and to respond to their demands.

Despite the efforts of companies to find a proper combination of the benefits, there will always be dissatisfied staffers, but with appropriate internal communication and work with employees, it is possible to increase their satisfaction.

Dana Blechová is managing partner at Blechova Management Consulting

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