Can you be too young for perks?

Young people worjing

Company benefit schemes are thought to be ignoring younger employees, with just 16 per cent under 25 feeling that their current package is suitable for them.

This is because such packages are predominantly designed for employees aged 45-54 where one in three say they fit their lifestyle.

A study, by the wipes company Wet Ones, asked employees at 133 firms how their health and wellbeing needs and habits have changed, and whether updated benefits packages from their employers would help to support them.

Among the findings were:

  • A third of under-25s want to see travel vaccinations included, helping them to embrace their wanderlust as overseas travel returns.
  • A quarter wanted additional ‘health days’ holiday packages to support mental health.
  • Two in ten asked for greater flexibility on working hours, hoping that Covid-enforced changes would lead to a working hours revolution. Many employee schemes remain unchanged after the global shift to home working and a more flexible hybrid system. This has led to many company perks being unused and failing to encourage employee health, wellbeing, and productivity which explains why over four in every five say their company’s scheme no longer fits their lifestyle.

One interesting finding was a significant variation between different-sized companies in how active employees have been since shifting to home working.

Those with over 1,000 staff have been found to be slower in promoting life balance and physical activity since working from home. Employees were nearly five times less likely to be physically active when working from home compared to employees from SMEs.

Gurinder Sagoo, HR Director for North Europe and Oceania at Wet Ones, said: “The findings show that an urgency to adapt employee wellbeing packages has emerged during the last year. Significantly, they also demonstrate how essential it is for benefits packages to cater for everyone in the workplace, by taking into account each individual’s age, lifestyle and personal circumstances.

“An inclusive benefits package contributes to the whole team feeling supported in pursuing a healthy lifestyle both physically and mentally.”

Kris Ambler, Workforce Lead at the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy said: “Lockdown loneliness and digital fatigue are among the phrases that have entered our lexicon and many employees are contending with bereavement and grief, redundancy, restructuring and job insecurity.

“This means that employee benefit programmes will need to be more personalised; managers will have to be more intuitive when assessing the mental wellbeing of remote workers; and financial wellbeing support will need to play a larger role within the employee benefits and occupational health mix.”

Dawn Morris, HR Adviser at Cluer HR, said: “The right workplace support can have a hugely positive impact on employee wellbeing and mental health and is fundamental to every employer’s reward and benefits programme, to show understanding and appreciation of current and future employees, to build an engaged, supported and productive workforce. Having the right benefits package can also attract new talent to the business.”

More on the West Ones survey here 

Higher paid staff more likely to expect perks

Embrace the difference to keep staff happy