While offering higher pay can attract employees, it’s not the sole factor in retaining top talent. According to a survey conducted by Forbes Advisor, 40% of employers reported that workers leave their jobs in search of better employee benefits. The study also highlighted that 62% of businesses have modified their benefit packages in the past year. If you’re considering updating your offerings, take note of these new statistics on the most desirable employee benefits.
Top Benefits for Employees
Employers largely aligned with employees in identifying the three most sought-after benefits. However, their understanding of employee preferences dwindled beyond that point. Notably, employers undervalued the importance of mandatory paid time off while overestimating the significance of employee discounts, which employees don’t prioritize.
Employer-covered healthcare: This benefit ranked highest, with 67% of employees and 68% of employers considering it crucial. Life insurance: 45% of employees and 43% of employers viewed this as a top benefit. Pension and retirement plans: Planning for the future was deemed vital by 34% of employees and 34% of employers. Mandatory paid time off: Employees placed greater importance on mandatory paid time off than employers realized, with 31% of employees considering it a top benefit, though it didn’t make the top five list for employers. Mental health assistance: While 33% of employers identified this as a top benefit, only 23% of employees included it on their list.
Significant Culture Benefits for Employees and Employers
Both employees and employers agreed on the most essential aspects of company culture.
Work-life balance: This element topped the list for employees and employers alike, with 51% of employees and 47% of employers highlighting its significance. Building trust: Trust was considered crucial from both perspectives, with 20% of employees valuing trust from peers and superiors, and 27% of employers recognizing the importance of building trust with employees. Team camaraderie: Only 11% of employees and 8% of employers regarded camaraderie as an important cultural benefit. Employers may need to explore alternative approaches beyond after-hours team-building to foster trust and improve work-life balance.
Benefits That Lead to Employee Departure
Contrary to common belief, salary isn’t the primary reason for employees leaving their jobs. While pay is indeed important, other forms of compensation also play a significant role in motivating employees to seek new opportunities.
According to small business owners, employees leave due to:
Higher pay: 32% of employers identified this as a top reason for employee departures. Better benefits: 26% of employers acknowledged the role of benefits in employees’ decisions to leave, which likely spurred the recent adjustments to benefits packages. Improved advancement opportunities: 22% of employers believed employees left for better career progression prospects elsewhere. Flexible work-from-home options: 20% of employers recognized that employees quit due to the lack of flexible working arrangements, although this benefit wasn’t deemed essential by most employers.
Majority of Workers Don’t Prioritize a Four-Day Workweek
The interest in a four-day workweek varied with age, but the majority of workers did not express a preference for it.
Interest in a four-day workweek by age group:
18–25: 12% 26–41: 19% 42–57: 24% 58–76: 32%
Although interest in a four-day workweek was generally low across all age groups, workers aged 26 and above displayed significantly more interest compared to their younger counterparts. This could reflect the need for older workers to accommodate caretaking responsibilities or their confidence in their ability to perform their jobs more efficiently. Younger workers may also be more comfortable with a five-day workweek if work provides opportunities for socializing and personal development.
Forbes Advisor commissioned a survey of 1,000 employed Americans and 1,000 business owners, conducted by market research company OnePoll, adhering to the Market Research Society’s code of conduct. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 points with 95% confidence. The OnePoll research team is a member of the Market Research Society and holds corporate membership with the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).