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Understand the Value of your Employee Benefits

By: Paul MacKenzie-Cummings - Updated: 8 Sep 2010 | comments*Discuss
Understand The Value Of Your Employee Benefits

As far as many employers are concerned, one sure-fire way to boost the commitment and contentment of their staff is simply to pay them more money. Sure, many people are motivated by the prospect of earning more money. But research has shown that this could actually have precisely the opposite effect and that the blend of bonus and a benefits package are the most likely combination to create happier workers in Britain.

So what benefits are available to you in your new job and what are they really worth?

According to a recent survey, only 48 per cent of British workers are happy with their benefits package and only one-in-two employees are happy in both their current role and their current employer. Indeed, out of a possible list of 24 benefits most UK workers will only receive an average of 3.6 - normally as a combination of a bonus system, private medical insurance and flexible working.

However, as little as that may seem, it is worth remembering that a benefits package can add as much as 30 to 40 per cent onto the value of your salary. Furthermore, the same survey also found that employees who are more concerned with their material success, status and power than they are with helping colleagues or developing their own talents, are more likely to be dissatisfied with their lives and are less committed to their organisation; thereby challenging one of the most commonly-held beliefs about workforce motivation.

And the important thing here is not for employers to simply throw benefits at you - the key to true job satisfaction is to offer the right benefits.

Satisfying Benefits From Work

Psychologist Maarten Vansteenkiste, who quizzed 885 workers across all employment levels about their attitudes to work and what benefits were most important to them, such as good pay or better holiday entitlement, suggested that:

"Although these benefits may appear to be great motivators they, rather paradoxically, are not. This is because material rewards divert employees away from recognising/attaining other less tangible goals that are important to maintain good mental health such as good working relationships with colleagues, autonomy and job satisfaction."

Analysis has identified that the benefits which result in employees being most satisfied with their benefits package are: a bonus (a highly desired requirement by 40 per cent of UK employees), private medical insurance and flexible working. In fact, 85 per cent of British workers who receive all three of these benefits – in addition to a company pension - are ‘satisfied’ with their benefits package.

Other benefits such as free car parking, share schemes, sports club membership and season ticket loans, are all 'nice to haves' but not as highly desired.

Finally, although eight out of 10 jobseekers receive less than 25 days holiday, there is little difference in the actual number of holidays observed between the happiest and most miserable workers. And as the results of a survey of 350,000 executives in the USA revealed, the top 10 per cent of successful performers were successful because they held a higher sense of optimism.

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