Comparing perceptions between HR departments and the general workforce, the survey found that only around half of employees (52%) are happy with the benefits offered by their company. And yet the majority of HR professionals (77%) ranked their workforce's satisfaction with their benefits package at seven or above on a scale of one to 10.
The research uncovered the challenges HR departments face in ensuring that the benefits and incentives they offer are relevant and applicable to a diverse workforce. Almost half of employees (44%) agreed with the claim that their company does not understand the real needs and wishes of the workforce, while 62% of employees said their employers’ rewards and incentives programmes are not applicable to them.
Additionally, 59% of employees disagreed with the claim that their company regularly surprised them with new incentives and benefits, with this figure ranging between 15% for entry-level employees and 41% for director-level.
Sixty-nine per cent of HR professionals felt that benefits such as a private healthcare schemes are attractive, but only 47% of employees agreed.
In response to the same question, 52% of employees and 57% of HR leaders agreed that on-the-spot rewards such as prepaid shopping cards are attractive. This is in line with the finding that a clear majority (77%) of employees across all ages and levels of seniority wanted more benefits that help them cut the costs of everyday life.
Heather Rogers, senior sales and marketing director at Hawk Incentives, said that HR must tailor rewards to suit the specific needs of employees.
“What this research shows is that HR leaders are now actively deploying their rewards and incentives programme to help them achieve their business goals," she said.
“But simply offering a range of rewards is not enough – we know that the real results come from fine-tuning your packages to reflect the current needs and wishes of your people; as they progress in their careers and personal lives.”
The report Pulling the benefits lever: Closing the gap between HR expectations and employee satisfaction is based on a survey of 103 HR professionals and 500 employees. It was conducted by independent market research company Sapio Research on behalf of Hawk Incentives.