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Employers not measuring the impact of employee benefits

Organisations could be in the dark about which perks their workforces value most

More than two-fifths (42%) of HR decision-makers don’t measure staff appreciation of the benefits they offer, meaning organisations could be missing out on key insight into which perks employees value most, according to group risk lobbyist GRiD.

Its research, which surveyed 500 HR professionals, found that almost a quarter (22%) of employers admitted their biggest challenge was knowing which benefits to offer staff. However, despite this lack of insight, more than half (58%) continued to fund benefits programmes.

The research also suggested that where companies do measure the impact of benefits they may be “pleasantly surprised” to see staff appreciate them. Of those that do measure workforce appreciation, 55% believe employees value their benefits very much. Of those that don’t measure, only 25% believe their staff value their benefits very much.

Katharine Moxham, a spokesperson for GRiD, said that measuring benefits can provide a better understanding of which offerings are effective.

"Employers that don’t ask their staff what they value may be worried that the benefits they offer won’t be appreciated, but our research shows that they may be pleasantly surprised. And the more that companies understand which benefits resonate with their staff, the easier it is for them to make decisions about future benefits,” she said.

"When employers don’t measure how much their benefits are valued they’re only really doing half a job. Offering them is one thing, but it’s crucial that employers know which ones are adding value to their company."

These findings follow separate research from the CIPD last year, which found that while 97% of employers planned to increase their spending on benefits 74% don’t conduct a review of their benefit spend, meaning they could be wasting money on schemes with low take-up.

Charles Cotton, senior adviser for performance and rewards at the CIPD, told HR magazine he is concerned by the lack of improvement in this area.

“[GRiD's] research echoes the CIPD’s own findings from last year, which showed that while HR is committed to increasing spending on benefits three-quarters do not conduct analysis into this,” he said. “I am quite surprised that since then there has not been some kind of external pressure on the profession to justify the value of why it is investing in benefits.”

Cotton said that proper measurement can help HR demonstrate the value of its spend: “This is an opportunity for HR to demonstrate the value of rewards, as well as establishing and articulating what is working, what rewards might not be working, and why. Communicating with staff to see what they want from this is the best way forward.”