New research highlights a significant disconnect between employee desires and the challenges for HR professionals in delivering fulfilling benefit programmes, including reward, recognition and well-being programmes. 

Conducted by Opinion Matters, the study titled ‘Beyond the Salary Slip’ from Boostworks gathers insights from over 3,000 participants, including HR professionals, C-suite executives, and employees.

Despite 97% of C-suite executives expressing a desire for improved rewards programmes and employees reporting a mere 40% utilisation rate, HR professionals are being tasked with the evolution of rewards programmes. However, a fifth of HR respondents cite a lack of C-suite support as the primary hurdle to advancement, underscoring the difficulties organisations face in staying aligned with the evolving demands of modern employees.

The research highlights that 47% of employees feeling undervalued, believing leaders are out of touch with their reward preferences, also revealing that a concerning 54% of employees are rarely, if ever, consulted about benefits schemes that directly impact their work-life satisfaction.

With 91% seeking more personalised communication regarding rewards and recognition, it appears that HR professionals and business leaders across the UK face a pivotal challenge: evolving benefit, reward, and recognition strategies to meet the nuanced needs of today’s employees.

Andy Caldicott, Boostworks CEO, commented:

The desire to implement a compelling Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is clear, with 87% of HR leaders poised to strategically enhance their programmes. The time has come for HR and business leaders to work closely together and transform these plans into action, recognising that a well-executed EVP can significantly shift the needle from employees feeling underappreciated to those that are thoroughly engaged and inspired.

Andy Caldicott, Boostworks CEO

Key findings: 

  • Attraction and Alignment:63% of employees were attracted to their current job due to the company’s reward, recognition, and benefits programs. However, over two-fifths (44%) of employees feel they do not get rewarded by their organisation at all for their accomplishments.
  • Recognition Deficiency:65% of employees believe improvements to their organisation’s current reward and recognition programme are needed. Furthermore, a concerning 44% of employees feel that they do not receive any recognition from their organisation for their accomplishments, contributing to a sense of unacknowledged efforts for 52% of employees (over the past 12 months).
  • Lack of Understanding:Just under a quarter (21%) of employees admit to not fully understanding the reward, recognition, and benefits available to them through their employer.
  • Top Priorities for Recognition:Work anniversaries, birthdays, and significant life events such as births or adoptions of a child top the list of events employees believe should be recognised and rewarded.
  • Desire for Tailored Benefits:While 54% of employees currently have tailored benefits, the majority desire more personalised rewards, with 90% expressing a preference for immediate rewards that offer real-life benefits, such as extra days off or flexible working hours. Wellbeing and Development priorities are also considered priorities for employees: with a strong desire for non-monetary recognition supporting wellbeing (82%), career development opportunities (86%), and peer-to-peer recognition initiatives (83%).
  • Next generation wants and desires: Millennials and Gen Z employees want to see student loan repayment assistance and mental health benefits prioritised alongside traditional offerings.

Andy Caldicott concludes:

Promisingly, 72% of companies are actively planning to customise their benefits offerings, highlighting the strategic importance placed on attracting and retaining talent. The learnings from this research are clear – now is the time to reflect, recalibrate, and reinvigorate the strategies and programmes that will define your success in recognising and valuing your most important asset: your people.

Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website | + posts

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.