Over half (55%) of 18-34 year-olds say that a good benefits package is now the most important thing they look for in employment, compared to 42% of the general workforce, finds new research from employee benefits technology platform, Zest.

These findings are released as younger employees, continue to struggle financially more than older colleagues as a result of the cost of living crisis. For example, 14% of 18–24-year-olds believe their employee benefits packages provided a lifeline during the cost of living crisis, compared to 4% amongst those aged over 55.

In fact, workplace benefits are now seen as playing such a vital role in providing financial support that two-thirds (67%) of younger employees would leave their job if another company offered them a better benefits package – compared to just 37% of employees aged over 55 and the average for all UK employees (54%).

The research demonstrates that employers need to do more to provide financial support through employee benefits packages. Despite 82% of businesses increasing investment in benefits since the pandemic, 45% of employees think that their workplace benefits package is inadequate.

A major factor behind employee dissatisfaction with benefits packages is a lack of engagement and the benefits on offer not being relevant. Although 84% of businesses believe that employees use the full range of benefits available to them – just a third (33%) of employees say they use all the benefits on offer. Two-thirds (65%) also say they’d use their benefits more if they were personalised to their needs.

Moreover, younger generations are not afraid to keep moving jobs if it means that their demands can be better met. According to Cushon, one in five (21%) of the 18-24 olds it surveyed are already on to at least their fifth job. By 2025 it is predicted that millennials will make up most of the workforce and the number of Gen Z employees is set to rise to about 58% by 2030.

With four in ten (42%) businesses struggling to hire talent, and a third (29%) unable to raise salaries in line with inflation, investing in personalised flexible and targeted benefits could be a cost-effective approach to attract and retain talent businesses need.

Matt Russell, CEO at Zest comments:

It is not simply about the amount invested in packages – employers need to ensure that the benefits on offer are relevant to their workforce, personalised to what they need and communicated clearly at the right time to those most likely to use a specific option. This approach will not only boost engagement with benefits but also offer enhanced value for money for both employer and employee.

 Matt Russell, CEO at Zest


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.