The one benefit that staff REALLY want

The one benefit that staff REALLY want

Although flexible work schedules, a health and wellbeing programme and free food are amongst some of the most popular work perks, new research finds employees would rather have access to their companies stock purchase plans.

16% of employees said their companies employee stock purchase plan is their most important benefit, (up from 10% in 2014) according to a new survey by Fidelity Investments.

One in five workers in the US expect their company stock to significantly increase over the next three years - CNBC news reports.

Workers can purchase company stock through their employee stock purchase plan at a discount, with qualified plans being up to15% below the current market price. Nonqualified plans can provide even greater discounts.

Across Britain around half of all listed firms run some kind of all-employee stock purchase plan (ESPP). According to research by the London School of Economics, employees who invest work harder for longer hours and have lower absence rates than workers who do not join the plan.

However, a separate study has found that UK companies are failing to reward over one in three (35%) workers, who say they do not receive any out of salary rewards at all.

The Future of Work study, commissioned by Grass Roots Employee Solutions also found a disparity between genders, with women receiving less workplace benefits overall than men.  44% of women say that they do not receive benefits such as healthcare and gym facilities compared to 32% of men and 48% of women don’t get productivity benefits like working from home or education funding, in contrast to 35% of men.

In addition, senior staff appear to have access to more benefits with 23% of C-level execs getting interest free loans compared to just 3% of non-managerial staff, and just eight per cent of C-level executives report not receiving productivity benefits in comparison to 58% of non-managers

However, 90% of UK HR managers believe that their employee benefits strategy is adequate.

“There’s a strong tendency for HR managers to believe that more benefits are being offered than employees think there are. It suggests that clearer information about benefits is needed within organisations,” John Arnold, a Professor of Organisation Behaviour at Loughborough University, said.

“In some cases, it might be the case that some benefits are only available to more senior members of an organisation. HR managers should be aware that benefits that are applied unequally run the risk of being perceived as unfair and doing more damage than good to employee commitment.”

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