While tangible benefits such as 401(k) plans and health insurance are popular among employees, more ideological offerings are at the top of their wish lists.
A new survey looked at what benefits employees want and found that they often wish for things they don’t really expect to get. At the same time, there are benefits they expect (and almost always get) that don’t really add much to job satisfaction. The survey authors said their findings suggest that “although there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for employee satisfaction, leaders need to have these conversations regularly in order to know what’s working and what’s not in their organization.”
The survey divided benefits into four categories:
- Delighters. These are benefits that employees don’t assume they’ll get (low expectations) but that contribute significantly to their job satisfaction (high impact).
- Desired. These are benefits employees expect to receive (high expectation) and that also boost job satisfaction (high impact).
- Expected. Employees expect to receive these benefits (high expectation), but they don’t contribute much to job satisfaction (low impact).
- Other. These benefits are both low expectation and low impact.
Among the delighters are:
- Business practices in line with personal values.
- Opportunities to gain marketable skills.
- Recognition for your work.
- Managers who care about your career.
- Healthy relationships with peers.
Desired benefits include:
- Opportunities for growth and advancement.
- Your ideas are taken seriously.
- Clear communication about what is expected.
- Gaining a broad spectrum of skills.
- Transparent communication about job and company.
- Compensation in line with expectations.
- Your work contributes to the company’s success.
Among top expected benefits are:
- Clear communication about your performance.
- Reasonable hours.
- Company is stable.
- Job security.
Interestingly, these are the benefits that have both low expectations and impact:
- Having a sense of autonomy.
- Company has a positive impact on the world.
- Having a mentor or coach.
- Having a reasonable commute.
- Being included in office culture and events.
- Peers that you can rely on for help.
- Company is well-known, has name recognition.
The survey authors concluded, “What’s notable about the factors that motivate employees is that they don’t necessarily require pricey amenities or exorbitant pay. Rather, they indicate that workers want to contribute to the goals of their employer, achieve recognition, and stay informed on the company in general and their department or team in specific.”