Employees are not happy.
That may sound a very general statement, it may not accurately reflect your organisation or company, but it is certainly true for the majority.
Research by a leading consultancy has shown that, on average, employee happiness has fallen by 75% over the past two years.
Now, we would certainly agree that this is a very broad finding. It is also reasonable to ask how accurate a percentage figure ever can be – how do you gauge how happy you were at work two years ago, how does this relate to now. And what would be the percentage change?
However, while it is perfectly fair to quibble over the exact amount of unhappiness and the level of increase, the data does suggest a worrying trend. The majority of employees surveyed are less happy with their working conditions and role (and this measures happiness specifically related to work, not life overall).
None of this is surprising. You can try to ask people to focus just on their workplace happiness, but inevitably it will often be their overall happiness levels that shine through.
The last two years have seen us battle a global pandemic, morale is naturally at a near all-time low.
People are unlikely to carry this burden and yet feel like their work has never been better.
Tackling Workplace Unhappiness
Whatever the exact figures, whatever the cause, what can be done about this workplace unhappiness?
An employer can’t just throw money at the problem and raise everyone’s salary – in any case there is evidence that salary alone does little to boost happiness.
What matters more is feeling valued and listened to, feeling that the employer cares.
Here, workplace, employee benefits can be of huge benefit.
The benefits can be of value individually. Discounted gym membership can save employees money on a service they would look to use, a Cycle to Work scheme can help them acquire a high-quality bike as a salary sacrifice, this being of significant financial benefit.
There are so many other benefits too – Dining Club Card, dental and health insurance, leasing for cars, phones and more.
However, what can often be overlooked is the overall benefit, the overall message a comprehensive suite of workplace benefits provides.
When an organisation has a wide range of benefits, these truly offering something for everyone, and they promote these benefits it demonstrates something about their ethos as an employer.
It shows that employees are cared for, that the organisation is making efforts to make their life that bit easier.
In this blog, we have written previously about the need for benefits to be truly comprehensive.
All too often, one person sets up what they think is a good offering of benefits. It rarely works.
The benefits often suit a particular subgroup of employees – perhaps those who are sporty and active, or, it may be that they are heavily focussed to those who have families.
In almost all cases, they will give thought to those who currently are employed, and not those an organisation might look to entice in future – talented young graduates for instance.
A suite of benefits that is patchy and limited can actually further worsen morale – it creates an entirely unintentional them and us narrative. There are those who have these great benefits tailored towards them, while we get nothing.
Comprehensive means having benefits that offer financial imperative, others help with health, even mental health. Others still just make life easier, they are convenient.
A benefit in this category might be the Holiday Exchange Scheme – this allowing employees to buy or sell a week’s holiday. There are those who find an extra week’s leave incredibly useful, for instance helping them to manage the school summer holidays. For others, they have no need for the full holiday quota; they can work a week more and earn.
A workplace nursery scheme enables employees to benefit from a place at a superb local nursery, this paid for as a salary sacrifice. This can save thousands of pounds per year, help parents back into the workforce and even bolster a sense of community with many employees all having their youngsters at the same nursery.
At Enjoy Benefits, we have great experience in helping companies of all sizes introduce benefits that are suitable for their workplace.
Benefits are easy to set up and ongoing administration is then run through a hub, this allowing employees to manage their own benefits while the employer can see which benefits are proving popular and what level of take-up each has had.
If you would like an obligation free chat to discuss which benefits might work for your business and your employees, please contact us by calling 0800 088 7315 or using our Contact Form.