Employee Insight Report 2016/17

Our Employee Insight Report is now in its 4th year and the results of this research have benefited employers looking to get an understanding of what their own employees may be thinking. The report follows a survey of over 3,000 UK employees covering their views on pensions, health, financial wellbeing, benefits and the relationship with their employer. 

We continue to learn more and more about people by surveying them. The world around us is continually changing – people drive this revolution (by creating new technologies to cope with existing problems or by challenging current convention) and factor these developments into their own lives (such as saving more for retirement or putting money aside to cope with the unexpected). Not only this, but we have become increasingly demanding as our work and personal lives blur into one.

Taking a step back to listen to what people are saying is a hugely valuable exercise. Surveying people is a great way of understanding how people feel – and the bigger the sample size, the deeper we are able to dig into what specific groups of people may be thinking.

This is the essence of the Report; listening to what people are saying, looking at their current attitudes and reflecting on what these mean for employers designing benefit programmes for their employees. It helps us gauge the broad direction of travel of what employees may be thinking and from here we can map solutions accordingly.

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About the research methodology

The research is based on the results and findings from our own online survey of UK employees, as well as drawing from a wide variety of different sources, such as the Office for National Statistics, the Association of British Insurers, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Ofcom, the Resolution Foundation etc.

We commissioned an online survey of 3,006 UK employees aged 16+ which was conducted between 21 April and 12 May 2016. Participants in the research were all members of the Research Now survey panel.

65% of employees say they would expect their employer to provide guidance on the employee benefits they offer and how appropriate each benefit might be to them and their family.

70% of employees say they feel less productive if they come into work whilst ill.

Pause for thought

Through our research a number of conclusions can be drawn on how employers can best respond to the attitudes of and circumstances facing their UK employees today.

Understanding and adapting to these challenges will be vital for those employers who want to assist their employees and/or retain talent in the marketplace. Some of the conclusions may give more than simply pause for thought – they are a call to action.

The introduction of the Lifetime ISA will see another product competing with pensions in the long-term savings space. ISAs are popular and LISA has the added appeal to under 40 year olds of either being used for retirement or as a deposit to buy a home.

Whilst the Freedom and Choice reforms presented retirees with more options in later life, the ugly side effect of greater choice is greater scope to make potentially poor decisions. We vastly underestimate how long we are likely to live for and risk running out of money through retirement.

Big Data is data that is so big that the size of the data causes problems for the people trying to process and analyse it. Whilst Big Data was happily embraced by retailers (to understand shopping preferences of people), take-up was slower in the world of pensions, reward, health and benefits.

Personalisation is crucial in communications – talking to people in their language, via channels they like is critical in improving engagement and understanding. If something resonates more then it will be appreciated more. People are used to this level of personalisation and guidance from pretty much every organisation they have a relationship with. There should be no difference in terms of expectations in respect of their employer as well.

This research highlights both the problems as well as the clues to what some solutions might be – based on what employees themselves are saying. In a nutshell, the shifts in demographics, society and the economy need to become the catalysts for different thinking to create new reward models.

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