The 6 Most Desired Employee Benefits

6 min read

It’s no secret that the job market is competitive. Companies are always on the lookout for the best and brightest employees to join their teams. But what are job seekers looking for when they search for the perfect job? Sure, a competitive salary is important, but what about other factors that can make or break an employment decision?

Employee engagement and retention are essential for any successful business. Offering employees the right benefits package can be an integral part of the employee recruitment and onboarding process and help to boost engagement and retention within the workplace.

In this blog post, we’ll cover the top 6 desired employee benefits most sought by new UK employees and how they can help to ensure that your employees stay engaged and motivated and give you the advantage in attracting top talent.

Why Employee Benefits Matter More Than Ever

In today’s competitive landscape, employee benefits matter more than ever!

Employee benefits have always been significant but have become even more crucial recently. With the current climate, employee recruitment has become a major concern for businesses of all sizes. Companies that offer attractive employee benefits packages are more likely to appeal to potential candidates, giving them a competitive edge in the job market.

But it’s about more than attracting new talent. Employee benefits also play a crucial role in employee retention. Providing employees with benefits that support their health, wellbeing, and professional growth will help keep them engaged and satisfied with their job. Employees who feel their employer values and cares for them will likely stay with the company long-term.

An attractive employee benefits package can also contribute to employer branding. When employees are happy with their benefits and the company culture, they are more likely to speak positively about their experience to others. This can help to build a positive reputation for the company, making it more attractive to potential employees.

Overall, investing in a good employee benefits package is a win-win situation. It can help to attract and retain top talent, improve employee engagement and satisfaction, and contribute to a positive employer brand. So if you haven’t already, it’s time to start reviewing and improving your employee benefits package. Your employees (and your business) will thank you for it.

The number one most desired employee benefit is flexible working

1. Flexible and Remote Working Options

Regarding employee benefits, flexible working has become one of the most essential aspects for employees. It’s become a non-negotiable for many. With more and more people looking for a better work-life balance, it’s clear that the 9-5, Monday-Friday work week doesn’t cut it anymore. And that’s why flexible working has become a top priority.

Not only does flexible working allow employees to work around their other commitments, but it also shows employers trust and respect their staff to get their work done. This trust is critical to building a positive and engaged workforce.

With remote working options becoming increasingly common, the opportunity to work from anywhere is another perk many employees seek. The ability to work from home, a coffee shop or even another country is hugely appealing to those who want to escape the daily commute or have the flexibility to work around their personal lives. And it’s not just about the hours worked, but the location too.

Additionally, remote working options can be a big selling point in attracting new talent. With the ability to work from anywhere, potential employees are likelier to see a role with flexible working as a dream opportunity. In summary, flexible and remote working options are becoming more important than ever for employees. Not only do they offer a better work-life balance, but they can also attract new talent and build trust within the workforce.

2. Healthcare and Paid Sick Leave

One of the most important employee benefits that companies can offer is healthcare. Following the pandemic, healthcare has become even more important for many employees. A healthcare plan can provide employees with a sense of protection, and team members often report feeling valued and cared for when they have access to healthcare benefits.

One of the key benefits of healthcare plans is peace of mind. Employees who know they have access to healthcare services and financial protection can rest easier knowing they are covered in the event of illness or injury. This can reduce stress related to medical expenses and provide peace of mind for employees and their families.

Another essential benefit of healthcare plans is improved health outcomes. With access to preventative care and medical treatments, employees may experience improved health outcomes and a better quality of life. This can ultimately lead to fewer sick days and better productivity at work. Furthermore, providing healthcare benefits can help prevent costly medical expenses and reduce the need for employees to take extended periods off work.

Finally, healthcare benefits can be significant in employee recruitment and retention. A comprehensive healthcare plan can be a crucial factor in attracting top talent to your organisation, and it can also be a vital tool for retaining existing employees. By offering healthcare benefits, companies can show their employees that they care about their wellbeing and are committed to supporting them through difficult times.

3. Training and Development

One of the most important employee benefits to offer is training and development. This can help improve your business’s performance and increase employee engagement and job satisfaction.

When you provide opportunities for employees to grow and develop, you show that you value their contribution and want to help them achieve their goals. This creates a sense of loyalty and commitment to the company.

Employees who feel they have the tools and resources to excel in their roles are likelier to feel fulfilled and confident at work. This can result in higher quality work, increased productivity, and better overall performance. Training and development can improve skills and knowledge, ultimately enhancing job performance.

It’s also worth noting that training and development are particularly important for younger generations, such as Gen Z. These employees are more interested in personal growth and development, so investing in their professional development can be a critical factor in retaining them.

To sum up, training and development is a win-win situation for employers and employees. Investing in your employees shows commitment to their growth and development while boosting engagement, productivity, and job satisfaction.

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4. Flexible Annual Leave

Flexible annual leave is a relatively new concept in the UK workplace, and it gives employees the ability to have more control over their time off. This approach has become increasingly popular in recent years, with a growing number of companies recognising the value of flexible annual leave for their staff. Rather than having a set number of days off that must be used at the discretion of management, employees can now choose when and how they take their annual leave.

One of the key benefits of flexible annual leave is that it can significantly improve employee engagement. Giving employees more control over their time off can make them feel valued and trusted, boosting morale and motivation. Employees are also more likely to feel loyal to a company that trusts them to manage their own time, which can increase retention rates and reduce staff turnover.

In addition to being attractive to employees, flexible annual leave can be a positive for a business. It can reduce the burden on management and HR, who no longer need to spend time processing and approving leave requests. By empowering employees to manage their own leave, companies can also reduce the risk of staff burnout and absenteeism.

Recent research shows that a growing number of businesses are adopting flexible annual leave policies. A study by Timetastic found that 41% of UK companies offer flexible leave, with a further 25% planning to introduce it next year. This trend is set to continue as businesses increasingly recognise the value of flexible annual leave in promoting employee engagement and retention.

Overall, flexible annual leave is a valuable employee benefit that can positively impact employees and businesses. By giving staff more control over their time off, companies can boost engagement and retention while reducing the burden on management. As such, it is no surprise that flexible annual leave is becoming increasingly popular in UK workplaces and a desired employee benefit for top talent.

Flexible Annual Leave and Wellbeing Programmes are in Demand by Employees

5. Wellbeing Programmes

Wellbeing programmes are becoming increasingly popular as employees seek support in all areas of their wellbeing. It might have been an alien concept to baby boomers, but it’s among the most critical employee benefits for many new employees. A wellness program is designed to help employees maintain physical, emotional, and mental health. It can cover anything from stress management to gym memberships to assistance helplines.

The benefits of a wellbeing program can’t be understated. It promotes a healthier and happier workforce and can help boost employee engagement and retention. Employees who feel that their employer is invested in their wellbeing are likelier to feel valued and appreciated. This can help create a positive company culture, leading to higher productivity.

So, what can a business include in their wellness programme? There are many creative options, depending on your company’s budget and size. It could include anything from an on-site gym to wellness seminars and mindfulness sessions. Other examples of wellbeing programmes include team-building activities, wellbeing gifts, nutritional advice, and even mental health support services. The key is to offer employees choices, so they can find what works best for them. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, and it’s essential to tailor the programme to meet the specific needs of your employees.

In summary, employee wellbeing programmes are increasingly becoming essential benefits for companies looking to attract and retain the best talent. Investing in your employees’ physical, emotional, and mental health will improve employee engagement, retention, and productivity.


In the fast-paced world of work, offering an excellent benefits package is critical to attracting, engaging and retaining talented employees. From flexible working options to healthcare and paid sick leave, we’ve explored the top six employee benefits UK workers seek. Providing employees with opportunities for training and development, offering flexible annual leave, and investing in wellbeing programmes can all boost staff engagement and retention rates. Additionally, recognition and reward schemes can go a long way towards building a positive work culture. Businesses that invest in comprehensive employee benefits packages will reap the rewards of a happier and more productive workforce.

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