50% of workers prefer social benefits and paid holidays to a higher salary
About half of Spanish professionals value social benefits or paid vacation beyond a higher salary or higher premium, according to data from the latest Global Benefits Attitudes survey, conducted by Willis Towers Watson among 40,000 employees in 27 countries, including Spain. Despite this general trend, the study also shows how priorities vary depending on the salary scale or the generation to which the employees belong.
According to the study, non-monetary aspects such as the retirement plan (57%), health insurance (45%) and benefit programs (35%) are the most popular among the workers surveyed in our country. The sample made in the study also allows us to see different priorities depending on the salary and age of professionals.
Employees with higher salary levels, those who earn between € 50,000 per year and between € 25,000 and € 49,999, are the ones who value benefits the most. On the contrary, professionals whose salaries are less than € 25,000 per year attach greater importance to monetary salary. In this group, only 23% consider that their company’s social security program offers a wide variety of options that meet their needs, compared to 62% of employees whose salary is equal to or greater than € 50,000 per year or 41% of these. between € 25,000 and € 49,999.
Looking at the age of respondents, those who show the greatest preference for non-cash rewards are baby boomers (50-64 years) and millennials (21-34 years), compared to professionals belonging to generation X (35-49 years), more inclined to pay.
“When the business benefits, health and wellness programs meet the needs of employees, engagement, productivity and talent retention improve,” says Gema Jimnez, director of business development for the Health and Benefits segment of Willis Towers. Watson Iberia, “The key is that these needs are not homogeneous, they change from certain groups and generations to others, so it is a question of widening the offer and of treating the employee like an adult, in him. giving the information so that he can decide ”. And he adds that “today, because of the pandemic context, we are more worried about everything related to health, retirement income and security. For this reason, flexibility is the ideal solution to meet these needs ”.
Interest in broader benefit programs increases
The study shows that while the main benefits remain the main need, there is a lot of interest in the models because the programs include a wider variety of options.
The range is wide, and beyond pensions and health insurance, it ranges from financial support programs, such as debt management, savings and student loan assistance; well-being; access to nearby or on-site medical facilities; discounts at gyms; nutrition course; protection training; life, critical illness, disability or accident insurance or other insurance, such as dental / optics, travel, car, home, identity theft insurance, etc. The preference lines also include benefits like paid maternity or paternity leave and sabbaticals, as well as workplace benefits like childcare assistance, among others.
Among all, the different groups of Spanish employees participating in the research indicated the following preferences:
Baby boomers: they prefer retirement plans (20%), financial protection (14%) and health programs (11%), before paid vacation (10%), financial well-being assistance (9%), wellness (8%), life insurance (8%), dental and vision plans (8%), employee benefits (7%) and other types of insurance (6% ). Generation X: show a greater preference for pension plans (18%), paid vacation (15%) and financial protection (12%), compared to wellness programs (9%), dental plans and vision (8%), benefits (8%), financial well-being assistance (7%), life insurance (7%) and other types of insurance (5%). Generation Y: unpaid leave (15%), pension plans (13%), wellness programs (11%), occupy the top three positions, followed by financial protection (11%), workplace benefits work (10%), well-being supports (10%), health programs (9%), dental and vision plans (8%), life insurance (8%) and other types of insurance (5% ). Employees whose salaries exceed € 50,000 per year: retirement plans (19%), paid leave (12%), health programs (11%), well-being (9%), financial protection (11%) s ‘would improve), coming from financial well-being support (8%), life insurance (8%), dental and vision plans (8%), social benefits (8%) and other types of insurance (5%). Employees in the range of € 25,000 to € 49,999 per year: they prefer retirement plans (16%), paid holidays (13%), financial protection (11%), health programs (10%) and well-being (10%)), ahead of life insurance (9%), assistance with financial well-being (8%), dental and vision plans (8%), social benefits (9% ) and other types of insurance (6%). Employees whose salary is less than € 25,000 per year: pension plans (15%), paid vacation (15%), financial protection (12%) are the most valued, followed by well-being programs ( 10%).), Health (9%), financial well-being assistance (9%), dental and vision plans (9%), benefits (9%), life insurance (7%) and other types insurance (5%).
“Organizations should address in the coming years a greater adaptation and customization of their social benefit programs, especially those related to health and well-being,” says Gema Jimnez. “So that the employee can choose in the most efficient way between the different options, it is important that the company offers a reduced range of alternatives, easy to compare, in addition to relying on training and communication, as well as in the establishment of more developed technological platforms to help them make more informed decisions, ”concludes the executive.