What benefits increase employee loyalty and engagement?

Offering the right benefits and incentives is critical for companies looking to attract and retain the best employees.

Our Workforce 2020 surveys show that competitive compensation is the most important benefit for employees, followed closely by bonuses and merit-based rewards. Not only do employees say competitive pay is important–they also say more money would increase their loyalty and engagement with their current company.

Benefits 12 8 2014

But cash isn’t the only benefit that’s important to employees. Respondents also likely say career development, training opportunities, and a good work environment play a part in their loyalty to the company.

Héctor Cerviño of Banco Compartamos in Mexico (one of the HR executives we interviewed as part of our research) puts it well: “First of all, you have to pay well.  It sounds very simple, but you have to pay well. If you pay well, then you can talk a lot about, you know, flex time, home offices…That’s all the cream in the coffee. But you have to have the coffee.”

Check out our reports

We’ve been presenting the results of our Workforce 2020 research in a series of webinars and discussing the key themes of the program here on the blog, but for a deeper look at the survey data, be sure to download our reports.

You can access the research reports and infographics on the SuccessFactors landing page or at the Oxford Economics project page.

Be sure to let us know what you think.

Join today’s free webinar on What Matters Most at Work

There is still time to register for today’s webinar on one of the key themes of our Workforce 2020 research, What Matters Most at Work.

Ed Cone, Oxford Economics’ Technology Practice Lead, will be discussing the benefits and incentives that are most important to today’s employees with SAP’s David Swanson and IBM’s Sheila McGovern. Be sure to tune in—you can register here.

Training the workforce of the future

Our Workforce 2020 surveys show that companies are having a hard time finding employees with the right skills. For example, the need for skills in areas like analytics, cloud, and programming/development will grow sizably over the next three years, but less than half of employees expect to be proficient with most of these key technologies in that time. And abilities in vital specialties such as cloud and mobile lag compared to other technologies like programming/development and job-specific software.

Technology skills

This is a large-scale issue; in fact, US Vice President Biden recently published a report on federal education, workforce, and training programs that emphasizes the need for strong skills development opportunities.

In order to develop the technology skills they need within their organization, companies will have to focus more on supplying the right technology and training to their employees. Currently, less than half of employees say their company provides ample training on the technology they need, and less than one-third say their company makes the latest technology available to them.

Join Wednesday’s webinar on What Matters Most at Work

On this blog, we have started several discussions around the misunderstandings between employees and their bosses. What matters most at work? Our surveys show that, in most cases, companies do not understand what their employees want from them—including the importance of competitive compensation as a benefit. At the same time, employees have a lot to learn in terms of what their bosses need and expect from them.

In our webinar on Wednesday, December 3—What Matters Most at Work—we’ll be taking a deeper dive into this topic. Ed Cone, Oxford Economics’ Technology Practice Lead, will be discussing these issues with SAP’s David Swanson and IBM’s Sheila McGovern. Be sure to tune in—you can register here.

AI a potential threat to employees in Japan

Japan is in the news this week for its plans to invest heavily in robotics. The country currently uses approximately 300,000 robots, and plans to push that number up to one million by 2025.

The country hopes to address a growing national problem: a shrinking workforce population. (The country has other plans in the works, too, including one to boost women’s participation in the labor force.) Japan also hopes to reassert its dominance in robotics.

While Japan may see AI as part of the cure for its national labor force issues, employees may not be thrilled with this prospect. Our employee survey shows that 52% of workers in Japan say their position changing or becoming obsolete is a top job concern—that’s well ahead of the global total (40%).

Like most technologies, AI will significantly alter the nature of work across the world, and employees should be prepared to reevaluate how they fit in to the new workplace.

Do men and women value the same benefits and incentives at work?

We’ve talked at length about the differences between employees from different generations and parts of the world—but we haven’t yet revealed many of the differences between men and women in the workplace.

Our surveys show that men and women are aligned on many workplace issues, including leadership and learning. However, they do have slightly different priorities when it comes to job satisfaction and benefits.

Men and women at work November 24

A few of the key differences our surveys revealed:

  • Men tend to care more about company reputation. 32% of male respondents said a stronger company reputation/brand would increase loyalty and engagement at their current job (vs. 23% of women).
  • Women are more likely to prioritize education. Education benefits ranked as more important for women (44%) than men (40%).
  • Women are more interested in non-traditional benefits and incentives. Workplace amenities like fitness centers, daycares, and recreational facilities also ranked more important for women (41%) than men (36%).
  • Men rate the importance of quality of life slightly higher than women—but it’s important to both, with 47% of women agreeing compared to 51% of men. Women rate using more current technology higher than men do, with 53% of women agreeing compared to 47% of men.

While it is important for companies to address the varying wants and needs of diverse groups, it is also important to recognize commonalities. Men and women, for example, are equally likely to say competitive compensation and flexible work locations are important. Companies will need to understand these differences and similarities as they work to set policies that attract the best workers from all demographic groups.