The most important employee benefits have continued to shift over the past few years as the way that we work continues to shift.
Salary remains important to digital marketers due to rampant inflation and the ongoing increases of cost-of-living. However, employers are offering increasingly attractive benefits that appeal to what employees want most, to reduce the burden on salaries.
Because there are plenty of employee benefits that employees are willing to sacrifice salary for.
Indeed and Glassdoors 2023 Hiring Workplace Trends Report shows how we’ve seen a shift in the most important employee benefits in 2023: With rises in remote working, meaning a decreasing interest in free lunches and breakfasts.
Meanwhile, Major Players 2023 Creative Industries Census helps to show which employee benefits are most important for digital marketers specifically.
The most important employee benefits to your employees may not be the same as this list. After all, these are personal preferences.
But these are the most important employee benefits to the digital marketers we speak to, and from the sources above.
At the top of the list of the most important employee benefits for digital marketers, is holiday allowance, coming in with 92% of digital marketers listing it as high importance. And in the past few years we have seen employers offer increasingly flexible holiday allowances.
Unlimited holidays have increased in popularity in recent years, and aren’t an uncommon perk to see at digital agencies.
But this can also include sabbaticals for employees who have been with the company for a long time, or opportunities to work-from-anywhere.
Recently we have seen an increase in employers offering remote work to employees for a month a year, allowing them to experience working abroad as an attractive and flexible benefit.
Coming in a close second at 87%, the second most important employee benefit to digital marketers is flexible working hours.
While flexible working hours can be a huge benefit for the lives of employees, it can potentially create massive headaches for employers if their teams are all working different locations at different hours.
To meet this demand, we’ve seen many of the agencies we work with adopt “core working hours”, where everyone will be available that still allows employees to start early or finish late, depending on their preference.
Similarly, a study from Forbes Advisor found that flexible working hours was the single most desired benefit by remote workers.
One of the biggest points of contention for employers and employees is remote work. The majority of digital agencies we work with offer hybrid as a minimum, and is by and large an expectation of digital marketers.
Although we are also seeing the difference that age has one remote work: The earlier study from Forbes Advisor showed that remote work as an employee benefit was much more desirable for those 26+, compared to 18 – 25 year olds.
But we have recently seen an increase in businesses asking for teams to return to the office more, and are rethinking their hybrid working policies. How this will affect digital marketing we are yet to see.
Employers cite in-person collaboration, culture, and training and development as the main reasons for a return to the office. But we would argue that there are advantages to offering remote working that are worth considering as well.
Inflation and cost-of-living means digital marketers are looking for higher salaries. And to earn these higher salaries, a lot of digital marketers are focusing on learning and development to become a more skilled and desirable employee.
In fact, almost three quarters of digital marketers surveyed said that learning and development were one of the most important benefits to them when looking for a new role.
This can be internal training offered by senior employees, external training from industry bodies such as Meta, Amazon, Google etc., and opportunities to attend industry events such as Brighton SEO.
And employees are more than willing to move roles for these opportunities. Learning new skills is consistently one of the biggest motivators we see from the digital marketers we work with here at Herd.
Company culture isn’t an employee benefit that you can decide to one day offer, as it’s built over years. Despite this, it can be one of the most important factors for digital marketers when considering a job offer.
Your company culture is vast, and can affect decisions at every level of your business. It covers your social atmosphere, the company attitudes and values, your policies and approach to DE&I.
Indeed’s Work Wellbeing 2022 Insights Report showed that to 90% of people surveyed, how they feel at work is of critical importance. And it’s these areas where your company culture really matters.
It matters so much in fact, that 92% of senior executives interviewed, considered their company culture to be one of the top three drivers behind the value of their business.
Your company’s culture is one of your businesses greatest assets in recruitment. Your company culture is so crucial for recruitment in fact, that we’ve written an entire blog for you to read about it here.
Private health insurance is an employee benefit that plenty of digital marketers will sacrifice salary for. Literally speaking, when it comes to salary sacrifice schemes.
From comparing Major Player’s 2022 Salary Survey to the 2023 Creative Industries Census, we can see that 10% more digital marketers prioritise private healthcare as an employee benefit than last year.
This increase could be due to the rising inflation affecting people’s budgets, the increasing pressure on the NHS meaning people are turning to private healthcare, or any other factor. But the reality is that digital marketers are increasingly interested in seeing medical and dental insurance as an employee benefit.
Not only is it a huge financial benefit for your employees, it can reduce stress in stressful times. Which is a great way of showing that you care about your employees and you’re invested in their wellbeing.
However, dental and medical insurance can be expensive to an employer: Which is partially where part of the desire for it comes from. Which also means considering whether it’s financially viable for your agency to offer it.
In recent years we’ve seen an increasing pressure on business to support the mental wellbeing of employees, not just physical wellbeing.
46% of people say their expectations around being happy at work have increased in the last year alone: Meaning in the eyes of employees, employers have a greater responsibility to ensure that their team is happy at work.
But “happy employees” isn’t a benefit you can list on your job adverts. Similar to your company culture, it’s not a decision you can make overnight, or one policy you can introduce where your employees “must be happy”.
But employee wellness programmes can take the form of many benefits for your employees. These are just a few that we commonly see from digital agencies:
These are just a few examples, but employee wellbeing support can take many forms.
Positive employee wellbeing can also have huge positive impacts on your business. From increased employee retention saving you thousands on recruitment, to increased employee satisfaction having a positive impact on productivity.
Parental leave is an employee benefit that is more important to some than to others, for obvious reasons. But to those who it does matter, it can be incredibly important.
Extended parental leave shows potential employees that care about their well being outside of the workplace. And even if they don’t directly need parental leave, it says good things about your company culture and employee initiatives.
Conversely, a company offering the bare minimum legal paternity leave may show that what’s most important to them is you in the office getting your work done. Or that they haven’t given any thought to the policy.
Company incentives are becoming more commonplace for agencies, and it’s not unusual to find positions in an agency offering either a personal bonus incentive or a company bonus.
And with rising inflation, it’s no surprise that desire for a bonus as an employee benefit has risen in the past year, from 54% in 2022 to 60% in 2023.
While receiving a bonus is an obvious financial and monetary incentive, it also has other benefits. It acts as an incentive for personal progression and success, it makes employees more invested in the company’s success, and they become more invested in their roles and the business as a whole.
And these bonuses or incentives don’t have to be purely financial. They can also be company holidays that promote team bonding: Or shares in the business that increase an employee’s investment in the company.
Support with travelling to the office is lower on the list of importance of employee benefits, but still one we’re seeing more commonly.
As agencies are asking their teams to be in the office more regularly to allow greater collaboration and for company culture reasons, we’re seeing more employee benefits focused on this return to the office. These include things such as:
A majority of the agencies we work with are based in London. And many of those offer financial support with public transport, to alleviate travel expenses.
Many businesses are offering support with purchasing new electric cars through work with a salary sacrifice scheme. Not only does this save employees money, it shows organisations are offering green and environmental initiatives.
Cycle-to-work schemes are nothing new, but again show the same as EV schemes: Support with purchasing transport through the company at a discounted rate and support for environmental initiatives.
Of course this list is by no means exhaustive, and the benefits your digital agency or business chooses to offer may be different than others.
When looking to implement new employee benefits, the best course of action is to speak to your employees. Whether anonymous surveys, 1-on-1 meetings or in a group setting.
Speaking to your team internally will help you to introduce the employee benefits that are most important to your agency or business
But if you’re looking to increase the amount of employee benefits that your business offers to attract new employees, then we would advise using our list above, or speaking to us.
We speak with digital marketers looking for new opportunities everyday and find out what’s most important to them in their new role.
If your business or agency is struggling to hire or looking for insight on the digital marketing hiring industry, reach out to us today for a confidential chat and find out what we can do for your business.
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