What Employees really want for their Benefits and Allowances

NewsNovember 25, 2021 11:13



Written by: Clare Chong


When it comes to benefits and allowances packages, is your company still offering standard medical insurance and basic transportation allowance? Do you know that there are actually many different types of employee benefits that you can offer to your staff for higher talent retention and attraction?


What are Employee Benefits and Allowances?

According to Indeed, benefits include non-salary compensation on top of your staff’s regular wages. These benefits and allowances can range from medical, dental, life insurance to lexi benefits, health screening, learning and development benefits amongst many others. Employee benefits can also be further categorised into 4 major types such as work, health, financial, and lifestyle benefits, and allowances.

These benefits and allowances are important as they affect your staff’s work performance which in turn affects your company’s bottom line. For instance, flexible working hours and remote working could reduce stress levels and increase productivity while onsite child care facilities could allow employees to be more at ease while working as they do not need to rush to fetch their children after work from the childcare centre. According to LinkedIn’s Global Trends Survey in 2020, organisations that rated highly on compensation and benefits and employee training witnessed up to 56% lower attrition rates and flexible work arrangements saw 137% greater headcount growth. In short, providing useful and attractive benefits and allowances would help your company to save costs on recruitment and help your firm to retain your talents, and boost your bottom line in the long run.


Types of Employee Benefits and Allowances that Singapore staff really want

Other than the standard benefits typically offered by local companies, there are many other types of benefits that are very attractive to workers in Singapore. According to a report in 2020 that aims to find out what employees really want in their benefits but are not often offered by many companies, the top ten benefits are dental cover, gym membership, annual wage supplement (AWS)/Bonus, flexible working hours/remote working, improved medical insurance, health screening, Flexi-cash benefit, buy/sell annual leave, maternity insurance, and company shares.


Dental cover tops the list as a dental procedure may sometimes run up to hundreds and thousands of dollars. Your company may design an attractive benefits package that includes dental insurance as an add-on to existing group health insurance plans so there is higher coverage for your staff. You may also consider paying for dental bills on a reimbursement basis if it is more economical to do so. Gym membership ranked second as sedentary work environments often result in higher healthcare costs, lower morale, and a less productive workplace. Therefore, it may be worth subsidising or reimbursing part of existing gym memberships or providing Flexi benefits to reduce costs while encouraging staff to utilise this healthcare/lifestyle benefit. Since the pandemic, many companies have also adopted remote working as the default working method and it seems that many local employees would like such flexible working arrangements to continue in the long term. Flexibility offers employees a better quality of life as they do not need to sacrifice their careers to focus on their personal commitments and vice versa. According to Vantage Circle, 45 percent of staff even indicated that they prefer flexible scheduling over increased wages.

Also, many organisations pay their staff to go for training and development where employees can attend training sessions without worrying about having to take unpaid leave. 

On top of the above benefits, your company can also consider having a flexible spending account for each employee. How it works is that employers provide a fixed dollar amount in an account to be spent within specified categories on a set of guidelines. For example, a health spending account provides reimbursement for eligible health expenses like health screening and dental cover while a lifestyle spending account can be used for fitness classes and gym memberships.


Have you surveyed your employees to find out what they really want for their benefits package?

What are other benefits and allowances could you offer to better retain and attract your talents in today’s competitive job market?

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