The Employee Benefits Matrix: compensation vs culture

Improving employee happiness is a major goal for HR departments, particularly among larger companies.

I wanted to explore how employee benefits can play a part in that, as increasingly we’re hearing about the value of non-monetary benefits, and the importance of a strong company culture.

In fact, a Glassdoor study found that company culture was the single most important factor in the workplace in terms of driving employee satisfaction, which is key to retention. Meanwhile, ‘compensation and benefits’ was ranked at the bottom of the list, at least as far as satisfaction goes.

It strikes me that some benefits are more aligned to culture than to compensation. And some perks will play a key role in hiring new employees, while others will help to reduce staff turnover.

Benefits such as salary, bonuses and paid holidays — might be dealmakers or breakers when trying to hire new talent, but once someone is onboard, it is often the softer, intangible benefits that will keep them happy.

The employee benefits matrix

I spent some time researching the most common types of benefits offered by employers, as well as a few not-so-common ones (anyone fancy a nap?).

In total I’ve focused on 39 employee benefits. No doubt there will be others I have missed.

I’ve mapped these benefits onto a matrix, to try to figure out how they can help to attract and retain talent, and where they sit in the general scheme of things.

Everything is, of course, in the eye of the beholder. What matters most to one person might not count at all to another.

I’ve highlighted in bold the benefits that I think are must-haves. This is pretty subjective although I’ve based it on everything I’ve read, including the research we’ve referenced here on the Guild Journal.

Ok, here’s the matrix:

In the future the best places to work will offer many of these perks to employees. Those companies will be ranked at the top of the list of ‘best companies to work for’.

How many of these does your company currently offer?


Originally published at guild.co on November 8, 2018. Research conducted in conjunction with Vestd.