Campaign BPTW awards video with Sinead Stone and Charlie Pitt

News & Insights | 7th June 2024

BPTW Awards 2024 | Employee benefits and creating a winning culture

By Matt Law, Senior Corporate Consultant

Employee Benefits

5 Min Read

 

The role of employee benefits in creating a winning culture

 

The dust has now settled on another successful year of Campaign’s Best Places to Work Awards. The awards, which recognise employers in the creative and media sectors (predominantly agencies) who are ‘doing things right and creating cultures that make employees proud to be part of them’, are now sitting proudly on the winning agencies’ mantlepieces.

As a benefits consultancy firm and partners of the awards since 2019, we naturally pay special attention to the results of the ‘Employee Benefits’ section of the BPTW survey*. It’s no surprise to us that this has had a big say in the final results again this year.

The awards span four categories based on company size: Boutique (15-24 employees), Small (25-49), Medium (50-149), and Large (150+). On average across all four of the categories the winners received positive responses from 79% of employees when it came to the employee benefits on offer to them, whereas for non-winners this sat at just 66%. The greatest disparity came in the Boutique category whose winners scored 87% whilst non-winners averaged 69%.

We have seen a lot of change in the employee benefits industry over the past few years, with employers increasingly understanding the importance of the benefits package they offer and employees simply demanding more. Concerns about healthcare has been a key driver of this.

Healthcare

Private healthcare has been dominating the conversation, with most agencies now offering some form of private medical insurance to their employees. The actual usage of this benefit has also surged recently, mainly due to the issues in accessing timely treatment through the NHS.

With healthcare in mind, this year’s winners (across all four categories) received an average positive response of 84% for private healthcare availability whilst the rest of the field received an average 74%. It was the boutique agencies again which saw the greatest disparity – 88% positive responses for the winners compared to 61% for non-winners. The ‘Large’ category saw the narrowest gap with 83% for winners compared to 75% for non-winners.

The need for sufficient private healthcare availability for employees is clear, not just so employees feel they are properly looked after, but so that those who are suffering with their mental and or physical health can get the treatment they need quickly, meaning they are back working at their full potential and in turn helping themselves and their employer thrive.

Retirement Schemes

For an industry with a traditionally younger employee profile you might expect that respondents would have minimal interest in their retirement plans. However, scores here suggest the opposite, agency employees instead appearing to be interested and dissatisfied with their pension provision, or giving low scores because they perhaps don’t understand what is on offer.

The winners’ average positive response was 66%, which is was the second lowest score for winners across all questions asked. The ‘Large’ category winners fared even worse, averaging a score of just 61%, the lowest across all four size categories. Company pension schemes are a hugely important benefit but also one of the most difficult to drive engagement with. A lot of the work we undertake on pension schemes begins with how employees interact with and view their own company pension.

Employee benefits as a whole

An interesting takeaway from the results is that average scores for ‘Employee Benefits’ satisfaction across winners and non-winners alike received the lowest positive responses when compared against all other survey sections, with ‘Diversity and inclusion’ and ‘Relationship with your manager’ leading the way. This may show that all agencies are doing better with the soft or free elements of creating a positive working environment than they are with deploying the optimum mix of paid-for ones. It definitely indicates that there is room for improvement when it comes to curating and promoting a benefits package, it could be that an employer offers a comprehensive suite of benefits, but if employees don’t know or understand what is available to them, they won’t see the value and a new communication strategy should be adopted. Whatever the circumstances we recommend that a benefits package is reviewed on an annual basis to ensure it remains effective and relevant for employees.

When talking to the winners about what they feel makes them a great place to work a few trends stuck out with the most prominent being the mental health support available, as well as protecting employees from burnout in what we know can be a high paced and demanding industry. Listening to employee feedback when it comes to benefits packages was also a recurring theme. Winning agencies found they had curated a successful benefits offering by asking employees what was important to them.

What is very clear, is that all four winning agencies recognise both the value of building a strong holistic package of benefits and wellbeing support in retaining and recruiting talent, but also its role in driving business success and performance. Our congratulations to the winners – Bind Media, Mobsta, RPM and Blis.

 

We’re proud to have sponsored the awards and also to have been Campaign’s partner for its Best Places To Work activity across the year.

 

* The Best Places To Work survey research is conducted on behalf of Campaign by the Workforce Research Group and comprises of nine sections and a total of 73 questions. Surveys are completed in confidence by employees and the results then averaged across the total sample of respondents by ‘Winners’ and ‘Non-winners’ and also by the four different company size categories.

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