NEW YORK: Multinational companies are evolving their employee programs to focus more on career development and brand mission versus on-site perks such as food and childcare, according to a study conducted by the Great Place to Work Institute and Burson-Marsteller.
Three-quarters of respondents (75%) said both brand mission and career development programs had the most significant impact on ROI, followed by benefits such as flextime, health insurance, and maternity and paternity leave at 15%. Five percent of employees cited onsite perks and volunteer opportunities.
“It was surprising to see how low traditional benefits, such as childcare and volunteer opportunities, ranked in terms of being drivers of workplace culture," said Deidre Campbell, MD at Burson-Marsteller. “Benefits that had been popular less than 10 years ago are seen today as table stakes among the best places to work in the world. Cutting-edge companies are focusing well beyond the trendy, nice-to-have benefits to offer what globally competitive talent really wants -- career development and growth opportunities. Ultimately, these are the benefits that lead most directly to return-on-investment in the people.”
The study, which took place in October, followed the release of Great Places to Work's “World's Best Multinational Workplaces” report. That study examined the relationship between positive workplace environment and financial performance, said Campbell.
Eighty percent of respondents also said “company culture” was the business area that saw the greatest benefit from corporate investment in employee programs. Seven in 10 respondents said corporate investment most benefitted recruitment and retention while 20% cited competitiveness. Less than one in five respondents said customer loyalty (15%), innovation (10%), and productivity (5%) are the areas that saw the greatest impact.
The study also found that 30% of respondents increased spending on employee programs this year, while 70% made no change to their investments.
Great Places to Work named Burson its AOR in September.