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Start-ups offer workplace perks to attract talent

12 October 2021

A new poll of UK workers has found that start-ups are increasingly offering workplace benefits to help recruit and retain employees.

The What Workers Want 2021 survey by SME insurance broker Hooray Health & Protection has found that more than nine out of ten (93%) start-up employees polled said that they received workplace benefits; 77% said they were happy with the benefits they receive.

The findings challenge the perception that only bigger firms offer significant employee benefit packages.

"Our survey of start-up employees shows that newly-sprung businesses are sensitive to the needs of their workers and understand how employee benefits can play a major role in enticing and retaining talent," said Charlie Cousins, md of Hooray Health & Protection.

"Benefit schemes are increasingly sought after by ambitious start-ups unable to match the large salaries of bigger businesses or leverage the allure of an established brand name."

Key findings from the report include:

  • 55% of start-up employees believe their benefits package is better than average, 23% say it's about the same and 20% believe it's worse;
  • 78% of workers say their employer has sought their feedback on employee benefits;
  • 88% say their benefits aid their sense of wellbeing.

The findings suggest that health and wellbeing is the main priority for start-up employees. When asked to choose their most desired benefits, 57% chose health insurance, closely followed by life insurance (45%).

When quizzed specifically about which benefits would help most with their mental wellbeing, 57% said access to mental health services. "It's clear that health and wellbeing is uppermost in people's minds and there are no prizes for guessing why that might be," said Charlie Cousins. "However, I don't expect this to be a short-lived trend as the general issue of physical and mental wellbeing had been receiving greater attention prior to the pandemic … As with the increased demand for remote working, it's likely just accelerated a trend which was already gathering momentum."

Written by Rachel Miller.

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