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Third of workers feel undervalued

New research has revealed that one in three employees in SMEs do not feel valued by their employer, with financial incentives and flexible working benefits high on the wish-list.

Manchester-headquartered HR and payroll solutions provider Moorepay surveyed more than 2,000 employees and 500 employers to explore whether the benefits SMEs offer their staff have an impact on how valued employees feel.

The research revealed a noticeable ‘value gap’ between employers and employees. More than a quarter (27 per cent) of employees across all sectors said they did not feel valued, but just 15 per cent of employers believed their staff felt this way.

In other words, the findings suggest many SMEs may be unaware of unhappiness within their ranks.

In the manufacturing sector, 33 per cent of employees felt they were not valued - ahead of other sectors like retail, transport, health and hospitality, but behind legal, IT and construction.

When asked what employee benefits they valued the most, financial bonuses and incentives came back as the most popular for manufacturing workers. This was followed by pension contributions over the minimum legal requirement, a four day working week, and flexible or remote working.

However, there are some demographical differences - flexible working benefits were far more popular with female employees and those under 45.

Anthony Vollmer, Managing Director of Moorepay, said:

“As businesses grow it can become more difficult to stay truly engaged with their employees, and they are under constant threat from competitors of all sizes who are fighting hard for the top talent. Keeping staff satisfied is of paramount importance to smaller businesses, and our study suggests that there are currently far too many unhappy workers to ignore.

“There are still too many SMEs either not providing any benefits, or not providing the right ones. Benefits programmes must be employee–focused. And while workers still want traditional financial perks such as bonuses and generous pension schemes, those offering additional flexibility and work–life balance are rapidly becoming a default expectation of many employees.”


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Female employees or those under 45 valued flexible working benefits. Image copyright: Rolls-Royce PLC

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