Financial benefits top employees’ concerns

Talent retention more likely if these needs are met, says report

Financial benefits top employees’ concerns

Morgan Stanley at Work has released its third State of the Workplace Financial Benefits Study, revealing employees are now more interested in the financial benefits employers offer.

Almost 69% of employees are saying they are paying more attention to reviewing their financial benefits, and around 89% of employees reported they are more likely to stay in their company if it offers financial benefits that meet their needs. On the other hand, employers are looking to cut back on employee financial benefits to prepare for a recession.

Majority of HR leaders are concerned about employees leaving their company due to weak benefits, and there was a year-on-year increase in the number of employees believing financial benefits to be essential in employee retention, up 5% to 75%.

“In the decades of work we’ve done with clients, we have seen an evolution in how this benefit—once thought of as a one-time bonus—is now viewed more holistically within an employees’ overall finances as a key driver of long-term investing goals,” said Scott Whatley, managing director and global head of equity solutions at Morgan Stanley at Work. “As equity compensation continues to gain ground, this is a critical insight for employers to absorb, and help inform how they communicate, package and deliver equity compensation throughout their organizations.”

Around 72% of companies have some form of equity compensation benefits to their employees, and 84% of employees agree that having this kind of benefit would impact motivation and engagement among employees.

“Financial wellness programs are becoming even more sought after, and HR leaders can play a vital role by connecting employees with resources to help them navigate each step of their financial journeys,” said Krystal Barker Buissereth, managing director and head of financial wellness and participant experience at Morgan Stanley at Work.

About 66% of employees reported having reduced their budget allocation for savings as a result of inflation and concerns over recession. This includes savings for 401(k) plans and long-term and short-term savings. Out of five employees, three are more likely to rank retirement planning assistance to be a high priority when seeking for employment.

In 2022, according to the study, 85% of employees dealt with financial issues in their personal life. About 66% of employees reported that financial stress has had a negative impact on their work and personal life. More HR leaders (83%) are concerned about the impact of financial issues on employees’ productivity.

“Employees want and need greater support when it comes to long-term retirement planning, and while we’re seeing financial guidance being recognized as a priority for HR leaders, there is still more employers can do to support and retain talent,” noted Anthony Bunnell, head of retirement solutions and deferred compensation at Morgan Stanley at Work.

Wakefield Research on behalf of Morgan Stanley at Work surveyed 1,000 employed adults and 600 HR executives in the US for the report.