Posted in Blog on 30 May 2018
Our research revealed that 39% of participants are ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with their current benefits package; an increase from last year, which was 34%.
Kath Riley, Managing Director, notes:
We are seeing benefits packages within the legal industry becoming more comprehensive and competitive – in recent years, we've seen increases across most components including pension contributions and private medical and dental cover, as well as financial bonuses.
Firms are more focused that ever on rewarding talent, which is reflected in the survey findings.
Flexi-time was the most-valued benefit for the second year running, with 17.5% of participants selecting it as their number one perk. It was shortly followed by above statutory minimum holidays (16.5%), financial bonus (12.3%), pension contributions (10.0%) and private medical and dental cover (9.6%). Interestingly, flexi-time is now part of the package already granted for a quarter of respondents – 5% more than in 2016, which demonstrates firms’ willingness to evolve with changing expectations.
However, the general consensus does differ at either end of the generational spectrum; baby boomers (born 1965 and earlier) prioritised above-statutory minimum holidays and pensions over flexi-time. Meanwhile, generation Z (born 1995 and later) also favoured above statutory minimum holidays ahead of flexi-time.
On the whole, all age groups are largely united in what they value most. The rising popularity of flexi-time and desire for more annual leave demonstrates the changing world of work. Our survey highlighted that overtime is still very much on the agenda for most legal professionals, but a rise in these sorts of benefits seek to address the work/life balance dilemma the profession often struggles with.
Understanding the changing values of the workforce has proven to be vital to retention; 37% of respondents who said they are unhappy with their benefits package also said they were likely to move roles within six months, compared to just 16% of those who are happy with their current package.
Our research shows that smart firms are adapting, although it appears that there is little stand-out in what is being presented to employees, and carbon-copy benefit packages may not have the desired impact. After all, whilst general satisfaction with benefits packages in on an upwards trajectory, it also implies that 60% of respondents are left feeling a little cold with what is on offer.
In order to attract and retain top talent, firms need to get under the skin of what lawyers want and identify what they can offer. While flexi-time was voted number one in our survey, the results also showed a desire for increased holidays and private health care -all fairly standard benefits that will tick the box for many, but to keep top talent firms should start thinking outside the box.