Every third employee in Poland would like to use to a greater extent the health-supporting benefits offered by employers. After two years of the pandemic, health is becoming the supreme value for Poles – according to the report “Barometr polskiego rynku pracy” prepared by Personnel Service. Employees expect greater commitment from employers in support of their well-being.
The benefit market in Poland is systematically growing, adapting to the changing lifestyle of Poles. Although remuneration is the main aspect influencing the choice of a workplace, the non-wage benefits offered by employers to help attract employees are also very important – based on this factor, employees can decide to change their job or stay with the current employer. Organisational culture in many companies absorbs western patterns or creates unique, local schemes and forms of non-financial benefits.
Money does not bring happiness
Patterns are changing and so are the expectations of employees in relation to benefits. According to the report “Czy pieniądze szczęścia nie dają” prepared by Pracuj.pl, almost 75% of Polish employees receive at least one non-wage benefit at work.
The most popular benefits include:
- private medical care
- sports card
- training allowance
- holiday allowance (self-arranged countryside holidays)
- allowance for language courses
- examples of employee benefits[K1]
Polish employers are investing more and more in non-wage benefits: in 2018, they spent PLN 12 billion on employee benefits. According to forecasts, the benefit market will grow in strength in the coming years, with an emphasis on benefits related to the health of employees.
All of this suggests that employee benefits have already become a standard in Poland. Therefore, employers who want to acquire and retain valuable candidates should not wonder whether it is worth introducing such a system in the company but what benefits to focus on.
The most valued benefit is the medical package, however, the basic one is no longer enough. Employees signal increasing needs related to their deteriorating physical and mental condition and the desire to receive comprehensive support from employers in this regard. This is confirmed by another study, by Hays Poland, which shows that regardless of the position and age group, we want to have access to an extended medical package. Almost 15% of the respondents specify that these are services they will choose themselves, e.g. dental services, dietary or psychological consultations.
The pandemic has changed the way people think about benefits
Let’s go back to the study by Personnel Service. It shows that almost half, namely 45% of employees admit that they have been more stressed at work since the beginning of the pandemic. It turns out, however, that companies do not compensate employees for this increased stress by offering additional non-wage benefits. Research shows that 69% of employees in Poland declare that they receive at least one benefit in addition to their salary. However, it is not quantity but quality that matters for employees – health is their priority. Already 35% of people admit that they would like to have an extensive medical care package. The vision of a shorter working week is also attractive to Poles.
29% of people are in favour of a 4-day working week as an attractive option. And what once seemed impossible to be implemented is now starting to become a reality. Nordic Consulting and Development Company, a Polish-Danish software developer and IT service provider for insurance companies, has introduced a 4-day working week model.
Apart from health support and a 4-day working week, 28% of employees would be satisfied with additional days off per year and 23% of them find it optimal to shorten the working day by one hour. Remote work is not a common phenomenon in our country. Around 20% of employees work from home at least one day a week. However, their expectations for remote work are higher. 15% of people admit that they would like to work from home 2-3 days a week and 13% expect online training. Every tenth person would be glad to receive allowance for remote forms of entertainment, such as Netflix, and tax advisory services regarding the new tax law Polski Ład.
Do not save on employees
Why are benefits important? As experts argue, benefits motivate employees and thus make it harder for them to leave the company. Each additional action of the employer which makes employees know that the company cares for them is right and, what’s more – profitable. Often a good benefit is not the one that will cost the employer a lot but the one best suited to the needs of its employees. So what if you can invest in sports cards if most of your employees do not like this type of activity or simply do not have time for it. The most important thing for employers is to consider:
- who your employees are, what they like to do in their spare time and what their life priorities are
- the prevailing age groups among your employees and prevailing tenure in the company
- the specificity of work in your company: industry/pace of work/stress level of employees/if it is a shift work
what pain/problem of employees you are targeting by offering them a given benefit