New research from Benefex, a leading employee benefits and reward platform, highlights a significant disparity between employers and employees in evaluating the quality of employee experience.

While 64% of HR and Reward professionals rate their organisation’s employee experience as ‘excellent’, only 13% of UK employees and 20% of employees worldwide share this sentiment.

The study reveals a notable decline in employee sentiment regarding their workplace experiences. In 2023, 38% of global employees rated their employee experience as excellent, compared to a mere 20% today. This alarming trend underscores a growing gap between employer perceptions and employee realities.

Michael Tigwell, Benefex’s Chief Operating Officer, expressed concern over this discrepancy, noting that despite employers’ efforts, there appears to be a disconnect between initiatives aimed at enhancing employee benefits and reward experience and employees’ actual needs.

AI in HR: Opportunities and Concerns

The research also sheds light on the increasing adoption of AI technologies within HR teams. With administrative tasks consuming a significant portion of HR professionals’ time, 41% believe that greater integration of AI could alleviate this burden. However, concerns regarding bias in AI applications (26%) and job replacement fears (19%) persist among HR and Reward professionals.

Employee expectations have risen, with 81% stating that their workplace experience has become more important to them, particularly in light of ongoing economic challenges. Beyond salary considerations, employees are placing greater emphasis on workplace benefits, recognition, and wellbeing.

Prioritising Wellbeing

Employers are responding to these evolving expectations by prioritising wellbeing support. 84% of HR and Reward professionals identify wellbeing as crucial to a positive employee experience. Consequently, employee benefits are viewed as the most effective means to safeguard employee wellbeing.

To address shifting employee needs, employers must remain agile in their reward and benefits strategies. This involves listening to employees, embracing new ideas, and leveraging technologies like AI to enhance HR efficiency.

The full research findings are available in the white paper titled “The Expectation Exponential: Keeping your reward and benefits strategy ahead of employee expectations.”