Nearly all employers (97%) are planning to maintain or increase their spending on employee benefits over the next two years, according to research from the CIPD and LCP.
The survey of 568 HR practitioners found 81% intend to spend the same amount on employee benefits over the next two years, while 16% plan to increase their investment.
When asked which benefits they intend to spend more on in the next two years, professional development came out top, cited by 43% of respondents.
This was followed health and wellbeing (29%) and financial benefits (25%) such as pension schemes, loans and free money and debt advice.
One in six employers (17%) expect to invest in a formal work-life balance policy within the next year, which can include flexible working and shared parental leave arrangements.
Charles Cotton, senior reward and performance adviser at the CIPD, said despite the recent economic and political uncertainty, employers are committed to investing in their employees and their future.
“It’s encouraging to see the benefits that have been earmarked for further spend in the near future relate to people development and wellbeing. Spending in these areas can help to improve employee, and ultimately, corporate performance,” he added.
However, the report warns that any extra investment in benefits risks being undermined by the lack of analysis employers carry out.
The majority of respondents (74%) said they do not currently conduct a review of their benefit spend.
This is despite benefits playing an important role in helping organisations succeed, with two-thirds (66%) of respondents saying their main purpose was to attract, recruit and retain staff to support current business needs.
“The people profession has an important role to play in analysing spend on benefits to see if the business, its people and other key stakeholders are getting maximum value from them,” said Cotton. “Analysis provides crucial evidence for making changes for the better if this is not the case.”
The survey found 16% of employers do not always communicate what benefits are on offer and 21% said their benefits are not easily accessible.