Types of employee benefits in Singapore that attract and retain talents

May 27, 2021

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What are the most important benefits your employees want? And what unique benefits would attract the most talents?

This is one of the top questions that pop up when Singapore companies assess their employee benefits policies

As companies increasingly offer more attractive benefits to get the best talents, your organisation should also think about what is the best for your employees. This will help you keep them happy and incentivised to stay with the company for a long time.

Some employee benefits are more useful than others, depending on their type of work in their job role and their life stage. This is where personalised benefits come in. Each job role and each age group have different needs. Identifying what are those and providing meaningful benefits for each group will increase worker satisfaction and engagement.

In this article, you'll learn:

  • The definition of employee benefits
  • The importance of benefits
  • A list of common benefits by Singapore employers
  • A list of benefits that Singapore employees want most
  • Unique benefits offered by companies globally

What are employee benefits?

Employee benefits are the rewards that an employee receives in return for their work. The most common example is money-related perks such as bonuses and overtime payments. But it can also be other things, like flexible working hours or even onsite child care facilities.

Employee benefits are generally categorised into 4 major types:

  • Work
  • Health
  • Financial
  • Lifestyle

Related reads: New to designing employee benefits plan? Our step-by-step employees benefits planning guide with actionable insights can help you get started on the right foot. 

Why are employee benefits crucial?

Employee benefits are crucial because it affects the employee's work performance — which ultimately impacts your organisation's bottom line.

For example, flexible working hours can increase employee productivity and reduce stress levels; onsite child care facilities can help employees handle their childcare responsibilities more easily. 

It also reduces the employer’s costs for recruitment and creates a positive company culture by showing appreciation for employee's efforts.

LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends Survey 2020 showed that companies rated highly on:

  • Compensation and benefits saw 56% lower attrition
  • Employee training saw 53% lower attrition
  • Flexible work arrangements saw 137% higher headcount growth

In short, meaningful and attractive employee benefits help you attract and retain the best talents, save recruiting resources, increase employee's work performance and boost your bottom line.

What are the most common benefits for employees in Singapore?

In Singapore, there are many different types of benefits that you can offer your employees. From health insurance to bonuses if they stay with the company for a certain number of years. 

Here are some of the most common benefits offered by employers in Singapore:

  • Annual Leave
  • Medical & Hospitalisation Leave
  • Annual Wage Supplement (AWS) & Bonus
  • Transportation reimbursement
  • Retirement benefits
  • Housing allowance

What benefits attract employees the most in Singapore?

According to the "State of Employee Benefits" report by Swingvy, these are the top 10 employee benefits that Singapore workers want but not offered by most companies. 

  • Dental cover
  • Gym membership
  • Annual Wage Supplement (AWS) or Bonus
  • Flexible hours or Work from home
  • Better medical insurance
  • Health screening
  • Flexi-cash benefit
  • Buy/Sell annual leave
  • Maternity insurance
  • Company shares

Dental tops the list, probably because, on average, a dental procedure could cost anywhere between $300 and $1200 — which is expensive for most employees. 

Gym memberships have always been a popular benefit among employees, particularly millennials and Gen Zs. According to a study by Leeds Metropolitan University, exercise makes your employees healthier and more productive, more effective time management, and have smoother interactions with colleagues. 

What are the unique employee benefits that make you stand out?

Every employee is attracted by a meaningful benefit that they've never or hardly heard of. This is a great way to get attention, attraction, and retention.

Here are some of the unique employee benefits used by organisations around the world:

  • Norway: Cabin bookings
  • Denmark: Choose your own device
  • Netherlands: Flexible benefits budget
  • France: Donation from salary
  • Brazil: Flexible benefits
  • Germany: Flexible benefits model
  • Nigeria: Free generators for electricity
  • Botswana: Milk allowance
  • Sweden: Health & Wellness contribution
  • Finland: Wellness & Culture contribution
  • India: Flexible compensation
  • Singapore: Flexible spending accounts

And here are some unique benefits offered by companies globally:

  • Google: Death compensation to employee's spouse
  • PwC: Student loan debt reimbursement
  • Spotify: Egg freezing
  • Airbnb: Travel stipend for Airbnb listings
  • REI: Yay days, two paid off days to do any activities of their choice
  • Bain & Co.: Global soccer tournaments
  • Goldman Sachs: Gender reassignment surgery
  • Salesforce: Paid time off for volunteering
  • Netflix: Unlimited vacation days
  • Facebook: Free intern housing
  • Reebok: Free fitness classes

One common thing between these countries and companies is that they tailor benefits according to their employees' realities and needs. 

How do they know? By asking and doing surveys. The best way to offer benefits that your workers want is by getting their opinion.

If you want to know how to find out what benefits your staff want most, we have a step-by-step guide showing you how to design, execute, and analyse your employee benefits survey. 

Wrapping it up

These days, it’s not just about the salary or wage you pay your employees; there are a variety of other benefits that can have an impact on their work performance. Employee benefits play a big role in retaining and attracting top talent, increasing productivity, and achieving high worker satisfaction.

If you're revamping your employee benefits policy, knowing how much Singapore employers are spending on their benefits can give you a realistic cost benchmark.

Or contact our Benefits Specialist and get free expert consultations to create meaningful and popular benefits that would draw talents to you and retain them.


About Mednefits:

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