Hiring and retaining great employees is one of the best ways to ensure that your business will be successful. Unfortunately, not every business can pay the highest salary in the field and there are many potential employees who aren’t motivated by money alone. This is where employee benefits come in, helping to make your business more attractive to those who need more than just a great paycheck. Taking a look at employee benefits trends may surprise you, though, as what has been important in the past isn’t necessarily so important today.
Employee benefits trends
The benefits that matter most to your employees may not always be the benefits that you’ve prioritized in your business. While it’s fantastic to offer good healthcare or discounts for your business’ services, there are many employees who put more emphasis on those benefits that help them live their own best lives. Below are a handful of those employee benefits trends that have become incredibly popular over the last few years.
Working nine to five can make sense for some jobs, but it’s not something that necessarily works for everyone. There are obviously some individuals who do their best work in the early mornings or at night, while other employees need to make sure that they are available during specific times of the day for reasons ranging from health care to child care. Giving employees in a non-customer-facing role the chance to work a more flexible schedule can be a great way to help your employees maintain a positive balance between their needs and the needs of the company.
Some companies accomplish this by giving employees a choice of schedules. Others might simply require that a specific number of hours are worked during the week regardless of when those hours are worked. This can be a great way to make sure that employees are as productive as possible without requiring them to adhere to a system that might not work as well as it once did.
Paid time off is one of the ultimate employee benefits trends. Employees want to know that they won’t be punished for stepping away from the office, especially if doing so allows them to spend more time with their own families or recharging from a particularly stressful job. PTO – and especially unlimited PTO – is a benefit that can help employees understand that not only does the business care about productivity, but it cares about whether or not its employees strike a balance between their personal and professional lives.
It’s also become increasingly popular for businesses to provide both paid maternity and paternity leave. Simply know that there’s a job to come back to is important for many new parents, but knowing that the company cares enough to keep paying them during these formative months is even better. Taking the time to create plans that help new families can be a fantastic way to retain employees.
Student loan assistance
One of the uncommon but increasingly important employee benefits trends, student loan assistance can be a major perk for some employees. With an increasing number of new college graduates coming into the workforce with a crippling amount of debt, offering help with student loans can be incredibly attractive. Student loan assistance usually requires some significant financial planning on the part of a business, but it does help to ensure that employees will be able to keep working without having to worry about having a huge loan burden hanging over their heads.
Work from home
To be fair, it’s not possible for employees in every type of business to work from home. In the tech and business sectors, though, it’s become increasingly popular for employees to seek out jobs that allow them to dodge their commute and work from home for at least part of their hours. This can be incredibly beneficial for businesses since it cuts down on headcount in the office and maximizes space use, and it helps many remote workers to find an easier to way to work on their own terms.
It does take some doing to set up a solid remote work program, but it’s an amazing benefit for some employees. It’s especially useful for those businesses that are centered in areas that have high property values, as employees won’t have to worry about an expensive relocation process just to get to work. If your business isn’t comfortable with moving towards full-time remote work set-ups, even offering employees the chance to work from home a few days a week can be a meaningful benefit.
It’s always fantastic to know that your employees plan to grow beyond their current goals. In fact, those employees who feel like they have nowhere left to go within a company are more often those who are looking for a way out than those who feel like there are opportunities to grow. Even if you can’t fast-track promotion for every new hire, your business can offer professional development as a perk.
Professional development is one benefit that is a win for all involved. Employees get to learn new skills, while the business gets the benefit of a newly-trained employee. Those who attend the classes and make use of this type of perk will be highly beneficial for the organization at large, giving you a large group of potential managers and executive from which to choose. Unlike some of the other benefits here, this one is as useful for the company as it is for the employee.
Health and family programs
A significant number of businesses are now also starting to offer benefits for their employees’ health as well as that of their families. The increased value of work-life balance is best seen here, where employees place more value on businesses that help them to become their best selves.
These benefits can range from helping to provide better health care benefits through HSAs to providing assistance to employees who are adopting. An increasing number of businesses are also helping to cover the cost of things like gender reassignment surgery, helping to further solidify the idea that the company cares about the issues that are important to its employees. These benefits go a long way towards keeping employees happy, healthy, and productive no matter what type of environment in which they working.
Always make sure to pay attention to the benefits you offer your employees. Some of them come at very little cost to the business but might mean the world to employees. If you’re interested in learning more about employee benefits trends or employee retention, make sure to sign up for the PayTech newsletter.