Benefit trends are shifting to meet the growing demands of a younger workforce. Now more than ever, employers must foster innovative and creative ways for employees to thrive, engage with their work and stay at their job.
With lower U.S. unemployment rates in 2019, companies must remain competitive to attract and retain the best talent. Salary alone is no longer the only draw for long-term employee commitment. With millennials becoming influencers in the job market, employers are focused on offering valuable perks that impact their employees’ daily lives and emotional health.
As companies strive to be recognized as employers of choice, enhancing corporate benefits is now a critical piece of a company’s stake in the talent acquisition and retention game. Personalizing benefits compensation packages and creating an engaging employee experience are dominant factors in employees entertaining job offers.
Here are the latest benefits trends:
- Promoting financial wellness
- Offering financial counseling to help employees learn how to manage their income in today’s economy is extremely helpful. Employees look to employers for financial security, so helping employees understand how to budget, pay off debt and plan for large purchases is very beneficial.
- Flexible schedules/remote work options
- Promoting family-friendly schedules through flexible work hours and remote work options can be part of the solution to a healthy work-life balance.
- Tuition reimbursement/student loan repayment options
- Some employers are increasing their contributions to employee’s college educations through tuition reimbursement and/or student loan repayment to help get employees out of outstanding school debt.
- Maternity and paternity leave
- Companies are also increasing the scope of their maternity and paternity leave.
- Employee discounts
- Establishing employee discounts save employees money on real-life expenses, without accruing additional company costs. Popular employee discounts include things such as gym memberships or access to local area attractions, like museums or zoos.
- Offering telehealth is a convenient and cost-saving treatment option to take the complexity out of accessing care. Virtual resource services reduce the need for in-person visits and supports preventive care, mental/behavioral services, diabetes care and medical decision support.
- Unlimited paid time off(PTO)
- Unlimited PTO has become a desirable benefit in recent years, including paid time off for volunteering at non-profit organizations.
- Higher HSA contributions
- Some employers may increase their annual HSA contribution limit through matching funds or participatory wellness and outcomes-based contribution incentives.
- Technology solutions
- Benefits technology will simplify employees’ decision-making. Text messages and email drip campaigns can help keep employees updated about changes to their benefits.
- Incentives for preventive care
- Employers continue to offer financial incentives for meeting company wellness program requirements.
- 401(k) contributions
- Contribution matching is still quite popular for this retirement savings account.
- Other unique perks
- Offering unique perks, including anything from standing desks for increased employee mobility to adding music rooms, relaxation centers, or sport or video games in the break rooms can increase employee satisfaction levels.
Employers must carefully consider how the majority of their workers can benefit from enhanced compensation packages, balancing valuable coverage options while managing company costs. For some employees, paternity leave will/will not outweigh other lifestyle perks, such as national park passes, travel benefits or floating holidays.
Employers and their benefits advisors should keep in mind that recent benefits trends aren’t about offering the most benefits to your employees, but the right benefits for your particular workforce. Companies that provide thoughtful benefits options to their workers can help earn employee loyalty, resulting in happy, engaged employees.
The views of the author of this article do not necessarily represent the views of Gradifi. We make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained here. Readers should consult their own attorneys or other tax or financial advisors to understand the tax, financial and legal consequences of any strategies mentioned in this article.