As the job market evolves from an employer- to an employee-driven market, it’s vital that organizations take a strategic approach to leveraging benefits that will allow them to hire and retain top talent. It’s proven that satisfied employees are higher performers than those who are not satisfied.
Different benefits work for different workplaces and peer groups, although there are some popular benefits among every generation. A great working environment, advancement within the company, flexible working benefits, paid leave, bonus or incentives, transportation or free on-site parking, better work-life balance, retirement savings plans, health insurance, and meals and drinks are some traditional benefits that every employee seeks, regardless of location, gender, age and salary package.
What Other Benefits Are Desired?
Apart from the above benefits, employees may seek other perks, depending on their location, job role, age, marital status and gender. Consider these options as you craft your benefits strategy.
1. Employee Discounts. These allow employees to enjoy lower prices at retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, car services, grocers and online platforms, helping them to boost their savings.
2. Student Tuition Assistance. Many companies offer to subsidize the cost of education for employees or help them with the financial burden of student debt. This helps employees to continue education and keep their skills updated.
Reimbursement can range from a single workshop or a college course to a full degree program. Larger organizations are more likely to offer a formal plan, although smaller firms may provide time away from work for educational purposes.
3. Wellness Spaces and Fitness Centers. These might include health care options like well-equipped gyms, fitness and relaxation classes, as well as active sports and social clubs. It might also provide savings and discounts on gym memberships, massages, yoga classes, on-site acupuncture, standing desks and telemedicine services.
4. Interest-Free Loans. Employees may prefer organizations that provide interest-free or low-interest-rate loans for their educations (self or child), vehicles or personal needs.
5. Flex Time. This typically means that for every extra hour of work, one can take up to an hour off. It may provide flexibility to come in late, leave early or take a full day off after working a weekend day. It promotes work-life balance among employees. Note that employers may define how much comp off time can be used in any one pay period to avoid misuse.
6. Relocation/Travel Expenses. If a position within an organization requires relocation, employers may pay for moving expenses. To make business travel less stressful for employees, organizations can offer reimbursement for meals, mobile phones and internet bills. Some organizations also offer company-owned business smartphones for business and personal use.
7. Lactation Rooms. The Affordable Care Act mandates that employers covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act provide a reasonable amount of time and space for lactating mothers.
8. Travel Allowances. Some employers provide a fixed amount of money to their employees for vacation or travel to a place of their interest either annually or on work anniversaries. Employees who love traveling may consider this a big plus when considering a job offer.
No matter which benefits you select for your staff, remember that you should always be revisiting those offerings to ensure that they're as timely as possible. What was important to your team last year may be irrelevant next year, so it's critical to frequently poll your employees to find out their needs.