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Part of Western Governors University

June 4, 2019

Business

Employee benefits and perks: what employees want.

HR insurance meeting

The importance of employee benefits.

Want to attract and keep top talent at your company? Benefits are the way to do it.

According to Glassdoor, 60% of people say that benefits and perks are huge factors in taking or rejecting a job offer.

That’s why many companies that are competing to try and attract employees are offering benefits, over 70% in fact.

Basically, if you want to keep up, get the right employees at your organization, and encourage them to stick around, benefits and employee perks are necessary.

An educated understanding of business, from both the side of the employee and the employer, can give you a better understanding of what employee perks and benefits your own workers needs.

But it’s not just money that employees are after. While regular raises and bonuses are an important element of staff satisfaction, research is showing that these aren’t the most important options for most employees.

Different benefits and perks are vital to staff satisfaction. If you’re an HR professional or business manager hoping to enhance your organization’s appeal, the following top benefits and perks are what employees are looking for as they evaluate their next job.

 

Best employee benefits.

Employee benefits are a form of non-wage compensation, such as insurance or time-off. They are areas of compensation that don’t come in your paycheck, but are just as vital to employees as their salary.

Better health insurance.

Workers heavily consider health insurance when evaluating a job. While health insurance is a legal requirement for many organizations, the type of medical and dental insurance that employees can get is important.

Workers are looking to feel confident in their insurance options, and don’t want to worry they’ll have to spend an exorbitant amount to cover medical costs.

While health insurance can be expensive to provide, it’s a critical way to attract and keep good people in your organization.

 

Paid parental leave.

Men and women don’t always evaluate benefits the same way. Twenty-five percent of women said that parental leave is a heavy consideration factor as they evaluate benefits, while only 14% of men said the same. However, enough employees say this benefit is important to them that many organizations offer it.

The need for increased opportunities for paid parental leave and work-life balance after an employee has children are increasingly recognized by top organizations. The U.S. has some of the worst policies on parental leave in the world, but many organizations now recognize the need for changes and are going above and beyond regulations to meet employees’ needs.

While just six weeks is required for paid parental leave, many organizations are upping the number to several months, and allowing gradual steps back to work after a birth or adoption. These organizations often see success with these programs in the form of employee retention and staff satisfaction.

Remote worker

Retirement plan.

Retirement plans are widely considered important for employees as they consider a job. Many organizations find that employer matches of retirement donations are exactly what employees look for.

The right kind of retirement program will help encourage employees to stay at your company in order to get their benefits. It will help them be confident in passing up other job opportunities because they’ve invested in your retirement plan.

Paid time off.

Time-off is one of the most important factors for employees considering a job. While absolutely unlimited vacation has proven less effective at attracting and maintaining employees, the right amount of paid time-off is what will be extra enticing.

Generous time-off policies show employees that management trusts them, and understands their needs. It shows that employers care about personal lives, health, and family responsibilities for their employees, not just what they can produce at the office.

Organizations with flexible hours and generous time-off policies often find that employees are more productive during work. They know that they have a need to get things done and aren’t just wishing away the days, dreaming of a vacation.

Switching to a more generous time-off policy doesn’t have to be difficult, but will be an added benefit for current and future employees.

Hammock feet | time off

Best employee perks.

Perks are different than employee benefits in several ways. They are additions that many employees would consider “nice to have.” They’re the cherry on top, the icing on the cake, the additional element that makes a job more appealing, and can edge out the competition.

HR professionals take charge when it comes to helping create an office environment that embraces these kinds of perks.

More flexible hours.

Flexible schedules are a perk that many employees appreciate more than just about anything else. When employees know they have the option to come in and leave the office at times that work with their schedule, they are more likely to work hard while they’re at the office, undistracted with other responsibilities.

Eighty percent of respondents to a survey said they would consider a job more if it advertised flexible hours. Millennials especially value flexibility in the workplace. As more millennials enter the workforce, flexible work options will likely become more important.

Some organizations worry that flexible hours will cause a lapse in productivity or issues with collaboration. But in fact, the opposite has proven to be true, with offices that use flexible hours seeing boosts in their team productivity and morale. As employees feel trusted by management, they’re excited about their projects and opportunities within their organization.

Remote work options.

Sixty-three percent of tech professionals said they would take a pay cut in order to work from home half the time. Options to work from home are increasingly available to employees, especially in tech-heavy organizations that utilize video conferences and chat to connect employees.

Studies show that employees who work from home are more productive, and have higher engagement rates.

Organizations that allow remote workers often find they have a larger talent pool to choose from. Because they aren’t restricted to candidates who are willing to locate or already close by, they are able to get the best of the best.

Employee breakroom

Free snacks and drinks.

Simple things like free snacks and drinks are a great perk for employees. These perks can make employees feel that their company cares about their well-being, not just about their work output.

Having snacks and drinks can also help the company, by saving time. Employees are able to walk to the break room for a snack or lunch, instead of leaving the office.

While snacks and coffee are an expense for the company, it’s a relatively small expense when the pros are considered. Employees that feel engaged and happy about being in the office, are more productive.

Wellness programs.

Organizations that promote wellness with their health insurance see great benefits with employee satisfaction. Wellness without engagement isn’t effective; HR professionals will need to work to ensure that employees understand what is being offered and are connected with wellness programs.

Employees who have wellness options feel that their organization cares about their personal success, not just how well they work.

Similarly, organizations who promote wellness see increased health in their employees, leading to fewer sick days and less expensive health insurance needs. This is a huge plus for the employee, and employer alike.

 

A comprehensive look at the money an employee can make from their salary, insurance, retirement, and other perks will help them be able to weigh a job offer more accurately. HR professionals can create spreadsheets that offer the most accurate information about compensation with all of the different employee benefits added in.

There are many ways that employers can add employee benefits and perks that will entice employees to want to join your organization, and stay there. These elements are a great way to attract employees of all ages, with top skill and talent.

 

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