With the current jobseeker-friendly market, employers are facing many challenges when tasked with recruiting, hiring and retaining the best and the brightest employees. With the rising competition for talent, an employer needs to make sure it is in the best position to attract and retain the workforce it wants and needs.
One thing an employer can do to further this goal is to review its organization’s current benefit offerings. During this review, an employer should:
- Make sure it is providing a comprehensive set of benefits;
- Take notice of what other employers are doing; and
- Consider moving toward a more personalized benefits approach.
An employer should also determine how its employee benefits program aligns with the latest benefit trends to see if there is anything it might want to consider adding in the future. Five benefits that are quickly gaining popularity with the current workforce are listed below.
1. Workplace Flexibility
In the last several years, workplace flexibility has emerged as an employee benefit of choice. In many surveys, work-life balance was chosen by employees as a key benefit. In fact, 19 percent of Generation Z and Generation Y (millennials) said that workplace flexibility was the most important benefit to them, according to a Randstad survey.
There are many different ways employers can offer workplace flexibility. For example, a flexible workplace may involve:
- Flexible schedules;
- Reduced schedules;
- Flexible working locations;
- Compressed workweeks;
- Shift flexibility; and
- Job sharing.
2. Student Loan Assistance
Many surveys and studies have revealed that millennials and Generation Z are worried about student debt. This is undoubtedly because these generations are predicted to graduate with more debt than any other generation, and they are worried about their future financial well-being. Such stress can have a real impact on employee performance since it may lead to lost productivity, absenteeism and even health care expenditures.
More employers are trying to ease this financial burden by offering student loan assistance as an employee benefit. There are a variety of different ways to structure such a program. For example, an employer may offer a certain dollar amount a year toward paying off student loans, along with a lifetime maximum amount. Others may offer a set monthly matching amount for payments employees make to their student loans.
3. Paid Parental Leave
Employers are increasingly embracing family-friendly benefits, with more organizations continuing to offer paid parental leave. Parental leave is viewed by many employers that offer it as an ongoing commitment and investment in their employees’ health and welfare. This is because parental leave has often been cited for having a far-reaching impact on employees, including:
- Physical and mental benefits;
- Healthier children; and
- Career advancement advantages.
Additionally, paid parental leave allows parents to be more prepared to come back to the workforce and easily transition back into their positions.
4. Financial Wellness Benefits
While a physical wellness program is not a new concept to most employers, there are many that are taking wellness a step further and offering financial wellness benefits. As noted with the student debt example, financial stress can have a huge impact on an employee’s emotional, physical and mental well-being, and offering programs designed to help employees with their finances can have a significant effect on their lives.
Benefits that promote employee financial wellness may include:
- Financial education, counseling and/or training;
- Retirement planning;
- Debt counseling;
- Identity theft benefits; or
- College savings programs.
5. Concierge Services
Finally, concierge services continue to receive a lot of attention from employers. While larger companies with expansive campuses have traditionally been known to offer concierge services onsite, smaller organizations now have the ability to offer such benefits as well by contracting with outside concierge service providers.
Concierge services are designed to make the lives of employees easier by helping them with daily challenges. Such programs can offer a wide array of benefits, including:
- Onsite childcare;
- Dry cleaning
- Travel services;
- Pet care; and
- Vehicle repair and maintenance services.
Benefit offerings are a key part of being an attractive organization to potential jobseekers and in engaging current employees. This means that it’s important for an employer to be aware of the latest benefit trends and determine how they might be valuable to its current employees. This may involve taking a more personalized approach to benefit offerings rather than sticking with the traditional one-size-fits-all approach.
What benefit trends has your organization embraced? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.