As the job market becomes more competitive in the United States, employers need to alter their approach toward recruiting and retaining talented employees. One sure way to grab the attention of future employees is to offer competitive benefit options. Glassdoor’s 2015 Employee Confidence Survey found approximately 80 percent of employees would choose better benefits and perks over a pay raise, and 60 percent ranked benefits and perks as a major factor when job searching — which means a simple update to your company policy could drastically boost employee satisfaction and morale.
What does better benefits entail? Another survey (this one conducted by Fractl) asked 2,000 people how they would rank a list of 17 benefits ranging from unlimited vacation to on-site fitness classes. As an employer, you’ll be happy to know that the top-ranking benefits in this survey were all obtainable and affordable, and they each fit into one of four distinctive categories — healthcare, work-life balance, lifestyle, and cost assistance. When considering which benefits will appeal to your current and future employers, start by brainstorming within those four categories. Employee benefits don’t have to cost a fortune, but they should speak to the hierarchy of needs: reducing stress, exercising the brain and body, improving relationships with family and friends, access to healthcare, and even something as simple as fulfilling hunger.
Better Health, Dental, and Vision Insurance
Offering competitive employee-sponsored health insurance is a no brainer. In the Fractl survey, a whopping 88 percent admitted better health insurance across the board weighs heavily when considering a benefits package. Ensure your employees are offered a range of healthcare options that satisfy their needs: from single individuals with no dependents to growing families.
Basic benefits aren’t basic anymore. Employers want better healthcare that’s easily accessible, affordable, transparent, and practical. Thankfully, Canopy Health can help you bring the best healthcare in the Bay Area to your employees!
Benefits That Improve Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is a hot topic among both employees and employers. With the rise of Millennial workers, the demand for flexible hours and less rigid leadership is on the rise.
Before you roll your eyes, remember that studies have found giving employees the option of flexible schedules, work-from-home options, and more vacation time often improves mental health, reduces stress, and boosts creative ideation, which ultimately leads to a more productive workforce.
Unsurprisingly, more flexibility, work-from-home options, and more or unlimited vacation were the next most desired benefits in the Fractl survey. More than two-thirds of those surveyed said they would consider a position with lower salary if it came with unlimited vacation hours. Fortunately for employers, creating flexible schedules costs them nothing (and may lower overhead), and regardless of how much vacation time employers offer, they likely won’t see a difference in how much time is taken off. According to the Wall Street Journal, Americans are leaving $52.4 billion worth of vacation hours on the table annually, and employers are picking up the tab on this unused PTO.
If employees feel trusted and energized, they are more likely to deliver better work despite spending less time in the office. Studies have shown that productivity dips significantly after the average 40-50 hour workweek. Therefore, if your business doesn’t require employees to be physically present, adding flexible hours or work-from-home options could be a game changer for everyone.
Additionally, paid maternity leave is a must, and paid paternity leave is also on the rise. Offering substantial paid-leave for childbirth or foster parenting will catch us up to our European counterparts and provide employees with valuable time during this life-changing event, ultimately creating a less worried, more satisfied, and more committed employee.
The value of a solid retirement assistance program cannot be understated. Employees are looking for a 401(k) match that helps them feel comforted about their future. Currently, the average 401(k) match is 3.2 percent in America. Aim to make employees feel secure and invested in.
Although alternative medicine and holistic care is often included in healthcare insurance, a plan that includes a substantial employee assistance program (EAP) may standout to some individuals. Knowing that their mental health is cared for — addictions, depression, personality disorders, or whatever other problems might arise — can make a big difference in employee appreciation.
Other lifestyle enhancing perks may include employee outings or bonding events, an onsite gym, gym memberships to nearby fitness facilities, access to yoga or fitness classes, a company game room, and onsite or nearby services such as hair cutting, massage therapy, or daycare for children or dogs. These options provide a convenient source of increased health and happiness — perks that could be the difference in hiring and retaining top-notch talent.
Young, talented employees are demanding higher wages due to the exorbitant cost of education. Therefore, one unique benefit that could pique interest is incorporating student loan assistance or graduate tuition assistance. While this seems like an expensive luxury to offer, employers receive a tax-free contribution when providing up to $5,250 per employee annually toward tuition. Further, student loan assistance ranked among the top ten most desired benefits in the Fractl survey, with nearly 50 percent of people weighing it as a consideration when accepting a new job.
If your business is too small to afford significant financial assistance, try reducing minor costs for employees by offering free coffee or snacks. Although not many individuals surveyed named this perk as a game-changing benefit, employees feel good about their employer investing in their health through generosity. It might not be that beneficial for hiring new talent, but it could be a significant part of retaining your current valued staff members
The Benefits of Canopy Health
We know how competitive the hiring market is. To attract and retain quality, talented employees, employers need to reframe their approach. Better perks improve working environment, employee satisfaction, and productivity.
Jones, K. The Most Desirable Employee Benefits. (2017, February 15). Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2017/02/the-most-desirable-employee-benefits
Selemi, V. Which Employee Benefits Are Actually Worth Getting Excited About? (n.d). Monster. Retrieved from https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/best-employee-benefits-2016