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What Perks and Benefits are Important for Employees in Today’s Labor Market

Everyone knows how important perks and benefits are to employees. Look at any job description, and you’ll see the perks and benefits highlighted right after job requirements. It makes sense. People work for more than just a paycheck.

They want perks and benefits that not only create a positive work experience, but also improve the quality of their lives. So, the question arises with what perks and benefits should a company offer their employees. The answer is to look at what is most important to today’s top talent? And implement them in a way that best benefits everyone. 

Why are Employee Benefits Important?

Unlike perks that employees want from their employers, employees need benefits. An employee’s salary covers the mortgage and puts food on the table, but benefits provide a security blanket with the surprise costs of medical and wellbeing.

So keep in mind, benefits are considered part of the compensation package and many companies have expanded theirs in the past year due to the pandemic. Potential candidates evaluated this as critically as they do the salary they will be earning. When considering the benefits you want to provide your employees, it is important to not only consider the type of benefits you choose to offer but also the quality of those benefits as well. A poor or costly out-of-pocket benefit package can eat up an employee’s earnings.

What are the Most Important Employee Benefits

When looking into benefits for your employees, remember that benefits fill the fundamentals for a person’s basic needs. Improving your company’s benefit offerings not only makes your employees happy, but it also makes the hiring process easier as people will be excited about the great benefits your company has to offer.

Health, Vision, and Dental Insurance

Health benefits, including vision and dental, are on the top of the list. Just a trip to the doctor for a routine checkup can eat up a day’s worth of wages if the employee does not have proper health benefits to cover the costs. And a major surgery or illness can put a person into financial hardship. Having health benefits that cover a large part of the cost and does not take a huge percentage of your staff’s salary will alleviate a lot of stress.

Retirement Benefits

Retirement benefits give the employee the opportunity to prepare for the future when they retire from the workforce. Having retirement benefits that provide several options where the employee can accelerate their savings if they are behind or take or conservative or risky investments will appeal to a wider range of employees. Also evaluate your investment matching program, make certain your contribution is generous.

Life Insurance

Life insurance offers your employees peace of mind if something should happen to them and they are no longer able to provide for their families. Consider including life insurance benefits that can be bumped up or flexible for your employees’ unique needs.

Paid Time Off (PTO)

Paid time off gives employees a chance to have a more balanced work/life. It also gives employees the permission to take time away from work to recharge or care for others if needed.

Top 10 Employee Perks and Benefits

Unlike benefits that can be costly, some perks are an economical additive to your benefit package that done right can sway employees to join or remain with your company vs. accepting a job offer from a competitor business. It is essential though that when you introduce employee perks into your company culture you are aware of what is most sought out by employees.

  1. Student loan assistance opens doors for employees that might otherwise not have means for higher education. Offer to pay a percentage of approved tuition course work for a set number of years of service with the company.
  2. Career development grants employees the opportunity for continued skills development through mentorships or course work. This not only boosts their self-esteem but also improves their productivity for the company.
  3. Wellness programs look out for the welfare of your employees. These programs can be diverse such as providing a hotline number to call for crisis, counseling services for improved mental health, healthy food options in the lunchroom or exercise programs that look out for an employee’s physical health.
  4. Employee recognition programs give acknowledgement for a job well done. This can include bonuses for reaching goals, prime parking for employee of the month or gift cards for top performance. This not only makes the employee feel appreciated, but also motivates employees to do their best.
  5. Childcare is a huge burden on working parents. Providing means for affordable childcare eases the financial costs and if the daycare is close or in office also allows parents to remain more connected to their children in the precious years of the adolescent.
  6. Free lunches such as pizza on Fridays or taco Tuesday promotes community. Work stops for a set amount of time and makes it a priority for management and associates to sit together and get to know each other better.
  7. Team events such as ball games, bowling leagues or shared volunteer services not only relieve the stress of the day but also build relationships inside departments that increase efficiency and gives the employee a better sense of belonging.
  8. Employee discount programs help employees with phone bills, vacation locations or fun items that they can wear at the office or keep around the workstation.
  9. Flexible scheduling allows employees to work when it is convenient for them. This gives the employee more control over their work/life balance and a sense that you, the employer, trust they will get the work done.
  10. Remote work offers employees the opportunity to work from home or work from a location that would make transit to work impossible.

Perks for Remote Employees

It is important to remember that even though working remotely is a perk in itself, since your remote workers come to the workplace rarely or not at all, they require perks that are unique and address their special needs.

  • Home services can free up time and stress that comes from being at the home for longer spans of time. A laundry service, cleaning service or a delivery service that helps with the mundane chores frees your employees to focus on the more important tasks.
  • Streaming services such as entertainment or music helps them take time away from work and recharge.
  • Tech services that assist with the cost and support of the technology a remote worker needs to be efficient at the home alleviates a lot of the stress when computers or programs don’t work right or are expensive to have.

Final Thoughts

So, when your HR department sits down with a qualified candidate, be confident that the perks and benefits your company offers are competitive and compassionate for your employees. Offering great perks and benefits gives companies the power to retain current employees and sway potential top talent to work for you and see you to your next level of growth.