Which Benefits Matter Most to Employees Now?

You may hear about how some employers provide their people with benefits that go far beyond the norm. Such benefits can include, for example, free ice cream or other product, paid-time-off to care for a pet, fertility treatments, adoption assistance, nap rooms, and even new-baby bonuses.


While these may seem over the top, the way things are going, such benefits may be closer to the norm in short order. After all, in a tight labor market, competition is king, as is the importance of being able to recruit and retain top talent.

Of course, not every organization is able to offer benefits at this level, nor is there generally a demand for them – yet. Your task is to learn which benefits matter most to employees now then fold them into your new package. Let’s explore the issue.

The Issue

It’s important to note that organizations have ample leeway when it comes to benefits. Ultimately, they decide what to offer. That’s true with one exception: benefits Uncle Sam requires. You also may want to check for mandates for the state in which your organization is based.

The government requires such benefits to make certain that employees and their families are provided for in their retirement, and that they have access to medical care. Such benefits also are meant to provide a safety net during times of job loss or disability. In addition, organizations have certain liabilities when it comes to workplace illnesses and injuries.

Thus, organizations are federally obligated to provide Medicare, Social Security, worker’s compensation, and unemployment insurance, as well sd Family and Medical Leave Act protections.

What Do Employees Want?

Healthcare – Number one under employee benefit programs is expanded healthcare. The pandemic, plus the high cost of healthcare in this country has, generally underscored the need to have good medical insurance. Most frequently cited are health, dental, and vision insurance. Employees also want either very low or no deductibles.

Individuals have also been signaling a desire for short- and long-term disability, as well as additional paid sick days and healthcare plans for spouses and children. Also in demand are paid paternal leave and flexible spending accounts, which can help your people manage out-of-control healthcare costs.

Flexibility – Employees also commonly cite a desire for more personal time off so that they can achieve a better work/life balance. There is a trend away from rigid work schedule, with its attendant commuting issues, and toward more flextime that can include four 10-hour workdays, remote work, and more vacation time, for example.

Professional Development – Job candidates commonly express the desire for learning opportunities that are crafted to propel employees forward in their careers. Such opportunities can include skills training, webinars, and reimbursement for continuing education courses, and more.

Further, if you’re hoping to lure younger people to your organization, student loan assistance for new graduates can help, as can assistance with graduate degree tuition, which you can deduct as a business expense, by the way.

Go Straight to Your People

Which benefits matter most to your people now? It’s smart and wise to explore trends, although the benefits cited at the beginning of this article are on the outside of what is being offered. You don’t really need to match such offerings to get great talent.

In fact, carefully crafted surveys conducted by leading global consultant Mercer such can help you gain a good idea of the kinds of benefits desired so that you can incorporate them into your benefits package, and better attract and retain the people your organization needs to thrive.

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