If you had to name one thing that the “best places to work” have in common, a good guess would be a generous benefits package. According to Glassdoor, the job search and comparison site, 57% of job seekers list benefits and perks among their top concerns when evaluating a job offer. 80% of employees would choose an added perk instead of a raise.
In today’s tight labor market (and with benefit enrollment season right around the corner), these are important facts for employers to know, especially those with tough hiring challenges. A rich benefits package is essential to lure and keep top performers. The perfect blend typically includes a combination of traditional core benefits and some creative perks.
Top Core Benefits
Healthcare and ancillary benefits. After the base salary, healthcare benefits are often the top priority for job seekers. This typically includes medical, dental, vision, and life insurance coverage for the employee and dependents. Potential hires also look for supplemental benefits tailored to their specific needs, ranging from critical care insurance to pet care discounts, to legal services, identity theft protection, and college savings planning assistance.
Digital healthcare. Getting to the doctor is often a challenge for employees, so the ability to access healthcare online is growing in popularity. Digital healthcare offers the ability to video chat or text with physicians, use mobile phones to share photos or view test results, and receive immediate care rather than spending hours in a doctor’s office.
Paid time off. HR professionals consider paid leave (such as vacation time) an essential aspect of employee job satisfaction. In the U.S., the average worker receives 10 days of paid vacation per year. Some companies will go well above that based on the norms in their industry. Annual paid leave days generally increase with length of service. Some companies also use a PTO bank system to give employees more flexibility to manage their vacation, sickness and personal leave.
Retirement savings plans. A great way to motivate employees to save for long-term goals is through a tax-advantaged 401(k) plan. Offering to match contributions up to a certain amount is very
appealing to job seekers and delivers a compelling reason for employees to stay with their employers for the long term.
Professional development. Supporting the personal and professional growth of employees is a critical step in attracting and keeping the very best workers. Employees want opportunities for professional development, to master new skills and to grow into other roles. This is especially important to millennials. Funding continuing education and skills training can be incredibly beneficial to both employee and employer.
Creative perks are becoming more popular, not just in Silicon Valley, but everywhere. This is due in large part to the needs and expectations of younger job seekers. In some industries, the traditional PTO of 10 days has evolved to unlimited paid time off. Some employers pay 100% of an employee’s medical or other insurance premiums. For most companies, however, this level of offering is just not practical. A less expensive alternative is to offer some distinctive perks that can be equally as valuable to workers. Here are five unique options to consider:
Dogs at work. Employees save money on dog walkers or “doggie daycare” facilities and enjoy reduced stress by having their beloved pet at their side in the office.
Concierge services. People spend long hours at the office, leaving little time for after-work errands. With a personal concierge service, employees can dispatch someone to take care of personal tasks at a discounted fee, or the company picks up the tab. Perks such as these are not cheap, but companies that look for solutions to simplify their employees’ lives are among the most admired and successful.
Massage and spa services. Offering on-site massages or manicures and pedicures also can reduce stress in the workplace and boost morale. This in turn can increase productivity: a win-win for employees and the company.
Laundry services. Beyond dry cleaning, some employers enlist companies to pick up their employees’ laundry at the office and return it the next day, wash, dried and folded. This perk eliminates another household chore and can be less expensive than offering a full suite of concierge services.
Financial wellness solutions. Financial worries are among the greatest sources of anxiety and stress. Offering financial wellness and education expertise, including guidance on student debt repayment options, is attractive to workers of all ages.
Ideally, benefit packages should reflect the culture the company wants to create and resonate with the employees who will bring that culture to life.