There is a lot of information and many opinions related to what benefits employers should offer. But what do employees really want? What perks will set your company apart and help you establish your organization as a best place to work?
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conducts an annual survey that lends valuable insight into what employers are currently offering and how the benefits space is evolving as the younger generations enter the workforce and look for more innovative benefits and perks. At a glance, here are some key benefits you may want to consider if you want to keep up with the Joneses (your competition) and join the ranks as a best place to work.
Organizations are most focused on increasing health-related and wellness benefits. 40% of all organizations have added benefits in these two areas. 79% of employers offer two or more types of health plans (83% of organizations share premium costs with their employees), and more than half of employers offer a Health Savings Account.
Financial wellness is exploding. Speakers on SHRM’s “Financial Wellness Benefits Your Employees Want and Need” panel stressed that programs should include a mix of prevention, to help employees avoid common financial mistakes in the first place, and support for when they do encounter difficulties. The key to providing options is to allow employees to personalize their benefits so they have benefits that truly support their needs.
Which leads to a very close second – flexibility for employees. These are some of the more common perks because they don’t necessarily increase costs for the employer, but they have huge perceived (and actual) value for employees. 69% of companies offer ad hoc telecommuting and more than a quarter offer full-time telecommuting. Adding this type of flexibility for your employees can quickly boost your reputation as a best place to work. If you want to attract top talent and retain your best employees, it’s essential to take advantage of technology and enable a more mobile workforce.
Employees are increasingly stressed about their financial well-being and they’re looking to their employers to help them through tough financial situations. Based on the 2019 PwC Employee Financial Wellness Survey, 59% of employees say that financial challenges cause them more stress than any other life stressor. 57% of employees want to make their own financial decisions, but they’re looking for a financial coach to validate their decision. Employees are seeking personalized guidance and coaching. A successful financial wellness program combines technology and human interaction to motivate employees to achieve their goals through behavioral change. If you don’t get on board, they’ll be using time on your clock (2-3 work hours per week) to work through their personal challenges.
HR Daily Advisor recently interviewed David Kilby, president of FinFit, for his take on how to build a company where people want to work: “Sometimes, it’s the little things like office lunches, starting the weekend a little early, or getting to wear shorts in the summer. We bring in a car detailing service a few times a year and our employees really appreciate this perk. And make it personal—we do personalized football jerseys for their favorite team and we wear them on Fridays during football season.”
It’s not always the costly benefits that make your company the best place to work. Being an employer that cares and promoting a culture that truly supports employee well-being and encourages employees to participate goes a long way. If you’re not sure what your employees want, ask them (they will not hesitate to tell you). A short survey can quickly show you how you can vie for those ‘Best Places to Work’ awards.