In our last blog we discussed how offering a well-rounded benefits and perks package to employees can impact the level of diversity in your workforce, because workforce diversity can positively impact your organization. We learned that a more well-rounded offering appeals to individuals of different ages, races, career experience, career goals, education and culture, and includes benefits from categories such as physical health, financial wellness, emotional and wellbeing as well as professional, personal growth and lifestyle.
In an employees’ job market, individuals are seeking out employment at companies that can provide them with more than just a paycheck. They’re looking towards employers to help them solve real-life problems because they have concerns and responsibilities outside of the workplace, too. A competitive and well-rounded benefits package can help you stand out from the sea of employers and attract and keep top talent. Desired benefits will differ by age, income level and gender, which is why offering benefits that appeal to all different life stages is important. In the 2018 Employee Benefits Survey administered by the Society for Human Resource Management retention (72%) and recruitment (58%) were the two main reasons that employers reported for enhancing benefits packages. Having an understanding of how your current benefits offerings stack up in comparison to some of the most sought-after and successful companies is a helpful place to start.
According to the new Randstad USA Survey, reported results show that benefits attract more talent than higher salaries.
- 66% reported that “benefits and perks are the largest determining factor in considering a job offer”.
- 61% reported that they would take a job that offered a lower salary if they received a better benefits package.
- As a result of a weak benefits package, 42% of employees were considering leaving their current jobs, and 55% had already left their job because they found a more enhanced benefit offering elsewhere.
Top Employee Benefits:
We reviewed a list of 50 companies (in NYC) that were listed as having the best benefits and perks, provided by Built in NYC. These companies are at the leading edge of offerings as compared to industry and overall market benchmarks. Companies include Etsy Commerce, Meet Up, Rent the Runway, Teachable, GrubHub and more. Keep in mind, there are some benefits such as Disability Insurance and Family and Medical Leave that are required by law to be offered to employees, but all other benefits like health insurance (except in Hawaii) and PTO, are not required. These are voluntary benefits even though they are provided by most employers.
Some companies we reviewed offer all of the below benefits and perks in their packages, plus some. While some of these are traditional offerings that fall within market benchmarks, most go above and beyond, are creative and are solving real-life issues. They add value to employees lives by promoting a healthy work/life balance and in turn, this is creating companies that are magnets for top talent.
Flexible Work Schedule
To accommodate personal needs and differing life schedules, flexible schedules allow employees to work at times that best suit their preferences as long as expectations and deliverables are met.
Companies are offering more days off for employees to recharge or take care of personal business, because life happens. We’ve seen as much as 25 days to unlimited PTO, not including sick time.
Unlimited Sick Time
Companies believe that health matters, and if you aren’t well, you won’t be able to serve your client base to the best of your ability. No longer do employees have to worry about saving sick days in case they’re more ill in the future, you have the time to use so you can recover.
Companies offer employees a set amount of continuous time off (~6 weeks or more) after a certain number of years of service as a way to say “Thank You” and to encourage them to recharge and refresh.
Child Care Benefits
For whatever reason parent-employees need child care, companies are helping by subsidizing the price and making child care more accessible. Whether child care is needed when school is out, if a child is sick, or if the parent needs time to themselves, companies are acknowledging that parenting is a full-time job and are lending a helping hand.
Infertility treatment can be draining mentally, emotionally, physically and financially, and both the employee and employer are impacted. According to an Infertility in America 2015 Survey and Report, 90% of individuals with infertility reported that they would change jobs to an employer that offered fertility benefits.
More time off for parental leave
For either parent so that paternal bonds can be made between parent and child. Companies are becoming more family-friendly with the increasing recognition that creating bonds in the early stages of a baby’s life is important and can have lasting impacts on the child.
Return to Work Programs for New Parents:
This keeps talented parents in the workforce and helps them navigate their new role as parents, whether it be their first child or their fourth.
Access to Telehealth
Employers recognize that time is limited and getting to the doctor isn’t always possible. Offering access to Telehealth reduces stress on an employee in terms of taking time off and provides access to nearly immediate medical care over video call. Some programs even keep claims out of insurance, further reducing health costs for employers and employees.
Health Advocacy Programs & Employee Assistance Programs
Employers are recognizing the importance of mental health in the workplace and are offering access to programs that can provide the tools and resources for individuals to manage their stress and to promote better work/life balance.
Gym Discounts Programs
Physical activity is important to overall health and wellbeing. This type of benefit can encourage employees to exercise and certain programs offer flexibility to access different facilities or classes everyday, all at one monthly fee.
Meditation Apps or Emotional Wellbeing Services
Mental health issues impact ones ability to perform optimally at work.Employers are offering stress reduction and mindfulness programs right at their employees’ fingertips.
Transit and Parking Benefits
Commuting and/or parking fees can add up, especially when an employee is traveling from far away. Subsidizing a portion of employees’ commute or offering pre-tax commuting benefits can lessen the financial burden associated with traveling to work. No longer will a large portion of ones paycheck go towards getting to or from work.
Offering office snacks that represent an organizations social and ecological impact goals
Companies are aligning their values with their offerings, even down to the food they serve and employees with similar values are drawn to this detail.
Offering a dress code that encourages employees to “bring their whole selves to work” and express themselves through clothing preferences is becoming a trend. More companies, including Goldman Sachs, are relaxing their dress code from suits and ties to more casual attire and are trusting employees to know when more formal dress is appropriate for certain days or interactions as a result of the changing nature and culture of workplaces.
Pet Friendly Office Policies/ Pet Insurance
Younger generations are becoming pet parents faster than they are having children. Companies are supporting employees beloved pets by offering pet insurance, or allowing them to bring their furry friends to work.
Lunch and Learns
Educational opportunities for employees to learn about different topics that matter to them ranging from health, to finances and even giving employees the opportunity to teach each other their own crafts.
Promoting from Within
This not only shows employees that you care about their professional growth, and that they can advance with your company, it also creates a healthy pipeline of talent for leadership positions.
Mentor Programs and Rotating Experience Programs
Employees, especially younger generations, love the opportunity to learn new skills. Employers who offer programs where employees can rotate and be a part of different teams and get different experiences are highly sought after.
VTO (Volunteer Time Off)
Companies are offering employees paid time off to give back to their communities or causes they care about. Some generations, especially millennials, are driven by purpose and giving back to others. Companies are matching employee charitable contributions to further their social impact.
Annual Bonus Program
hard work doesn’t go unnoticed, and it pays off.
Companies want their employees to feel like they’re part of the team, so they literally give them a piece of the company.
401(k), Student Loan Repayment Programs, Financial Wellness Training
While many companies may not have the financial resources to offer all of these additional perks, an employee benefits study found that there are many low-cost-to-employer benefits that employees would consider when choosing between a higher paying and lower paying job. This study of 2,000 employees found that the benefits they valued most are better health insurance (~90%), more flexible work hours (~85%), more vacation time (~85%).
Aligning Benefits with Your Company Mission:
Successful companies are also being intentional by aligning their benefits packages with their company’s mission. They are leading with their guiding principals and are purposefully aligning company values, vision, policies, benefits, programs and initiatives. Employees recognize this. They appreciate it and it attracts them to an employer, likely contributing to not only their performance but their duration of stay with a company. Companies who focus on social impact, health and wellbeing for customers and overall improving the lives of others are well positioned to also make these things a priority for their own employees. Determine what is important to employees and embed it into company culture through perks and benefits. When a company provides meaningful benefits and perks to their employees that also represent their own values, both employees and the company win.
Communicating Benefits as a Recruitment Strategy:
Aside from what benefits your company offers, it’s also important to consider how your company is marketing and communicating your benefits package to the general pool of candidates applying for jobs. Maybe you just realized that there is no marketing of company employee benefits, or you don’t know where candidates can find this information if it does exist. Even if you are offering a well-rounded benefits package, how will job seekers know what it includes unless they land an interview? Are your current employees aware of all the benefits being offered? Communicate your benefits package. In that same Randstad USA Survey, less than half (48%) of employees reported knowing all the perks their employers offer, and even less (40%) say their employers help them understand the benefits that are available.
When developing a job posting, clearly indicate what is included in your benefits package. This could be the difference between a highly qualified candidate passing over your company because you vaguely included “competitive benefits package” in the description, versus another employer who listed out the several meaningful benefits and perks they offer. We no longer live in a time where employers are doing employees a favor my providing them a paycheck. Employees are the backbone of companies, and just like any relationship, employers need to give people need a reason to want to initiate one with them, and to remain with them.