Employee benefits have become an important tool for employers. They are not only vital to recruitment of top talent, they are also an essential engagement and productivity tool. According to a recent Randstad study, more than 70% of employees agreed that additional benefits would be a key consideration in evaluating future jobs, and 68% said that “work perks” are just as important as health insurance coverage.
Providing your employees with valuable voluntary benefits that address their real-life needs leads to your employees being happier, more engaged, and more likely to enroll in benefits.
Here are four voluntary perks to supplement your benefits package with.
Student Loan Repayment Programs
There is an estimated $1.5 trillion of student loans currently owed, making it the second largest debt segment in America. For most working-age adults, especially millennials who are relatively new to the workforce, repaying student debt is their top financial concern.
Student loan repayment programs can be set up in a number of ways; it’s up to your organization to decide if the program has employer contributions or not. Either way, these programs are most successful when you make it readily available to employees immediately upon hiring. When an employee feels that he or she is benefitting right away, it will kickstart engagement and increase motivation.
When employees are also responsible for taking care of others, traditional benefits might not be enough. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report, 42% of the workforce is providing financial support (among other kinds of support) to adult children, parents, in-laws, and other family members—yet 75% of them are struggling to meet their financial needs.
Recognize the needs of caregivers by offering voluntary benefits that aid with elder care, childcare, adoption, financial wellness, and more.
Employee Wellness Programs
Offering employee wellness benefits is mutually beneficial to the employer and employee. The employees feel as if they are being rewarded for healthy choices that some people would be making regardless of the incentive. Employers reap the benefit of having healthy employees, which incurs lower health care costs. Additionally, active and healthy employees benefit from a boost in memory and cognitive skills, so they are typically more productive.
Whether it’s on-site fitness facilities, reimbursement incentives, or other forms of wellness support, these programs can be the most mutually beneficial voluntary benefit that you can offer.
No two companies operate exactly the same, and that is not a bad thing. It just means that each company may require different voluntary benefits to create the most appealing benefits package.
For example, an urban-based company would probably respond well to a program, more so than a suburban or rural-based company. Companies with a majority millennial workforce would want to consider including benefits that cater to what is the most important to that demographic, like pet insurance or financial wellness programs. Depending on the company, some other benefits to consider could be:
- Flexible schedules
- Tuition reimbursement
Again, these all depend on the size, budget, and demographic of your workforce.
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to offering voluntary benefits, there is one common theme: find out the major concerns, priorities, and needs of your employees and offer benefits that address them. That is the key to creating a benefits package that keeps your workforce happy, engaged, and enrolling.