It doesn’t matter if you’re in the HR/recruitment realm, a tenured employee, an entry-level employee, or in a managerial/leadership role – you know how important employee benefits and perks are to your company and your total job satisfaction.
In today’s competitive workforce, a benefits package isn’t just something that is tacked onto a job offer to make it look extra appealing.
Employee benefits and perks are vital to every part of an organization – especially the overall engagement, productivity and retention of employees.
What are Fringe Benefits?
Simply stated, fringe benefits are perks that supplement an employee’s salary. Differing from “traditional” benefits like health insurance, some examples of increasingly popular fringe benefits include:
- Wellness programs
- Education assistance
- Learning budgets
- Student loan assistance
- Telemedicine benefits
- Mental health support
- Meals and cafeteria plans
Since an evolving workforce should come with progressing employee benefits and perks, which employee benefits are valued the most? How can a company remain competitive in this demanding, vying organizational space?
The 5 Most Sought-After Employee Benefits
1. Medical Benefits
Without question, the most sought-after employee benefit is health, including medical, dental and vision, according to Harvard Business Review.4
Of course, the quality and options of health benefits can vary. To stand out among the crowd and attract the best talent, start by offering a competitive health benefits package.
2. Work-Life Balance Benefits
A recent Harvard Business Review survey highlighted that employees desire perks centered around work-life balance only second to medical benefits.4
This is to say that employees greatly value benefits like flex-time, more vacation days, and work-from-home opportunities. These benefits have been shown to produce higher rates of engagement and productivity.
3. Well-Being Benefits
A wide-sweeping trend that is proving to be much more than a fad is benefits that focus on employees’ wellness and well-being. Providing employees support, tools, resources and incentives to maintain a healthy lifestyle (such as eating better, exercising more, managing stress and addressing mental health) will help employees be more present and productive at work, and also help employers lower healthcare costs.
How? By helping employees with or at-risk for chronic health issues like obesity, high blood pressure or diabetes improve their health, employers can reduce excess costs associated with short-term disability, workers’ compensation, absences and medical and pharmacy costs.
Without question, wellness programs are an invaluable benefit to helping employees adopt healthier behaviors, create a stronger culture, and cultivate engagement.
4. Maternity/Paternity Benefits
In this day and age, women and men care about paid time off when they welcome a new member into their family, and rightfully so. In fact, 66% of employees said their employer’s paid maternity and parental leave policy is important.5
5. Retirement Benefits
It may be the last thing on a young employee’s mind, but retirement is crucial to plan for from day one of any career. When an employer communicates the importance of this practice and makes retirement planning easy and worthwhile (e.g., 401(k) matching), employees begin to take notice, buy in, and only seek future opportunities with strong retirement benefits.
These Benefits Packages Also Engage the Workforce
As one of the best HR practices for employee engagement, using targeted benefits and incentives to significantly improve employee happiness and engagement can not only go a long way, but can also be the differentiator needed for a thriving culture, elevated engagement, and high retention.
For example, wellness and work-life balance create sustainable engagement and an overall boost in employee morale in the long term.
Best HR Practices for Employee Engagement
To get engagement results from the benefits you offer, start by:
- Getting a pulse on how engaged your employees are and taking the time to better understand what they need.
- Creating opportunities for your employees to:
- Have a voice in the organization
- Work up to their full potential through clear growth paths and autonomy
- Developing a culture where employee well-being – including lifestyle choices, mental health, stress, etc. – is the focus and is regularly promoted and practiced.
Offering a wellness program that can help employees make better health decisions, reduce stress, and improve their work-life balance is sure to inspire everyone to approach each day – on and off the clock – with intentional engagement, in turn helping your organization prosper.
Inspire Everyone to Take the Next Step in Their Wellness Journey by Offering This Preferred Benefit
The importance of offering a benefit that will address your employee population’s total well-being in the workplace cannot be overstated.
It should go without saying, however, that every employee wellness program is different. It’s vital to find one that is a good fit for your organization’s needs, is results-driven, and recognizes the importance of the multiple dimensions of health.
If you're looking for a program that will drive year-round engagement and will help you build a stronger, healthier culture, be sure to check out our new program and product partnership with the Cleveland Clinic.
Our comprehensive solution is built around best-in-class reporting and measurable ROI. When you choose to implement a world-class wellness program, you'll not only receive a strategy that is specifically tailored to your unique workforce, but one that will also evolve to meet your population’s needs over time.
1 American Institute of CPA. Americans Favor Workplace Benefits 4 to 1 over Extra Salary: AICPA Survey. Accessed March 12, 2019. https://www.aicpa.org/press/pressreleases/2018/americans-favor-workplace-benefits-over-extra-salary.html.
2 HR Dive. Survey: 'Work perks' are gaining on traditional benefits. Accessed March 12, 2019. https://www.hrdive.com/news/survey-work-perks-are-gaining-on-traditional-benefits/532350/.
3 Willis Towers Watson. Employees are more likely to stay with their employers when offered a group benefit marketplace. Accessed March 12, 2019. https://www.willistowerswatson.com/en-US/insights/2018/08/employee-and-employer-satisfaction-with-group-benefit-marketplaces-survey-results.
4 Harvard Business Review. The Most Desirable Employee Benefits. Accessed March 12, 2019. https://hbr.org/2017/02/the-most-desirable-employee-benefits.
5 Just Works. 6 Surprising Statistics About Benefits Employees Want. Accessed March 12, 2019. https://justworks.com/blog/6-surprising-statistics-benefits-employees-want-infographics.