Employers often underestimate the impact that offering a comprehensive benefits package can have on attracting and retaining employees. According to a Glassdoor employment confidence survey, 4 in 5 employees would prefer benefits and perks to an increase in pay.
As a human resources (HR) manager, you have the often challenging responsibility of providing employees with a positive culture and valuable benefits at a cost that is reasonable for your employer to take on.
Here are 13 of the top work benefits and perks that employees want from their employers.
1. Medical Insurance
For many employees, medical insurance is the most important benefit an employer can offer. Of course, medical insurance is not a particularly rare benefit to be offered, but medical insurance packages vary greatly from one business to the next.
Ideally, employees want their employers to offer employer-sponsored group insurance plans. The better the coverage and the more money the employer is willing to pay towards the employee’s premium, the greater the perceived benefit is for employees.
2. Disability Insurance
An insurance package that is often overlooked by employers is short-term and long-term disability insurance.
Particularly if your company’s employees work in an environment that has a higher risk of accident or injury, they will likely want access to disability insurance plans that allow them to receive compensation while they are unable to perform their jobs.
3. Dental Insurance
Following medical insurance, employees regard dental insurance as the most important benefit that an employer can offer.
Unfortunately for employees, dental insurance for adults isn’t an essential health benefit that health insurance plans are required to include under the Affordable Care Act.
On the other hand, dental insurance doesn’t have to be particularly costly for your company, either. While it’s certainly an added expense, an employer-sponsored dental insurance plan might only cost an employer as little as a few dollars per month per employee.
4. Vision Insurance
Similar to dental coverage, only pediatric vision coverage is considered an essential benefit under the Affordable Care Act. Understandably, employees want their employers to offer vision insurance plans in order to help reduce the cost of eye screenings and exams.
As an employer-sponsored vision insurance plan might only cost a few dollars per month per employee, your company should strongly consider adding it to its benefits package.
5. Student Loan Assistance
Today, the majority of graduates leave their universities with thousands of dollars in student loan debt.
Especially for recent graduates who are staring down the barrel of the next few decades of student loan payments, one of the most attractive benefits that companies can offer to entice and retain young talent is student loan assistance.
6. Tuition Assistance
Throughout their professional careers, many employees choose to further their education. If your company is able to provide tuition assistance, you can increase your ability to retain an employee for at least the duration of his or her degree program.
The business can also benefit from providing tuition assistance, as employees who add to their knowledge and develop new skills often find opportunities to apply these elements in the workplace—particularly if their field of study is related to their current career path.
7. Flexible Office Hours
As employees juggle all sorts of responsibilities, activities, and hobbies outside of the workplace, flexible office hours are a benefit that the average worker appreciates.
Not only does it indicate a sense of trust between employer and employee but it may also help relieve an employee’s stress—making him or her more productive at work as a result.
8. Work-From-Home Options
While the COVID-19 pandemic left employers with virtually no choice but to provide more work-from-home opportunities for employees, it also taught them that working from a home environment has its merits.
Work-from-home opportunities eliminate lengthy commutes, and employees who are also parents are able to watch over young children while on the clock.
Besides keeping employees happy, remote work opportunities also allow employers to expand their available talent pool and hire workers from all over the globe.
9. Shortened Workweeks
While many employers will be hesitant to offer shortened workweeks if they are accustomed to a traditional workweek, there are a few ways in which shortening the workweek might pay dividends to your company.
In fact, Microsoft Japan reported that a four-day workweek experiment resulted in shorter meetings, higher productivity, and lower energy and resource consumption.
10. Paid Parental Leave
Particularly if your company has a younger employee demographic, paid parental leave is a benefit you should consider offering.
Today, it’s estimated that roughly one-third of companies offer maternity leave to women. While paternal leave isn’t offered nearly as frequently to fathers of newborn children (nor do many fathers ever take it), it can be a desirable benefit to some.
11. Day Care Services
Similarly, day care is one of the most costly expenses that employees with young children have to worry about. By paying a portion of an employee’s day care costs, your company can reduce this financial burden.
Depending on the size and location of your business, offering on-site day care services to your employees might also be an option. This will give them an even greater peace of mind, knowing that their young children are relatively nearby at all times.
12. Free Food
Free food might seem like a relatively insignificant perk compared to more critical benefits, such as health insurance and paid parental leave. However, offering complimentary food and drink can contribute to positive morale in the workplace.
According to a survey from Peapod, 56% of people are either “extremely happy” or “very happy” at their current jobs. That figure jumps to 67% for people who are given free food at work.
13. Free Gym Memberships
Promoting good health can have a positive effect on both employee and employer. Consider providing free gym memberships to your employees as an incentive to not only improve their personal fitness but also stay at your company.
Depending on the size of your business and the number of memberships you will need, your local gym or yoga studio may even agree to offer your company a discounted group rate.