In a four to one margin, employees would choose a job with benefits over an identical job that offered 30% more salary and no benefits. So, what exactly are employees looking for?
Here is a list of the top 10 employee benefits and perks people want, based on the most recent market surveys.
- Flexible work arrangements: Employees want to be in control of their schedule and the traditional nine to five workday does not allow that flexibility. The 2019 Staples Workplace Survey found that 90% of employees say alternative work arrangements would boost morale. At the same time, 67% of employees surveyed said they would consider leaving their current job if work arrangements became more rigid.
- Financial planning services: Employees do not want to live paycheck to paycheck and are asking for help managing their personal finances. According to the MetLife 16th Annual Employee Benefit Trends Study, 84% of employees want financial wellness tools. They need tips on how to create a budget, save for a house, pay down debt and more. They want help planning for both short- and long-term goals.
- Health insurance: Not surprisingly, health insurance remains a top benefit choice for most employees and more than 78% of employers offer this coverage. In addition, according to the 2018 EBRI Health and Workplace Benefits Survey, 79% of employers now offer health savings accounts in conjunction with qualified high deductible health plans. While others are opting for health reimbursement accounts to help employees cover out of pocket expenses.
- Automated HR functions and personalized enrollment help: According to a survey conducted by Paychex, 71% of employees prefer automated HR functions. This includes the ability to update personal information, make changes to their retirement savings elections, complete open enrollment and more. In addition, 37% of employees would like personalized help during open enrollment. They want to better understand their options and be able to make an educated decision about which plans would be best for them.
- 401(k) match: Most employees understand that saving for retirement is one of the most important things they can do to ensure their financial security. When asked in the AICPA 2018 Employee Benefit Report which benefit they value most, more than 60% of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers said it was a 401(k) match from their employer.
- Paid family leave: In a recent survey of more than 1,200 working adults, Unum found that 58% of respondents want more paid time off in order to care for family members. Large employers like IBM and Walmart are already expanding these benefits with increases in paid parental leave, including time off for adoption, surrogacy and placement of foster children. However, there is still plenty of room for improvement when it comes to paid time off for elderly family members.
- A company that cares about employee wellness: According to the 2019 Staples Workplace Study, wellness is more than a catch phrase when 41% of employees say they will take a 10% pay cut to work for a company that cares about their overall health and well-being. This can be as simple as offering an open office design and supporting the most recent technology. Or it can mean supporting mental and physical health with discounts to local gyms, access to alternative medicine and additional paid time off.
- Professional development: Employees are still looking to learn and grow in their careers. Almost 40% of employees cite professional development in their top five employee benefit wish list (source: Unum). And according to Kaplan Financial, employers can benefit from this as well: Employees in whom you invest are more likely to stay.
- Student loan repayment: More than a third of all employees recently told Unum that help paying off student loans was the most important benefit employers could offer. For millennials that number increases to more than half. It is no wonder, since according to U.S. News, the average student loan in 2018 was $39,400.
- Voluntary benefits: Many employers offer voluntary benefits to provide a more comprehensive plan to employees. According to Unum, the most coveted voluntary plans include identity theft protection (28%), pet insurance (15%), and health coaching (14%).
If you would like help incorporating any of these top employee benefits and perks into your program, talk to your broker or benefits adviser. They can work with you to find the right plans for your employees.
If you need/or are looking to reassess your benefits program, contact Acumen Solutions Group today by clicking HERE.