In the modern world of work, employee engagement is a hot topic. More and more people are talking about how to improve employee well-being and satisfaction it in the workplace. When employees feel engaged with their jobs, they can be more productive and help your business thrive. Employees spend most of their waking hours working, and as such, employers must make the work environment as rewarding and satisfactory as possible. After all, happy employees are critical to running a successful business. A conducive workplace translates to fewer turnovers, increased creativity, and more productivity.
One of the ways to keep your employees more engaged is by offering them some of the most coveted company-provided benefits and perks. According to a report by the Society of Human Resource Management, many employees view benefits as more important than salary increments when it comes to their job satisfaction. So, without further ado, let us look at some of the benefits that employees want most.
What are Employee Benefits?
Generally, employee benefits refer to any type of compensation other than base salary or hourly wages. They are programs that employers provide to support the monetary compensation given to employees. The type of benefits provided by an organization depends on a variety of factors. These factors include industry, employee demographics, and company size, among others. For instance, a company whose workforce consists of Generation Z will have a different employee benefits package than that with an older team.
The law stipulates that employers must provide employees with certain benefits. They include:
Compensate employees injured in their line of duty (worker’s compensation)
Protect employee’s wages from unemployment
Provide retirement income (social security) for their employees
Employers with more than 50 employees who have worked for at least 1250 hours in the past 12 months before a medical leave have to offer unpaid leave for their medical needs
Provide access to health insurance for employers with 50 or more full-time employees
Companies can also offer their employees discretionary benefits. These are voluntary benefits they offer besides the mandatory benefits. Such benefits usually focus on employee welfare, health, retirement, wealth management, and wellness. Most companies provide various group plans to cut costs. Otherwise, they would be too expensive for the employees to buy on their own. On many occasions, employees pay a part of the cost given to group plans to enjoy high-quality perks and benefits at lower costs.
The Most Desirable Employee Benefits in 2021
Since the pandemic, the workforce and marketplace, in general, have undergone major changes. Employees are looking for more dynamic and diverse work benefits for the optimal work experience. So, what are the benefits employees want most today?
1. More Flexibility at the Workplace
Due to the pandemic, remote work has become the norm. According to a recent survey by the software company Citrix, 88% of employees prefer working for a company that offers complete flexibility of working hours and location. The survey also found that employees are willing to take a pay cut if it means they can work from home.
Furthermore, companies can support their remote employees by providing a home-office budget. Although it can be a big cost for employers, employees can create the perfect workspace in their homes without straining their personal finances. This includes premium-quality furniture, a comfortable chair, and all the accessories they need. Besides, you can get great deals and discounts from several furniture vendors. Investing in home budgets also means saving money on renting large office premises.
2. Wellness Programs
One study by The Annals of Internal Medicine found that the sedentary lifestyle of American work-life affects the health of American employees. It often leads to detrimental effects and several long-term health issues. They include an increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic conditions. As an employer, such a lifestyle results in reduced productivity, low morale, and increased health care costs.
Workplace wellness programs are an effective benefit plan to combat this lifestyle. They include one-time biometric screenings, yoga sessions, gym sessions, and fitness contests. These programs are simple and encourage healthier practices at the workplace. Depending on your goals and challenges, every company can incorporate a variety of wellness programs for their employees.
3. Employee Recognition
Everyone feels good when they are recognized for something they have accomplished. The same goes for employees. Moments of recognition and gratitude make teams feel closer, connected, and more appreciated. Twice as many employees who do not get recognition at work have stated that they are likely to leave a job and work for the competitor within a year.
Thus, it is vital to offer your employees a recognition program as part of their job perks. Such programs allow you to track employee progress, especially for those with remote teams, and tie it with values. In turn, it boosts employee morale and productivity. The programs also allow the employer to track company goals and achievements.
4. Employee Development Plans
Long gone are the days when lifetime employment was desirable, or even possible. Thus, the employer and employee must engage in a beneficial relationship. In turn, both parties gain something even at the end of their contract. The working relationship is moving further away from a transactional standpoint and more towards a growth model.
Generally, the average tenure for an employee ranges between 3-5 years. During this period, the company handles the personal and career development of the employee. Employee development programs are the perfect solution. They ensure an enriching relationship between employers and employees. Such programs could include educational opportunities that help employees achieve their career goals.
5. Healthcare Insurance
If there is one thing that the pandemic has proven, it is that health is expensive. According to Glass door’s Employment Survey, 40% of the respondents prefer getting health insurance compared to a pay rise. Employer-insured health coverage is generally cheaper than public and private insurance. It allows the employees to get premium quality benefits at a low cost.
Such coverage also gives employees peace of mind that, in case of a major illness or accident, they and their families are safe. Companies also benefit from quality health insurance plans. Employees become more engaged as they feel appreciated and cared for. So, they are less likely to skip workdays.
Many companies offer a wide variety of benefits and perks. But, they must understand those that employees value most. In turn, this allows them to create customized benefits packages for their workforce to keep them happy and engaged. Focusing on these benefits also helps in attracting and retaining top talent in your industry.