Providing benefits and perks for employees is a key part of hiring the right people and keeping your best staff. People want more than their basic salary when they’re looking for the right employee, so employers with a good benefits package can have an advantage over competitors. However, why many things are labeled as benefits or perks, they are often actually essential to offer to employees. In many industries, you would struggle to attract candidates if you don’t offer some basic benefits that all employees expect. But which benefits are employees looking for most often and how do you make sure you meet their needs?

Insurance

Health, vision, and dental insurance will top the list of most people’s expectations when they’re assessing employee benefits. They know that costs related to these things are inevitable at some point, and they don’t want to spend their hard-earned salary on them. Although it can be an expensive benefit to provide, the expense is exactly why most people would rather have their employer cover the cost. Even those who already have insurance from their employer often want better coverage and more choice. Good health insurance can make a significant difference if you want to hire the right people and improve employee retention.

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Flexible Working

Flexible hours are another priority for many employees when considering workplace benefits. The reality is that employees have lives outside of work, and they don’t want to have to prioritize their jobs over their personal lives all the time. Flexible hours help them to balance their work and home lives, whether they need to drop the kids at school or attend a doctor’s appointment. Flexible hours can be more valuable to some people than higher pay. They value having more control over their time and deciding when to start and finish work over earning more.

Employee Training

Employee training is often seen as something that’s a nice extra for employees. When training is provided, it’s often mandatory and based on the needs of the business alone. However, employers that really want to provide their staff with valuable benefits should be going beyond mandatory training and helping their employees with learning and development. Employees want to have access to training that allows them to develop their skills and education in a way that’s relevant to them. They want to have access to learning opportunities that help them to advance in their careers and work more efficiently.

Pensions/Retirement Savings

Saving for retirement is something that most people think about to some extent. They know they need to be prepared for the day when they no longer can work or choose not to. While they could manage their retirement savings separately from their current job, many would rather have some assistance to help them save and invest in the right way. Offering some sort of pension, retirement savings account, or investment vehicle to help them save their earnings at the source can attract more employees. Many expect it to be a standard benefit for their role.

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More Vacation Time/Time Off

Just as many people would like more flexible hours to help them improve their work-life balance, more flexible time off is another desire for a lot of workers. Being able to take time off, whether it’s several days in a row or just a day or half-day here or there, allows employees to take care of their personal lives. They have time to relax, deal with any personal issues, and get a break from work when they need it. It can help to prevent burnout and ensure that employees are happier at work because they’re not tired or distracted by things at home.

Remote Working Options

Not all jobs are possible to do remotely but for those that are, it’s becoming increasingly important for employers to offer the opportunity. Some people are quitting their current roles due to being asked to return to the office full-time after working from home during the pandemic. It has now become a priority for many employees who want to have the flexibility of being able to work remotely at least one day a week. It gives them more control of their time and much of the time doesn’t make them any less productive. In fact, many people feel they are more productive when working from home.

Parental Leave

Time off work after having or adopting a child should be something that is offered to all parents or guardians. It gives people time to recover, spend time as a family and return to work when they are ready. If they return to work too early, they could be distracted and unlikely to be very productive. As well as offering parental leave for new parents, employers can also consider how to be flexible when parents need to take time off for other parental responsibilities, such as taking care of sick children.

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Assistance with Student Loans and Tuition

As well as helping with training at work, many people want to know that their employer will be there for them if they want to develop themselves outside of work. If they already have a college education, they might be looking for help with paying their student loans. If they want to further their education in the future, assistance with their tuition can help to make it possible. Many employers will help to pay for their employees to go to college in return for a certain number of years of employment from the employee. If they leave earlier than agreed, they have to repay the tuition amount.

Health and Wellbeing Support

Paying for employee health insurance might be an in-demand benefit, but many people also want extra support to help them stay healthy. This could benefit you as it might mean they have less need to use their health insurance. There are many ways you could support your employees to be healthier, with many people appreciating things like free or subsidized gym memberships.

Some things might be employee perks, but many benefits are now viewed as practically compulsory by a lot of employees.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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