In decades past, if a company provided a group insurance plan of any sort, that was enough. Now, however, the right benefits package is an important key to attracting the best workers. Employers today have a tremendous amount of options when deciding on what employee benefits to offer. So, how do you know what perks are going to be the ones that will attract the modern worker? Here are some of the most popular employee perks your business can offer, along with a few examples of how to make them work for you.
Paid Time Off
Employees need time off for a multitude of reasons. Paid time off allows them to take care of essential personal business without suffering on payday. Offering paid vacation and sick time is not enough anymore. Many workers miss out on vacation time because they feel they can't leave the business without guilt. Employees also want to be able to use their sick time without providing proof that they're sick.
Extended Parental Leave
The importance of time off with a new baby is tremendous, and not just for the mother. More and more companies are offering their employees extended maternity and paternity leave packages and it has become something that many adults look for in a new job. For example, Ikea offers up to four months paid parental leave to their full-time and their part-time employees who have been with the company at least a year. Amazon offers a choice of two parental leave programs for their corporate, customer service, and order fulfillment employees.
Professional Development and Training
To keep up with the changes in the business world, employees must often upgrade their career education or training. Companies that offer on-site education or subsidized off-site classes provide a very popular perk for employees, especially in terms of furthering their professional lives. There are many ways today's companies are meeting the educational need of their workers. For example, Starbucks offers full reimbursement of tuition for its employees to complete an online bachelor's degree program.
Today's workplace looks very different than that of a couple of decades ago. Employees are not necessarily held to a strict time-clock schedule, nor are they bound to a corporate building. Employees want to have some flexibility in their daily hours, to be able to take care of their personal lives. They also want to be allowed to telecommute when the work allows for it. Swiss Re, an insurance company, has developed the "Own the Way You Work" program, which encourages its employees to be flexible with their schedules and work remotely.
People who have access to a good fitness center are more likely to stay healthier. Healthy employees tend to cost the company less money and miss fewer days of work. Reebok provides an on-site gym to encourage physical fitness. To help employees afford the cost of gym memberships, Microsoft offers an annual "StayFit" reimbursement.
Revise the Breakroom
Your employees need a break from the hectic pace of the workday. Why not make it a place in which they will be happy to relax. There are many ways to go about this, including adding a fun, playful décor and putting a few active games in, so people can unwind. Free snacks are always a welcome addition to any breakroom and it's a good idea to lean toward healthier options to boost energy naturally.
Everyone likes a freebie. When employers offer discounts or occasional gift cards to their employees, they not only give them a small bonus, they help build feelings of self-worth. Simple acknowledgement by their boss helps employees feel needed and appreciated for the work they do. Gap Inc. gives its corporate employees free access to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Genetech has a variety of on-site employee amenities, such as car washes and a childcare center.
Health Insurance Benefits
With healthcare costs continually climbing, employees need to feel like they can get the medical attention needed for themselves and their families. Most job-seekers are looking for comprehensive coverage, including medical, dental, and vision care.
Financial Planning for the Future
Chief among the benefits that job-seekers are looking for is the hope of a financially secure future. There are several options, including 401k plans, pension plans, and retirement plans, that help employees create a firm foundation for financial freedom after retirement. For example, USAA offers its employees a solid 401k program with a company matching policy that rates above the average matching percentage.