10 Thoughtful Benefits for Employees

Large group meditating at yoga practice
Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

Employees are looking for more than just a paycheck when considering staying with a current employer or finding another. Younger employees and job seekers are desiring benefits that are not traditional in the workplace.

Benefits weigh heavily on employment decisions. Top benefits among job seekers are health care, wellness, retirement, and flexible schedules. Other desired benefits include generous leave policies, career guidance, travel expense compensation, and relocation assistance.

Health Care and Personal Welfare

Health care is the most sought after benefit of all employees. If an employee's health suffers, their ability to work will suffer. They need to know that their families health is taken care of as well.

Employees want to be able to assist their families and be present for important events. They want to be able to take time if needed to take care of their loved ones that require help when sick or injured.

Consider the changing needs of your employees as you develop your health care offerings. As your employee's lives change, their needs will change. Extending various health care options to your employees, with the ability for annual changes allows them to choose what will work for them at that time.

Preventive Health and Wellness Benefits 

One of the more thoughtful benefits is to furnish health and wellness programs. Providing preventive health and wellness programs for employees helps employers keep a workforce productive and healthy.

These programs can include gym memberships or facilities, premium discounts on healthcare for not using tobacco products, discounts for taking part in a wellness program or giving them exercise time and other incentives for wellness.

Retirement and Savings Planning 

Employees desire retirement and savings options. Offering a 401(k) or a Defined Benefit Plan can make an enticing offer for potential employees.

A 401(k) is a retirement plan that uses investments and a financial management company to grow the contributions from employees. There are limits to annual and total contributions. This method is based on employee choices when picking a plan.

A Defined Benefit Plan, also known as a pension plan, is usually based on a formula or other method to determine employee retirement pay. This is a more traditional form of retirement that can be difficult to manage or continue over the lifetime of the company, especially during economic downturns or periods of lower revenues.

Leave Benefits

A reasonable leave policy will be attractive for employees and prospects. As you consider the amount of leave or paid time off you want to provide your employees, consider the age groups you have working for you. Goals become different as employees age, and as their lives change.

A one size fits all policy may not be in the best interest of a wide spectrum of employee ages and situations. Offering different types of paid leave policies for employees to choose from might be something worth considering.

Flexible Schedules

Employees want to have more flexibility in their work schedule. Flexible schedule benefits that are most in-demand include flex days and hours. Flexible scheduling is beneficial to employers and employees alike, as it allows them both to get the most out of their workday while maintaining an adequate work-life balance.

Career Development

Employees want to be offered career development benefits. These types of benefits include classes or certifications necessary for career progression, or which can be beneficial to the company.

While this is not always possible, it's a top benefit for potential employees.

Business Travel Perks

Travel is still an important aspect of the work world today. Employees who may be required to travel for business desire discounts and want to be reimbursed for expenses.

Job applicants look for companies willing to pay for their travel during interviews or for training. This also includes having access to communication methods while on the road.

Relocation Benefits

Relocation assistance is a highly sought after benefit for candidates who are experienced and settled in a location and routine.

Employees who are established are not as willing to move to take a new job or remain with a company that has decided to move its headquarters or offices to a new location. You might consider adding relocation assistance to attract talent or move your existing talent pool around.

Student Loan Repayment

Many qualified candidates are just emerging from the education pipeline. These potential employees have gathered a large amount of debt that most employees can't pay off for decades while paying for the necessities of life.

A tempting benefit for a recent graduate would be loan repayment assistance. This would not only give you an educated employee but develop loyalty, dedication, and productivity by decreasing a significant life stressor. Younger employees and candidates consider this to be the top benefit.

Comprehensive Benefits

A comprehensive benefits package would include all the benefits discusses previously, and possibly more. As you consider your employee benefits, you should take a look at your target audience. Middle-aged and older employees are concerned more with health care and retirement, while younger employees are looking for paid time off, vacation, and health care for a budding family.

Develop several different options that allow different age groups of employees to choose the package that is right for them. If possible, develop customizable packages that each employee can build for themselves from the options you provide, ensuring you attract and maintain the talent you want.

Image Credit: © md3d - Fotolia.com