Why are benefits important? It’s because the right benefits package will:
- Make employees feel appreciated
- Support an employee’s health
- Provide for an employee’s family
- Help employees attain financial goals
Many studies show that with the right benefits package, an employer can retain more employees and hire top recruits.
For example, an Aflac study found that half of employees will look for another job within a year if they aren’t happy with offered benefits1.
On the other hand, WTW found that three out of four employees are more likely to stay in a job if the benefits are attractive2.
Most employers offer employee benefits packages that include medical insurance and retirement savings, along with the ability to take out life insurance. However, there are many other benefits that can up your game.
A Rogers and Gray study found that 75% of employees wanted a wider variety of benefits3.
Whether you are trying to keep employees happy or are hoping to entice new recruits, ramping up your benefits package is a good way to meet these goals.
Here are 30 benefits you might want to consider.
MetLife found that helping employees gain needed skills and education makes them 1.7 times more likely to remain an employee4. Here are several education benefits to consider.
1. College Grants and Scholarships
Develop grants or scholarships that allow employees to return to college to:
- Complete a degree
- Further their education
2. Continuing Education Allowances
A continuing education allowance provides paid days to take off for any continuing education courses needed for their jobs.
Offering this allowance means that employees do not have to take unpaid days, find classes at night or on weekends, or take personal or vacation time to take the needed classes.
3. Paid Training and Development
Consider paying your employees’ training and development fees. When done in conjunction with continuing education allowances, both the training and the time is paid for by the employer.
An EBRI study found that 65% of employees feel that household debt is a problem, while 60% feel stressed out simply considering personal finances5.
Employees are concerned about paying their bills, household debt, meeting emergency expenses, student loan debt, saving money, retirement investments, medical costs, and housing costs. On top of that, they're also worried about inflation.
Here are some financial benefits that can help.
4. Employee Discount Program
Employees can receive services and products at a discount. Consider providing things employees use regularly to make the program worthwhile. Other things to consider include:
- Brands employees want
- Local options
- Big-ticket items
- Special events
A Corporate Wellness Magazine poll found that two-thirds of employees use a discount program if offered by their employer6.
5. Financial Wellness Program
A holistic financial wellness program, like Enrich, can help employees gain financial health through financial literacy education, skills acquisition, tools, assessments, and more. Look for a program that is personalized, interactive, and covers the topics your employees need most.
6. Investment Opportunities
Employees will be more loyal to a company that they invest in. Consider offering stocks, shares, or other ways to invest in the company. It is a win-win, allowing companies to grow and employees to grow their net worth.
7. Living Stipends
Living stipends help employees cover expenses that are beyond the norm. For instance, if an employee moves to a higher cost of living area, a company may offer a living stipend to cover utilities or housing costs.
Living stipends can also be used to help remote workers set up a home office, pay for internet, or other office-related fees.
8. Paid Time Off (PTO)
Paid time off is paid personal days employees can take off. Employees can use these days in whatever way suits them – from spending time with family to meeting with doctors to simply sleeping in.
PTO is scheduled in advance and the number of hours of PTO often depends on how long an employee has worked with an employer. PTO may be in place of or in addition to paid vacation.
9. Paid Vacation
Vacation time allows employees a specific number of days each year to be away from work while being paid. Vacation time may be broken down into days or taken as a lump sum.
Time Off found that paid vacation is the second most desired benefit, only behind medical insurance7.
10. Paid Volunteer Days (Volunteer Time Off)
Paid volunteer days allow employees to take time off work to volunteer for an organization of their choosing. Employees win by having a meaningful way to help in the community, and employers win by promoting community relations.
11. Student Loan Repayment
44.7 million people have student loans8. This represents a large percentage of your employees. Student loan repayment benefits are highly sought after especially among younger employees.
Insurance benefits that fall outside major medical benefits are often voluntary. Voluntary insurance benefits are easy to administer and are low-to-no cost for employers because employees pay for them. Plus, in most cases, these benefits are available to even a small group of employees.
12. Disability Insurance
One study found that a 35-year-old employee has a 50% chance of being unable to work for at least 90 days before turning 65. Additionally, one out of seven will be disabled for five or more years9.
If an employee cannot work due to an accident or illness, disability insurance provides income to support them.
13. Long Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance covers the costs associated with the care needed for chronic medical conditions. They offer care in a variety of settings, allowing individuals to get the help they need at home or in a facility.
This is a great benefit to offer older employees to help them create a stable long-range financial plan. AARP suggests that the best age to purchase this plan is between 60 and 6510.
14. Pet Insurance
Pet insurance helps defray costs for pet illnesses and injuries, which cost pet owners an average of $800 to $1,500 for unexpected care. With 90.5 million families owning at least one pet11, the likelihood is that your employees would welcome this insurance.
Medical Related Benefits
Employees are worried about the high costs associated with prevention, illness, and long-term disease. Because of this, benefits that supplement major medical insurance are highly prized.
15. Dental Insurance
Dental plans help employees cover the cost of routine dental exams as well as dental procedures like crowns and wisdom teeth extraction.
More than two-thirds (68%) of employees enroll in dental benefits when offered, which is the highest rate of participation in benefits other than medical insurance12.
16. Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) helps employees address specific personal problems that may be affecting their work performance. These issues can range from mental health issues to addiction to family and marital issues.
To boost participation in EAP benefits, benefits managers should be sure to communicate the availability of the program and address confidentiality concerns.
17. Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) helps employees pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses. The money they put into the fund is pre-tax money.
Employers also have the ability to contribute to an employee’s FSA.
The FSA is a use it or lose it plan, meaning employees must use the money put into the account in that calendar year.
18. Health Savings Account (HSA)
Like an FSA, a Health Savings Account (HSA) is used to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses and the money put into the account is pre-tax. Unlike the FSA, an HSA can roll over from year to year.
Employees can also invest the money from the HSA and the interest earned is not taxable.
Employers should consider offering an HSA if their employees have a qualified High Deductible Health Plan.
19. Mental Health Coverage
About one out of five adults in the United States live with a mental illness. Unfortunately, only 46.2% received treatment13.
By offering mental health coverage, employees will have access to appointments with mental health practitioners, counseling, and prescription coverage.
20. Pharmacy Benefits
Unfortunately, not all major medical coverage offers a pharmacy plan. Offering pharmacy benefits allows employees to pay less for medications, sometimes even with no copay.
With 13 million Americans skipping medications each year due to cost, a pharmacy benefit is something employees would value14.
21. Specialist Services
Depending on the major medical coverage plan, you may need to add specialist services for employees. This allows employees to see specialists that may not be covered under the plan.
22. Vision Insurance
A Vision Monday survey found that 87% of employees would be more likely to stay with an employer who offered vision benefits15. Such benefits include basic vision screenings and checkups, lenses, and frames.
Paid Leave Benefits
When employers offer paid leave benefits, they improve employee retention as well as productivity. One study found a 90% positive effect on productivity and a 99% positive effect on morale.
A majority (87%) reported that adding paid leave did not increase costs, with one out of ten stating that paid leave benefits saved them money due to lower turnover16.
23. Extended Leave
Extended leave is for a long period away from work, usually due to medical reasons. While on extended leave, employees retain their benefits and employers have the option of paying an employee’s salary.
24. Family leave
Family leave is similar to extended leave but allows employees to have an extended absence for family reasons. This can include maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, or even leave to care for an aging parent.
Typically family leave is limited in scope and offers employees a specified amount of time away from the office. This time may be paid or unpaid depending on the plan.
25. Paid Sick Leave
Paid sick leave provides employees a certain number of days per year that they can call in sick and still receive pay. The number of hours or days available often depend on the amount of time worked.
Studies show that employees who take vacations are less stressed and more productive. Not only that, but they are less likely to experience burnout17. The best way to get employees to take advantage of travel benefits is to create a culture that encourages using them.
26. Company Transportation
Although this perk is not as common, some employers provide company vehicles to employers. This type of benefit is perfect for employees who must travel extensively for their job. This travel can be local (common in the construction industry) or regional (common in the sales industry).
27. Travel and Spending Stipend
To help encourage employees to take a vacation, employers can offer travel and spending expenses. In addition to vacation pay, employees receive money to help pay for expenses related to travel – things like airline or event tickets, hotel stays, and gasoline.
Work Arrangement Benefits
Allowing employees more freedom and flexibility in their work arrangement helps companies in many ways including improved retention, attracting top talent, increasing productivity, and improving employee engagement.
28. Company Equipment
In 2022, over half of the workforce (53%) will be remote18. When employees have the option of working remotely, they benefit from having access to company equipment to outfit their office. This can include the use of technology equipment as well as furniture.
Flextime allows employees to arrange their work schedule to fit personal needs. These employees work the same number of hours but not on a 9 to 5 schedule. Possible flextime arrangements can include:
- Constant number of hours each day but with varying start and end times
- Longer hours some days than others
- Extended lunch breaks
- Compressed lunch breaks
- Shorter work weeks
30. Remote Work
Remote work gained popularity during the pandemic when workers were forced to work from home. A 2021 GoodHire survey found that 68% of employees would prefer to work remotely19. Offering remote work provides the flexibility many employees seek.
1 - https://www.aflac.com/us/en/docs/workforce/viewpoint_whyworkersleave.pdf
3 - https://www.rogersgray.com/2015/03/27/voluntary-benefits-help-to-promote-job-satisfaction/
4 - https://www.metlife.com/employee-benefit-trends/2022-employee-benefit-trends/
5 - https://www.ebri.org/docs/default-source/fast-facts/ff-411-wwsfw-11nov21.pdf?sfvrsn=f1be3b2f_4
6 - https://corporateoffers.com/hr-professionals/articles/employee-discount-programs
7 - https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/employee-relations/pages/workers-taking-more-vacation-.aspx
8 - https://educationdata.org/how-many-people-have-student-loans
9 - https://www.affordableinsuranceprotection.com/disability_facts
10 - https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/financial-legal/info-2019/when-to-buy-long-term-care-insurance.html
11 - https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-pet-ownership-and-insurance
12 - https://www.limra.com/en/research/research-abstracts-public/2020/how-can-we-help-you-employers-service-expectations-for-voluntary-benefits/
13 - https://www.nami.org/mhstats
14 - https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2021-12-03/almost-13-million-americans-per-year-skip-meds-due-to-cost
15 - https://www.visionmonday.com/latest-news/article/survey-says-employees-value-vision-benefits-but-desire-better-eyewear-coverage-and-education-1/
16 - https://www.nationalpartnership.org/our-work/resources/economic-justice/paid-leave/paid-leave-good-for-business.pdf
17 - https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/employee-relations/pages/workers-taking-more-vacation-.aspx
18 - https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/hybrid-and-remote-workers-change-how-they-use-it-equipment
19 - https://www.goodhire.com/resources/articles/state-of-remote-work-survey/