Employers are increasingly broadening their scope of employee benefits to meet the changing demands of the workforce. Telemedicine, employee discount programs, and elder-care resources top the list of most used employee benefits in 2018.
In addition, identity theft insurance, unpaid sabbaticals and paid parental leave also saw increased participation in 2018, according to a WorldatWork study.
The table below shows the programs that had statistically significant use increases in organizations this year compared to 2017.
The study also found that some benefits that have increasingly been in the headlines are not being adopted quickly by organizations. Only 9% of respondents say they offer an unlimited paid time off (PTO) program, and only 6% of the respondents say they offer college debt repayment programs. According to ASE’s 2018 Educational Assistance and Tuition Reimbursement Survey, only 2% of employers in Michigan offer college debt repayment. Mary E. Corrado, ASE President and CEO, stated, “Despite a decrease in the number of companies offering the benefit, we still see tuition reimbursement as a low-cost benefit that employers can use to attract and retain talent. This is particularly true given the cost of education.”
Experts recommend that companies closely review which benefits will make the largest impact on their workforce.
“While the possibilities for meeting employee needs through benefits programming are endless, it’s important to note that not all emerging programs will be a good fit for an organization,” said Alison Avalos, director of membership and total rewards strategy at WorldatWork. “Employer brand perception, organizational culture, and workforce demographics are just a few of the factors that should be considered when determining whether an emerging program will be a worthwhile addition to an organization’s total rewards package.”
It's also important to talk to your employees. What do they want? You might find that depending on their demographic, they may want or need different benefits. More and more companies are moving to cafeteria-style benefit programs. This custom-selection option is an employee benefits plan that allows your employees to choose among a variety of offerings to create a benefits package that best meets their needs. For example, a young employee with no health problems might opt to spend his or her cafeteria plan dollars on a minimal health plan along with a tuition reimbursement program. An employee with four family members might choose to spend their cafeteria dollars on a comprehensive health plan with a lot of coverage. An employee with aging parents might take advantage of an elder care program.
With employee retention and attraction a top concern for today’s employers, its important to keep a pulse on the type of benefits employees are seeking.
Sources: WorldatWork, thebalancecareers.com