Professional Perks: Understanding the Changing World of Work Benefits
Work benefits have quickly become one of the most effective tools used by employers to attract and retain talent and boost office morale. But with so many new and innovative incentives on the market, it can be difficult to make heads or tails. In this article, we’ll explore a few of the latest options and help you to make an informed decision.
Before we go into the individual perks, it’s important to take steps to understand what your team would most prefer. This helps them to feel heard and can also provide some indication as to what new applicants might be looking for in workplace benefits. You can start the process with surveys, using one of the many online templates to rank the options from most to least desirable.
With mental health awareness on the rise (and a growing need for mental health services amongst employees), workplace-funded counseling could be a smart and reciprocal perk. Listing this as an employee benefit helps you to keep your team bright and productive and also indicates that your company recognizes the issue of mental health - a key selling point for prospective talent.
Yoga has grown to be one of the most popular benefits offered by employers, and for good reason. With the right course, team members can improve their fitness, posture, mental health, focus, and sense of calm. These improvements then feed back into their work performance for a wellness routine that improves all facets of your business and the lives of those in it. Before opting in for a specific teacher or program, make sure you learn about the various forms of yoga and identify the ones that you feel would be most beneficial for your team.
Retirement plans tend to vary depending on the company, but this is an excellent way to show employees that you care about their future. One great strategy is the 401(k) matching program - this will match the specific amount an employee makes to their 401(k) to help them grow a nest egg more quickly. Not only is this a great way to attract new talent, it’s also possible to recoup tax benefits for matched contributions.
One way to attract and retain top talent in a competitive job market is to offer relocation assistance as a work benefit. This can be hugely beneficial for employees who may be hesitant to move for a new job because of the costs involved in relocating to a new area. As an example, an employer can offer assistance with finding housing in the new city. This can include helping the employee look online for apartment rentals, providing information on local neighborhoods and school districts, and even arranging for a real estate agent to show them around. In addition, the employer can offer temporary assistance with rent payments for a few months until the employee is settled and has time to get on their feet at their new job.
In recent years, employers have become increasingly receptive to the idea of paying for their employees to reskill. This could mean funding a course or even a degree program. With a business bachelor’s degree, for example, employees can sharpen their understanding of accountancy, management, marketing, and more. Better yet, all of this learning can be completed online around full-time work responsibilities.
In a post-pandemic world, any employer failing to offer some degree of flexibility is likely to be passed over by the top talent. It’s crucial that you find a way to encourage your team’s work/life balance so their time spent with the company does not negatively affect their personal relationships. If you haven’t already, consider work-from-home days, 4-day weeks, optional vacation days, and more.
Keep Employees Up to Date on Benefits
Whatever benefits you decide to offer, keep your team current on the exact terms and conditions for each. Providing a PDF document that you post on your company’s HR portal and that you send out periodically via email ensures everyone knows the perks available to them and any limitations for each. For instance, you may provide yoga classes to employees regardless of their length of tenure, but 401(k) matching doesn’t take effect until after 90 days. A PDF tool can be helpful in keeping your benefits document current. Look for tools that let you edit text and images, add or delete pages, and more.
For some employers, workplace benefits are a sticky issue. It’s not always easy to determine which schemes are going to be in the company’s long-term interest. If in doubt, start by speaking with and surveying your team. Their answers may give you some indication as to what people want and how you might benefit.
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