The perks that attract workers should be reassessed regularly
HR managers should regularly assess the office perks they have been offering and to decide what is effective, what’s not, and what to consider for the future. Luckily, they don’t have to do it alone. The Society of Human Resource Management does a yearly survey around employee benefits and perks, asking HR departments around the country what they’re eliminating and adding year by year.
Many new perks are about offering more flexibility
The modern office is constantly changing. Many of the “in” perks on the SHRA report indicate that employers are trying to be less stringent about the specific office perks they offer in hopes that the options they present will allow each employee to utilize their benefits in the way that best suits them. This means that age, parental status or the specific healthcare needs of each employee can be addressed with the benefits, but employees may choose to address them in different ways. Here are a few examples of employee perks that are in – and out.
Perks on the rise or changing
Around 70% of all employers surveyed offer wellness programs (up from 62% last year), but the type of programs on the rise are interesting because they allow employees to structure their own personal wellness while rewarding them for “good behavior.” For example, more employers plan to offer health screenings, organized fitness challenges and weight loss programs in the next year, and 40% of companies now offer rewards or bonuses for completing or participating in wellness programs. There’s also an increased number of companies offering a discount on healthcare premiums for those participating in wellness programs.
Wellness continues to be in, but allowing employees to tailor their own programs and rewarding them for achievements is the new focus.
Service trends for the upcoming year show that what may work at some of the “big name” companies isn’t necessarily the solution for all. A small trend to begin with, nap rooms are starting to fall off the list, while expanded paid leave and perks like first-class travel are climbing. Health and lifestyle coaching is also on the rise.
Employee services that provide convenience or a way to blend work/life in a 24/7 world are here to stay.
Free food and coffee remain a major office perk for employers, with 76% offering free food and 61% providing employee-paid snacks (22% provide free snacks). However, on-site cafeterias are trending downwards, with around 20% of employers surveyed offering subsidized on-site cafes.
Free food and drink remains a part of the workplace, but more flexible and economical options will be the choice of the future.
One-to-One Financial Advice
Employers are less likely to offer financial perks like credit unions or auto subsidies and more likely to offer the services of a financial advisor so that each employee can make his or her own financial plan. Studies have shown that financially stable employees tend to be more productive, so this is a win-win for both employer and employee.
Offering employees a way to forge their own successful financial future is in; specific financial subsidies are out.
Payroll advances are on the decrease, but spot bonuses for employees – meaning a bonus that is based on performance at any time, not just an annual schedule – are on the rise. Makes sense, as recognizing an employee’s individual accomplishments leads to happier and more engaged employees.
Recognizing an employee’s individual contributions is in, regardless of where the achievement falls on the bonus schedule.
One major tip for ensuring your benefits program is successful? Make a resolution for next year to make your employees aware of the benefits you offer. Many aren’t in-tune with all of the fringe benefits outside of health insurance and financial perks, so take some time this year to communicate the full package to everyone.