If employers want to retain an edge against the competition, they must look outside the box when it comes to benefits. Employees expect health insurance and retirement options, but those aren’t the sole metrics in retention. With low unemployment rates, applicants can be choosier than ever about where they work. To attract and retain the best talent, companies should consider these highly sought-after perks:
- Paid family leave. After polling over 1,200 adults, benefits provider experts found that over half (58%) give considerable preference to employers who provide paid time off for maternity, paternity, adoption, foster care, and surrogacy leave. Realizing this, the percentage of employers who offer these kinds of leave increased across the board from 2016 to 2018. For example, paid maternity leave increased from 26 to 35 percent while paid paternity leave jumped from 21 to 29 percent.
- Flex time/remote options. Coming in at a close second (55%), a significant number of employees desire the ability to shift their schedule if necessary or even work from home. The standard nine to five business day doesn’t typically line up well for employees with young children. Many would prefer the option to start earlier or later to accommodate school or childcare. Having the option to work from home either part- or full-time is also hugely popular for obvious reasons. Employers are responding to this desire as well, with 70% offering some form of telecommuting, up from 62% in 2017.
- Professional development. A whopping 39% of polled employees expressed the desire for professional development opportunities in the workplace. This signals that employees are looking to grow and develop their skills so they can advance their careers. This means positions that lack upward trajectory are likely to go overlooked by job applicants over those with promotion potential.
- Sabbatical leave. Of all the items on the list, this is the first that employers haven’t gotten on board with yet. While 38% of employees desire the ability to take a paid extended leave of absence, only 5% of employers offer it. While the appeal is undeniable, the reasoning behind not offering it is also clear. Most employers can’t allow their employees to take large amounts of time off and still remain in business.
- Onsite gym or free gym membership. Harkening back to the dawn of wellness programs, employees do care about their health and fitness. Over one-third of employees (36%) indicated they wanted free access to a gym either of their choosing or available at their place of work. This is a simple benefit to provide, as it is relatively low cost to cover a gym membership. It also comes with the added bonus of keeping employees healthy and less likely to call out due to illness or injury.
While it’s not possible to meet all employee desires regarding perks and benefits, some are easier to provide than others. To stay up to date with the most sought-after benefits and how to implement them, contact the experts at MMA Florida.