Surprising Benefits Employees are Actually Seeking

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Many companies, especially small- to medium-sized ones, only provide the most basic benefits, as those are the ones required by law. These are FICA taxes, medical leaves, time-off for voting, state and federal unemployment tax, short-term disability programs, and worker’s compensation. They usually allow a specific number of paid vacation leaves as well, though the law doesn’t require it.

You might be wondering where the retirement and health plans are. Surprisingly, those benefits aren’t required by the law as well. But most companies offer them nonetheless because it makes them more competitive. And considering the health issues plaguing many Americans, employers cannot risk losing their talents to illnesses, hence their willingness to cover a portion of their medical expenses.

Moreover, health benefits motivate employees to stay in a company. But it is actually the most expensive benefit to provide. It costs an average of $6,435 per employee, and that’s for individual coverage alone. Family coverage will cost employers around $18,142 per employee, more than double the individual rate.

But apart from health plans, employees are also seeking other benefits that will enrich their well-being. Especially now that a pandemic is going on, and employees are working from home, they need to feel their employers’ care for them more. And you can do that for them by offering these competitive and exceptional benefit packages:

1. Health, Dental, and Vision Insurance

In Glassdoor’s 2015 Employment Confidence survey, better health, dental, and vision insurance topped the ranking of the most desirable benefit packages. About 54% of the surveyed employees would give this benefit package “heavy consideration,” and 34% would give “some consideration” when choosing a job.

When providing health insurance, you can choose among HMO, PPO, point-of-service plans, high-deductible health plans, and self-insurance. Companies commonly go with HMO, but self-insurance is an attractive option too. In this plan, you will agree to cover your own costs and work with a self-insuring company to set up coverage. Your fees will be lower, and you’ll have no premium for risk, as opposed to other plans. Moreover, self-insurance allows you to create a plan that aligns with your company values. You can either limit your coverage, or make it expansive if you have high regard for wellness, holistic medicine, or the like.

Dental plans also have different types, namely fully-funded employer plans, partially-funded employer plans, and fully-funded employee plans. Their names are pretty self-explanatory, but in a fully-funded employee plan, you will cover the administrative costs and payroll deductions related to a dental procedure.

As for vision insurance, you can choose between an ancillary vision plan and optional rider vision insurance. The former will cover a percentage of your employees’ treatment, whole optional rider vision will cover a fixed amount of spending per year. For instance, if your employee received a $1,000 treatment, their insurance will pay it fully. And if they had a $2,000 treatment, they’ll only pay $500, because their insurance will cover the $1,500.

2. Flexible Hours

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The Glassdoor survey showed flexible hours as the second best benefit employees seek. 88% would give some or heavy consideration for a company that allows flexible working hours, while 80% would consider a job that will let them work from home. With the current situation in the new normal, work-from-home isn’t just a factor to consider anymore, but a mandate.

But pandemic aside, flexible hours and work-from-home enables employees to improve their work-life balance. It makes them feel more in control of their day and lets them increase the time they spend with themselves and their family because they’re no longer eating up hours on the road.

3. Off-site Social Opportunities and Meetups

This benefit is one of the secrets of the beauty industry in attracting and retaining talent. Off-site social opportunities and meetups satisfy their employees’ demands for a better work-life balance. If you’re in this industry, consider offering this benefit and customizing it based on your business. For example, if you offer cosmetic enhancement services, your employees’ physical appearance will matter in impressing clients. They need to have good skin, healthy hair, and white teeth. So see if you can cover the costs of their skincare, hair treatments, and professional teeth whitening gels. These beauty enhancers will be useful not just in their jobs, but also in corporate events where they might socialize with high-profile and elite personalities.

Other desirable benefits include adequate vacation time, retirement plans, and student loan assistance. Company retreats, team bonding events, and free snacks are attractive too, but not as much as the ones above. Hence, focus your benefit packages on those, and only host fun events periodically. It will keep the fire in your team alive, further intensified by their satisfaction with the desirable benefits you provide.