Here are the unique employee benefits that are most popular for 2022.
Benefits are unique to each company. Plus, now that COVID-19 has overhauled the world for a second year in a row, benefits are looking different as we progress into 2022.
One of the easiest ways to figure out what the best benefits for your specific company might be is to take a look at what others are doing. Unfortunately, there isn’t one entity or survey that has exacting metrics for benefits. But there are ways to look at smaller surveys and coalesce insights, so that’s what we’ve done.
We looked at the Ben Benefits Outlook Survey that surveyed over 300 businesses on how they have adapted their benefits offerings to this new world of work. We also scoped out news articles like this CNBC story and looked at other industry surveys such as Workable’s The New World of Work survey.
Based on everything we’ve seen, here are 10 of the most popular employee benefits for 2022.
1. Physical health programs
Unsurprisingly, many companies are supporting the physical health of their employees. However, this benefit has been looking a little different since COVID. Not only are employers continuing to cover things like gym memberships, many are now offering stipends for in-home gyms.
2. Mental health programs
44% of employers are investing in mental health benefits.
It likely doesn’t surprise anyone who survived 2020 and 2021 that 44% of employers are investing in mental health benefits. From expanded health benefits that now include mental health services to access to mental health apps, employers are adding mental health services to their benefits offerings. Considering the stress and strain that the pandemic brought, in many ways mental health investments pay for themselves in the form of happy and healthy employees.
3. Employee engagement efforts
Many teams are distributed now, which means getting the gang together to laugh and make memories is harder than ever. But that doesn’t mean businesses should stop trying to bring camaraderie and bonding into the workplace. While perhaps not as powerful as in-person events, investing in Zoom socials like happy hours or game nights can be effective ways for employees to establish bonds.
Employee engagement can also take the form of employee recognition programs, employee-led education programs, volunteer or civic opportunities, and more. The key is to find meaningful ways to keep your employees happy, engaged, and feeling like the critical element to your business’s success that they are!
4. Childcare assistance
Between daycares shutting down for most of 2020 and finding safe in-home options that don’t break the bank, figuring out the childcare puzzle has been a hurdle for working parents. That’s why many companies are offering childcare-related benefits these days. From stipends to cover the costs of a nanny share to offering on-site childcare options, get creative about the ways that your benefits suite can support the parents on your team.
5. Flexible scheduling
If you don’t have the budget for covering childcare costs, flexible scheduling is the next best thing. From later start times and earlier leaving times to the option of working from home, the more flexible you can be with working hours, the better.
Plus, it’s not just working parents who benefit. Everyone has a life to live outside of work and the more work can support that and stay out of the way, the better.
6. The option to continue working remotely
While it might seem like going back to working in offices might never return, chances are it will someday. One thing that employers are doing, though, is continuing to offer remote working options. Not only does this help with flexible scheduling, it also makes the most of the investments you’ve made in remote work over the last 2 years.
7. Pet insurance
There’s no getting around it — tons of people got pandemic pets. Fluffy and Fido are now mainstays in people’s lives and a part of their families.
Just like any other family member, pets can get sick. Without insurance, bills can quickly stretch into the four or even five-figure range. Considering how much more affordable pet insurance is than human insurance, it’s an affordable perk that means a lot to the pet parents in your workforce.
8. Flexible PTO
Just like flexibility around scheduling, flexibility in terms of paid time off has also become a critical benefit. Not everyone celebrates the same holidays and not everyone will require the same number of sick days as everyone else.
That’s why flexible PTO can be a big win. It gives everyone a set number of days or hours or paid time off to spend as they choose. Employees can choose to be off on traditional holidays, their birthdays, or just take a mental health day when they need it. Plus, it makes sense. Who better to decide what kind of time off a person needs than the person themselves?
9. Financial wellness programs
One of the many things the pandemic highlighted is just how tenuous many people’s financial situations are or can be. Financial literacy is a hard thing to come by on your own, but as a company it can be an easy perk to offer.
You’re likely already working with accountants, financial advisors, and financial institutions, right? Why not look into what perks they can offer your employees?
Especially if you’re a company that offers stock options and other more complex types of compensation, you might want to consider financial wellness benefits. Ensuring that your employees have the resources they need to make the most of what’s being offered to them is a gesture they won’t soon forget.
Financial literacy is a hard thing to come by on your own, but as a company it can be an easy perk to offer.
10. Personalized benefits options
Attempting to meet the needs of all employees through one standard benefit offering is tricky at least and impossible at worst. This is why some employers are turning to personalized benefits instead.
There are different ways to approach this. You can give employees a set stipend for them to allocate as they wish, from childcare to home gym options and much in between. Or you can give them options like choosing childcare benefits or pet insurance perks. This way you can maximize the benefit of your benefits by working with each person to give them exactly the perks they want.
Naturally, this takes more time and often some creativity as well, but the payoffs can be huge in terms of employee happiness.