Employee Benefits: Here’s What Top Talent Wants

What do your employee benefits say about your company? Find out what employees want, how big companies attract top talent, and why you should care.

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Employee benefits have quickly become a crucial factor for people when deciding where to work. As recruiters take note, they’re heavily promoting forms of non-traditional compensation and noteworthy perks to attract top talent. But just how far does a company need to go in its efforts to win over potential candidates? Turns out, it’s not a one-size-fits-all answer.

When Employees Say Jump…  

Employees are behind the wheel in today’s job market, and they’re more confident than ever. So to understand exactly what they want, we’re looking to Glassdoor for answers. The company’s Q1 2016 Employment Confidence Survey found:

More than half (53%) of American employees (including those self-employed) believe if they lost their job they would be able to find a new job matched to their experience and current compensation levels in the next six months. This reveals the second-highest confidence in the U.S. job market since Glassdoor began its survey in 2009, up 14 percentage points from 39 percent in the first quarter 2009.”

As confidence among employees skyrockets, so too does the pressure on businesses to start thinking far outside the compensation box. According to Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, Ph.D., and renowned economist Angus Deaton, Ph.D., “people with an annual household income of $75,000 are about as happy as anyone gets.” In the pursuit of happiness, talented employees are speaking up about exactly what they want.

Glassdoor’s Q3 2015 Employment Confidence Survey found that 79% of employees would choose new or additional benefits over a pay increase. This is particularly true among younger employees:

18-34 (89%) 45-54 (70%)
35-44 (84%) 55-64 (66%)

The most favorable employee benefits and perks include healthcare insurance (medical, dental, vision), vacation and paid time off, performance bonuses, paid sick days, and 401(k) plans. While these form the foundation of desirable benefits, some businesses are going the extra mile to stand out from the competition.   

What Do Your Employee Benefits Say About Your Company?    

Once a business checks every box for required employee benefits, it can move on to the perks that help to differentiate it. Here are some of the headline-worthy employee benefits that companies offer:

  • For new parents, Netflix offers a year of paid maternity and paternity leave. (Forbes)
  • Campbell Soup Company offers 100% health coverage, healthy cooking lessons, and on-site kindergarten and after-school programs for kids up to age 12. (Business Insider)
  • Employees who want to make an impact with community service turn to companies like Timberland, which offers 40 hours a year of paid volunteering time. (BenefitsPRO.com)
  • Twitter provides three catered meals a day, as well as on-site acupuncture and improv classes. (Harvard Business Review)
  • Employees at Deloitte can take a three-to-six-month sabbatical to pursue professional or personal growth opportunities at 40% pay. (Forbes)  
  • Starbucks offers full tuition coverage for eligible U.S. employees who earn a bachelor’s degree through Arizona State University’s online programs. (Business News Daily)  
  • Every year, Bain & Company holds the “Bain World Cup” – a global, two-day soccer tournament for employees. (Inc.)
  • Reebok has an on-site gym with Crossfit classes. (Thrillist)
  • Travel-oriented employees at Airbnb get $2,000/year to explore the world and stay in any Airbnb listing. (Fast Company)

While your company may not be ready to bring Michelin star chefs or Crossfit trainers into the office quite yet, there are some easy ways you can reward current employees and boost office morale. When considering office perks, provide a survey for employees to see what captures their interest. This will go a long way in helping you create an office culture that accommodates and improves the lifestyles of your people.

Do your employee benefits stack up? Download our free Small Business Benchmark Report for a complete picture of the average health insurance premium costs, employer contributions, in-network copays, and more.

This was originally posted on June 15, 2017.

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