5 Types of Voluntary Benefits Employees Want



With the year 2020 quickly approaching, there is a lot of buzz about new benefit offerings for today’s workforce. As employers struggle to attract and retain talented employees in the tightest job market in 50 years, many have begun to offer unique and exciting voluntary benefits. And while these “fringe” benefits may have seemed luxurious or frivolous in the past, benefits packages are becoming increasingly competitive among companies. In 2017, 69% of employers surveyed said that voluntary benefits would be an important part of their rewards strategy in the next three to five years, according to a study conducted by Willis Towers Watson. With work-life balance a growing concern in today’s workforce, job seekers are looking for companies that strive to improve their lives as a whole, not just provide them with a salary. Here are some benefit categories that are steadily rising in popularity:


Holistic Well-Being

These benefits are designed to improve the mental, physical and emotional health of employees. By freeing their thoughts from the stress of work, these perks help employees put things into perspective, feel calmer and be more productive.

  • Wellness initiatives
  • In-office fitness classes
  • Reimbursement for fitness memberships
  • Free healthy snacks
  • Remote work flexibility
  • In-office game rooms for use during breaks
  • Fresh flowers on employees’ desks


Family Assistance

By acknowledging the importance of their employees’ lives outside of work, these benefits help alleviate major sources of stress. They also show employees that their roles and responsibilities within their families matter greatly to the company, which in turn creates loyalty.

  • Pet health insurance
  • Expense coverage for adopting children or undergoing fertility treatments
  • On-site babysitters so parents can drop off their kids and go on a date night


Work/Life Balance

These benefits help employees lead rich, fulfilling lives outside the office. By giving them the necessary time away from work for self-care and self-reflection, employers foster staff happiness, creativity and a sense of wholeness in all areas of their lives.

  • A day of PTO on each employee’s birthday
  • Reduced workweeks (less than 40+ hours for full-time employees)
  • PTO to be used specifically for volunteering
  • Sabbaticals when employees reach a certain milestone, such as 5 years with the company


Professional Development

To help their employees avoid feelings of boredom and stagnation, many companies offer significant educational opportunities. These benefits have notable ROI for employers because they encourage employees to share their knowledge with their teams to innovate and improve strategies and processes.

  • Student loan repayment assistance
  • Tuition reimbursement for continuing education
  • Educational lunch-and-learns
  • Funding for offsite professional development, such as conferences and seminars


Financial Wellness

According to Forbes, 78% of America’s workforce is living paycheck to paycheck, and that includes employees at all different income levels. By implementing small changes that help employees take control of their financial futures, employers can help their staffs increase the value of their salaries, without increasing the amount, and also help to safeguard them from predatory payday loan companies.    

  • Financial coaching services
  • Identity theft protection
  • Flexible payroll schedules, such as on-demand pay and daily pay benefits