4 New Employee Benefits Trends For 2017

New dynamics in a modern workforce mean new employee expectations for benefits and perks. These new employee benefits requests are unlike a typical portfolio filled with standard PTO, healthcare and retirement options. 2017 is all about harmony and customization.


Early adopters of unconventional benefits programs may have an advantage over their competition and in a tight labor market. These advantages can help increase job applicants, reduce staff turnover, and improve your company culture. Which new HR ideas will you adopt and what new benefits do your employees want?


1. Harmonization between work and personal life

A recent MetLife survey suggested that personal satisfaction can be just as important as the numbers on their paycheck. If employees feel happy at work and outside of work they are more productive and loyal. A strong work-life balance can help employers, too. A study by economists at the University of Warwick found that overall happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity. This harmony between work life and home life can be achieved through a variety of employer-sponsored benefits.


Common benefits an employer can offer to help find the balance between living to work, and working to live:

  • Schedule flexibility
  • Flex time
  • Unlimited vacation
  • On-site child care options
  • Wellness programs
  • Thank you sabbatical
  • Financial freedom programs

We recently tested to see if a work-life benefit like a financial freedom program could really offset numbers on a paycheck and improve happiness. Our white paper proved that applicants may treasure getting paid daily more than we previously realized. On average, applicants are willing to take on average a 13% pay reduction for a job if they are offered a financial freedom program, like daily pay, to help achieve a work-life balance.


When employers offer a breadth of non-traditional benefit options, they can help alleviate the anxiety that comes with the integration of work-life and home-life.


2.  A helping hand with typical finances

Anxieties about finances can affect your employee’s productivity and overall engagement at work.

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2017 employee wellness survey shows that nearly one-third of all employees are distracted by personal financial issues while at work, with almost half of financially stressed employees spend three hours or more each week handling personal finances at work. Employers can come to the rescue with specific benefits to help assist with financial burdens – and employees appreciate it.


In MetLife’s 10th annual study of employee trends, 40% of employees to say they want help in achieving financial security.


Common financial burdens come from:

  • Paying for children’s school
  • Paying student loans
  • Monthly obligations like rent
  • Saving for retirement

It’s important to consider that employees face different life milestones throughout their time at a company. An entry-level employee may be more concerned about paying their rent, whereas medium to senior-level employees may be more focused on putting their child through school.


Employers have the opportunity to customize financial wellness programs and offer products that are most meaningful to specific employees. Examples are employee loans, one-on-one financial mentoring and daily pay products to help alleviate financial issues.


When employees have access to the right benefits, for the right period of their life, it can help ensure they can get the help they need to meet today’s challenges.


3. Tailored health benefits

Benefits aren’t a one-size-fits-all product for your employees. Barbara McGarity, principle of employee benefits service Payless Power, has insight into what employees are asking for in 2017, “The biggest trend in 2017 is allowing for more customization and options in regards to what benefits to choose.”  


Healthcare prices are increasing and wages are remaining relatively stagnant. When medical emergencies arise, if the conditions or procedures aren’t covered by insurance, your employees may not have enough to pay the expenses. A recent study conducted by the New York Times and Kaiser Family Foundation show that overall, about a quarter (26 percent) of insured U.S. adults ages 18-64 say they or someone in their household had problems paying or an inability to pay medical bills in the past 12 months. To rectify this concern, some companies are offering a set monthly amount for employees and allowing them to buy health care and cover related expenses as they see fit.


This customization for employees offers favorable byproducts for employers, too. An employee insight survey conducted by MetLife shows that 67% of employers agree that the potential to boost employee retention and loyalty is a factor when making benefit decisions and choices. Employees agree that certain aspect of benefit programs make them feel more loyal. 65% of employees agree that having benefits tailored to their needs would increase loyalty.


4. Simplified enrollment

As we enter the industrial revolution, new technologies are increasing connectivity for both companies and their employees. These advancements can lead to greater productivity and clarity, specifically in the HR department. HR teams can use these technological advancements, like apps, to provide clearer information about the benefits available and help employees access their options. This technology can empower employees to choose the benefits that specifically fit their needs, and easily access the options. When enrollment education and access are simple, employees can maximize their value.


On the other hand, new technologies in the HR need to be simple to use. Some HR companies professionals, like WispApp, have fears about the increased use of HR technology. While these new technologies can be incredibly useful and powerful, if they are too difficult to use, then people won’t use them. They offer this important thought: people in HR and recruiting are not technies.


Employee appreciation can enhance their loyalty and commitment to their company. Improved benefits through customization and harmonization can put your company above the rest. Offering new and cutting-edge benefits can help engage your employees, reduce employee turnover, and improve your bottom line.


DailyPay is a benefit that allows your employees to be paid when they want, days before their scheduled payday. DailyPay funds all of the advances, costing your company virtually nothing.


Check out our cost-savings calculator to see how much your company could save by introducing DailyPay to your employees.