Employee benefits are anything offered to employees outside of their wages or salary.
Up until recently, benefits offerings were usually traditional. Most often, employees expect a “comprehensive benefits package” to include 401K, health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, life insurance, vacation time, and sick leave.
Recently, employers have realized that the range of benefits we offer to our employees is incredibly valuable. According to the Employment Confidence Survey by Glassdoor, about 60% of people report that benefits and perks are a major factor in considering whether to accept a job offer.
Modern expectations are forcing companies to think outside of the box when it comes to defining benefits.
What types of benefits are other companies offering?
Many studies have shown that millennials look for companies that work for the greater good of society. According to FastCompany, money doesn’t motivate millennials. Rather, they aim to make the world more compassionate, innovative, and sustainable.
The issue is, not all companies can tie this “do-gooder” philosophy into their business model naturally.
However, businesses can offer benefits that provide the option—and means—to tackle change. Take Salesforce, for instance. Employees receive six days of paid volunteer time off a year, and $1,000 a year to donate to a charity of their choice.
Another common request in a modern workforce is schedule flexibility. In the 2015 Workplace Flexibility Study, which surveyed more than 1100 professionals, 50% of employers ranked workplace flexibility as the most important benefit for their employees, and 75% of employees ranked it as their top benefit. To accommodate the growing need for flexibility, Airbnb gives its employees an annual stipend of $2,000 to travel and stay in an Airbnb listing anywhere in the world.
Having the tools to become financially stable is becoming increasingly vocalized by employees. The Employer-Sponsored Health and Well-Being Survey from the National Business Group on Health and Fidelity Investments found that 84% of 141 large- and mid-sized companies surveyed now have financial wellness programs. This figure is up from 76% a year ago. Asana is a company that understands this need. They offer employees access to executive and life-coaching services outside of the company.
The options for benefits are truly limitless. You just need to get creative.
When you determine what type of benefits you’d like to roll out, make sure you apply logic and strategy. Go beyond the dollars and cents; figure out what your employees actually want.
Don’t make assumptions
I once worked for a company that noticed morale was starting to drop. The “culture club”, which largely consisted of the executive team, decided on an awards program to recognize a handful of employees.
They came up with silly names like “the pack rat award” for the hardest worker and handed out trophies to accompany the success.
While the instant gratification was there – people were laughing and enjoying the ceremony – the long-term fulfillment didn’t stick.
The culture club at this company got one thing right. They knew their employees wanted recognition. What they got wrong was the execution. It was short-lived and didn’t provide real value. Trophies eventually made their way to the trash bin and morale decreased once again.
The primary issue with the culture club was that it didn’t include the voices of the real workers. Don’t assume your team wants one thing, actually ask questions and get to the bottom of what is meaningful.
You also need to balance what’s requested with what’s possible for your organization.
We’re not all tech companies
After reading the unique benefits offered above, you might be rolling your eyes. Tech companies tend to be cutting edge when it comes to perks and frills – but sometimes their grand gestures aren’t easily replicated in other industries.
These programs can be expensive to unroll, and may not be universally applicable.
DailyPay is a optional on-demand payment benefit all companies can offer, especially if financial wellness is important to your team.
Our mission is to give people their first steps towards financial security. Our technology platform allows employees to control the timing of when they get paid, enabling them to meet their financial goals.