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4 Employee Benefits That Make Employers Stand Out

The past two years have changed the way we work, and it has become increasingly more difficult to retain key employees and recruit top talent. Here are four benefits that companies are now offering to attract and retain the best-qualified employees. Find out how you can start the year out right with an attractive benefits package.

It’s estimated that more than 40% of the global workforce are considering leaving their jobs this year. The past two years have truly changed the way businesses operate. With many calling this era “The Great Resignation,” it’s no wonder business owners have prioritized the importance of employee retention more than ever.

Businesses started offering work-from-home models as a safety measure during COVID-19, and studies show that remote work culture is here to stay. In fact, according to a recent report by Willis Towers Watson, employers expect nearly 2 in 5 employees will still be working remotely as Q4 comes to an end in 2021.

Now more than ever, employers are prioritizing employee retention. Employees are steadfast on a healthier work-life balance including benefits that directly affect their mental, physical and financial well-being.

As post-pandemic work has evolved, we have seen increased interest in benefits that may not have previously been on the top of employers’ minds, such as access to mental health resources. With all of the changes we’ve seen in the way we work and what our employees value over the last two years, it’s an excellent time to review the benefits your business offers to keep your key talent on board!

What Benefits Will Be On The Top Of The List For Employees In 2022?

1. PTO

Paid time off (PTO) is a huge selling point for many job seekers and current employees. The days of living to work are over, and employees are far more likely to value their jobs when they can prevent burnout and take time off without worrying about the impact on their paycheck. In fact, according to SHRM, U.S. workers rank PTO as the second most important benefit after healthcare. Research has also concluded that PTO promotes more happiness, productivity, and focus in the workplace.

Many companies already offer paid time off for holidays such as New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Some even close their offices on these days while paying their employees for the time. Extending this to other holidays — and offering additional paid time off options — can go a long way toward helping you hire and manage more motivated and satisfied employees. The advantages go beyond just employee retention. Studies show that PTO improves a multitude of areas, from problem-solving to teamwork. For that reason, it will only continue to become more popular as we move into 2022.

2. Wellness Programs and Mental Health Benefits

The pandemic brought varying degrees of stress and grief to everyone. Not only did many employees have to learn a new way of working, but companies experienced hardships that they may have never had to deal with before. Layoffs, downsizing, and pay cuts are never easy for a business owner but can also put employees on edge.

Workplace wellness programs commonly refer to a collection of initiatives to promote healthy lifestyles among team members. Health education/literacy programs are usually the first to be offered at organizations due to their scalability and low cost. These programs provide employees access to relevant, quality, and timely health content through on-site seminars, online webinars, and other media such as newsletters or wellness brochures. Some companies offer health coaching in addition to education, but this option is more costly. Providing childcare assistance and gym membership reimbursement are other highly desired benefits for employees.

Employees will be looking for mental health benefits such as virtual therapy sessions, access to counselors, and 24/7 Help Lines such as Talk Space for anonymous online therapy. Following the lead of large companies such as Target, Starbucks, and Salesforce; small to medium-sized companies have also started to roll out benefits for emotional health. Learn how to promote mental health awareness in your workplace here.

3. Alternative Benefits Strategies

Healthcare is the number one sought-after benefit, and for new recruits, it’s the most important. If your company can afford to offer it, fully employer-paid healthcare is a highly competitive benefit and a strong sell for recruiting and retaining top talent. 

If your budget isn’t ready for Major Medical insurance for your employees, a voluntary benefits program including a benefits bank could be a great option for your employees. An employer can choose to make a contribution of their choice to the employee’s benefits bank, Then, employees get the option to customize their plan with benefits unique to their needs, making it a win-win situation.

Some supplemental benefits employees look for that you might have not even considered include Critical Illness Insurance, Accidental Death and Supplemental Accident Plans, Hospital Indemnity Insurance, and Long Term Care Insurance. You can learn more about these benefits here.

4. Financial Planning and Assistance

One of the lasting lessons we learned from the pandemic was the importance of financial security. According to Schwab Retirement Plan Service’s annual survey, almost one in two workers plan to save more overall, and more than a third plan to increase 401 (k) contributions, invest more and pay off debt. 

Other programs include:

  • Company-paid life insurance.
  • Student loan repayment programs.
  • Low-interest loans.
  • Medical deductible financing.
  • Financial counseling.

Why is this important for employee retention? A Financial Health Network survey conducted by Morgan Stanley found nearly 75% of employees believe employers need to offer financial wellness benefits, 71% would be open to receiving personal finance support at work from a financial professional, and 60% would be more likely to stay with an employer that offered useful financial wellness programs.

Retaining key employees and hiring top talent depends significantly on the benefits your company can offer. When you provide more sought-after benefits or even a customized benefits package, you can improve your employees’ quality of life — creating a more productive and satisfied team! If you want to update your benefits package before the end of the year, contact the MBS team and learn how to receive the best benefit plan for your business and employees.

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