The way benefits are viewed is changing as employees are no longer satisfied with a “one-size fits all” approach. Instead, they expect an approach to benefits that meets their unique needs. Providing employees with the benefits they need is necessary to enhance your company culture and increase your bottom line. Here are the 2017 benefit trends to know (and consider implementing).
The popularity of telecommuting has been growing for the past few years, with an 11 percent increase since 2012 (from 45 to 56 percent) according to a 2016 Employee Benefits survey from the Society for Human Resource Management. If you’re wondering what’s trendy about a benefit that’s been around since 2012, U.S. News says telecommuting is one of the top benefit trends of 2017. More companies are accepting the idea of off-site work and flexible hours.
Telecommuting is a very low cost employee benefit. In addition to benefiting employees, telecommuting benefits employers also.
“Our Remote Collaborative Worker Survey suggests there are significant benefits to be gained by both remote workers and their employers with offsite employees motivated to work harder and more efficiently to protect both the personal and professional benefits of working remotely,” Michael Fitzpatrick, CEO of ConnectSolutions, said. “Workers tend to be happier, less stressed out and healthier thereby bringing down the costs of turnover, absenteeism, lower productivity and other issues.”
For hiring and retaining the best of the best, telecommuting is a benefit trend to look to.
The one-size-fits-all approach to benefits is quickly changing. Employees want benefit packages that are highly personalized. According to the 2016 ADP Employee Engagement Study, younger employees tend to value education-related perks including student loan reimbursement, career-oriented training and paid continued learning, while older employees tend to value wellness programs and employee discounts.
Providing choice and resources for your entire employee population is a trend that will continue in the future. So adapting your approach to creating a benefit plan is imperative.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers 2016 Employe Financial Wellness Survey, employees felt increased financial stress in 2016, with 52 percent of employees worrying about their finances and 43 percent saying they may have to use retirement money for non-retirement expenses. To mitigate some of this stress, employers are offering benefits to remove some of this financial strain.
Some of these “non traditional benefits” include: student loan repayment, gym memberships, unlimited vacation, work remotely, career training, pet insurance, in house massages, identity theft insurance, tuition assistance and even paid leave for fertility treatments.
Expanding Paid Leave
The traditional six-weeks of maternity leave is evolving into a more family-friendly benefit. Some companies are even offering leave as long as six months.
The standard 12-weeks of maternity leave was radically outdone last year as many companies updated and increased their paid leave policies, with some companies, like Etsy and Twitter, increasing maternity leave to six months. Susan Wojcicki, Google executive said that after increasing their maternity leave to 18 weeks they saw an increased new-mom retention rate of 50 percent.
According to BenefitsPro, the popularity of paid leave will continue to rise and in the coming years, expanding both the time allowed for paid leave as well as the circumstances. Watch out, ‘pawternity leave’ may become the new benefit trend to look for in 2018.
To provide a better work-life balance for their employees, wellness programs have a high implementation rate. In fact, a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that 74 percent of U.S. employers that provide health benefits offer at least one wellness program. This number jumps to 98 percent if your company has 200 or more employees.
Employers are implementing wellness programs to boost employee engagement and overall well-being. Studies also show that offering a wellness program actually saves employers money in medical pay-outs.
Adapting your benefits to meet the changing values of the workforce is imperative to retaining the best employee base. Create a culture of inspired humans who thrive and positively impact the bottom line of your company.
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