Across the country, the number of current job openings stands at approximately 9.9 million, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. With millions of Americans searching for new roles each year, it’s easy to presume that these vacancies are filled relatively quickly.
However, as we continue to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, job seekers are prioritizing their health and well-being more than ever before. They want to work for an organization that values their time, skills, and well-being. As a result, many people are reviewing employee benefits to decide whether a company is a good fit for them.
But it’s not just job seekers doing this. The current workforce is also reviewing the benefits their organization offers and considering whether they align with their needs. If you own a small business, it’s normal to question which benefits you should offer. To support you, here’s a complete guide to employee benefits.
The Different Types Of Employee Benefits
Organizations across the United States are legally obliged to offer a number of benefits, such as:
- Social security
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- Unemployment insurance.
Aside from employee benefits that organizations are legally required to provide, there are various benefits that many employees now desire. These include benefits that positively impact their physical well-being, mental health, finances, and life outside work.
Physical And Mental Health Benefits
When it comes to physical health, barriers that prevent many people from accessing the care they need include fees. But when employees are physically unwell and are unable to access treatment, it’s not only their health that declines. Their ability to work and their productivity levels do too, which can significantly affect an entire organization.
To enhance your employees’ health and show them you care about their well-being as much as you care about the organization, here are a few benefits to consider.
- Medical insurance. At present, organizations are only legally obliged to offer health insurance if they employ more than 50 people. However, medical insurance is one of the most sought-after employee benefits, and it’s clear to see why. With healthcare costs increasing, many people can’t afford the care they need.
- Dental insurance. As of 2022, research shows that 23% of job seekers prioritize healthcare benefits such as dental insurance. As with medical treatment, the costs associated with dental treatment are rising, meaning some employees are missing out on care.
- Life insurance. Following the pandemic, more people than ever are investing in life insurance and choosing to work for companies that offer this.
- Fitness and wellness benefits. Understanding just how important their physical health is, employees value fitness and wellness benefits. But that’s not all. With the number of people living with mental health conditions at an all-time high, employees are also looking for benefits that will have a positive effect on their mental well-being too. To support your employee’s physical and mental health, you could offer benefits such as gym memberships, yoga classes, or access to therapy.
When it comes to financial rewards, employees value social security. But what about other financial benefits and incentives? Here are a few suggestions.
- Offer a business credit card. Business credit cards make the process of purchasing and paying for work-related expenses much easier. David Luck, Co-Founder and CEO of Capital on Tap, shares that, “with a business credit card, employees can seamlessly make work-related purchases. This can instantly relieve financial stress and contribute to an increase in employee satisfaction.”
- Private pensions. Though social security is beneficial, many find that their retirement contributions won’t enable them to live comfortably later in life due to the ever-increasing cost of living. Offering private pension plans increases the sum of money an employee receives upon retiring, which can make working for a small organization more appealing.
On this point, David Luck further adds that: “It’s more common to see larger corporations taking advantage of financial benefits such as a business credit card. But smaller organizations can also benefit from doing so. In addition to cashback offers and discounts, business credit cards offer employees greater independence.”
Life-Work Balance Benefits
Last but not least in this complete guide to employee benefits, are incentives that offer a greater life-work balance. Before the pandemic, employees dedicated a generous amount of time to their work, employer, and organization.
Post-pandemic, many employees are looking for more life-work balance. When it comes to benefits that have a positive impact on an employee’s life, here are a few to contemplate.
- Remote working. During the pandemic, employees and organizations began working remotely more frequently. Although some organizations now require their employees to return to the workplace, we’re seeing more job seekers favoring remote working. Small organizations are much more likely to retain their top talent and appeal to new talent by offering this as an employee benefit.
- Flexible working options. Just offering the typical 9 – 5 hours once worked is not enough nowadays, as many employees want flexible working options. In addition to remote working, organizations that offer flexible working arrangements are more likely to appeal to new talent and retain their top staff.
- Family leave. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, organizations must offer employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for reasons outlined by the S. Department of Labor. This only usually applies to companies with more than 50 employees. But offering family leave can prevent employees from choosing between caring for a sick family member and their job or even another organization.
What Employee Benefits Are You Currently Offering?
Now you’ve read our complete guide to employee benefits, it’s time to take a step back and review the benefits you’re currently offering.
By asking yourself questions such as, “How often do our employees take advantage of the benefits we provide?” and “Do we provide benefits that our employees desire?”, you can ascertain your current strategy’s success and adapt as needed.
Although your personnel should be at the heart of your employee benefits strategy, remember that your company will also benefit when you review your employee benefits. After all, when employees are happier and more satisfied, they’re more productive, motivated, and want what’s best for the organization.