Employee benefits have been part of the American workforce for as long as most of us can remember. Companies rely on benefits to attract top talent. Employees rely on benefits to supplement their incomes with extras they may, or may not, otherwise fund themselves.
The question for HR is always as follows: which health and employee benefits attract the kind of talent we are looking for? Fortunately, no one has to guess. Countless surveys are released every year providing all the necessary data.
This post lists the top employee benefits according to a report from the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM). The report is based on data gleaned from surveys taken between 2015 and 2019. Note that most of what the report focuses on looks at the year ending on April 30, 2019.
Standard Health Insurance
Health insurance has long been the staple of employee benefits packages. It continues to be. Prospective employees expecting a benefits package are looking for health insurance at a minimum. Usually this means a preferred provider organization (PPO) plan. According to SHRM, 85% of America's employer-provided health plans are PPO plans.
Health Savings Accounts
Health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are equally attractive to employees. These are accounts that allow workers to set aside tax-free funds to pay for future healthcare needs. Companies often match employee funds with their own contributions.
Some companies have begun turning to telemedicine to help defray health insurance costs. They have discovered that their employees appreciate such benefits. SHRM data suggest that telemedicine benefits are among the fastest growing health-related benefits in the workplace. Some 72% of employers offering health insurance plans also offer telemedicine benefits.
Moving beyond health-related benefits brings us to retirement. It used to be that the defined benefit pension was the best retirement plan for attracting new talent. Unfortunately, such plans are unsustainable. Companies have turned to 401(k) plans instead. Employees still appreciate these though. So much so, that 93% of American companies that offer benefits above and beyond health insurance offer 401(k) plans.
It should be noted that some 42% of employers with 401(k) plans automatically enrolled new employees in 2019. Another 22% automatically enrolled current employees not yet participating. As such, more employees are now saving for retirement.
Student Loan Repayment
Although the number of companies offering student loan repayment benefits is still relatively low (just 8% in 2019) the desirability of such benefits continues to grow. Younger workers see student loan repayment as a priority for obvious reasons. It is reasonable to believe they would appreciate their employers helping them out.
New Parent Benefits
Another area of emerging benefits is that of support for new parents. Younger workers attempting to balance work and personal life find such benefits quite attractive. For example, young mothers appreciate employers who provide dedicated lactation rooms for breast-feeding. They appreciate lactation support services that cover everything from education to shipping breast milk when mothers travel for business.
Employee benefits are as important now as they have ever been. When all other things are equal, a prospective employee is likely to choose the job that offers the best benefits package. Therefore, it is incumbent upon companies to figure out what kinds of benefits the talent in their industries is most concerned about.
Here at Premier Insurance, we offer both payroll services and benefits administration. We have access to some very creative benefits plans well suited to companies of all types. Whether you are looking to expand your benefits, or you are offering benefits for the first time, we can help.