If you are looking for the top 10 employee benefits, this blog is where you need to be. Offering employee benefits is a great way to keep the people working for you motivated and happy. In the present job market, a competitive salary is no longer the only concern for workers. While there are several creative employee benefits and unique employee benefits to attract and retain top talent, not all of them may be right for your industry or for your employees collectively. So, if you want to understand and implement the top 10 employee benefits in most workplaces, make sure to read to the end.
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What Are Employee Benefits?
To fully understand what benefits to offer your employees, you first need to understand what employee benefits are and how they help. Employee benefits are non-wage compensations offered to employees in addition to their salary. These benefits can include a wide range of perks and amenities such as health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, employee assistance programs, training and development activities for employees, academic consulting, employee discounts, on-site amenities, wellness programs, and recognition and rewards programs.
A company need not offer all these benefits but must provide its employees with the basic ones, which typically include personal health, dental, and vision care. There are some non-traditional employee benefits, such as flexible work arrangements, that need to be considered as well, especially in the current market where employees have become accustomed to working from their homes.
Some of the best employee benefits in Canada can really support and motivate your workforce, and the top 5 family-friendly employee benefits provide options for parental leave, childcare and education, elder care, and more.
Note that employee benefits may be required by law in certain cases. For example, the US Affordable Care Act requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer health insurance to their employees or pay a penalty.
Why Are Employee Benefits Important?
Employee benefits are important for a number of reasons. Some of the main advantages of offering employee benefits include:
- Attracting and retaining top talent: employee benefits can be an important factor in attracting and retaining top talent. Offering competitive benefits can help a company stand out in the job market and make it more appealing to potential employees. They can also be an effective way to reduce employee turnover and avoid re-training and re-hiring.
- Improving employee satisfaction and morale: employee benefits can help improve overall employee satisfaction and morale by showing that the company cares about the well-being and financial security of its employees. This can lead to increased productivity and engagement. Knowing how to increase employee productivity can help you grow and compete in the industry.
- Enhancing work–life balance: employee benefits, such as paid time off and flexible work arrangements, can help employees achieve a better work–life balance and reduce stress. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and retention.
- Promoting physical and mental health: benefits such as health insurance, wellness programs, and employee assistance programs can help employees maintain their physical and mental health, leading to better overall health and well-being.
- Supporting career development: professional development opportunities and training programs can help employees advance their careers and improve job satisfaction.
- Reducing absenteeism: benefits such as paid time off, employee assistance programs, or a hybrid work setting can help reduce absenteeism by allowing employees to take time off when needed and providing support for personal or professional challenges.
Top 10 Employee Benefits
While there is a myriad of employee benefits that you can offer depending on your industry, the following are the top 10 benefits favored by employees. Remember that you need not offer all of these benefits.
1. Health Insurance
Providing health insurance for employees is a top benefit that can attract and retain the best talent. Health insurance helps employees by providing financial protection against the high costs of medical treatment. With health insurance, employees can access the health care they need without incurring significant out-of-pocket expenses. This can be particularly important for employees with chronic conditions or who require ongoing medical care.
Health insurance can also help employees maintain their physical and mental health by allowing them to access preventive care and treatment for illnesses or injuries. This can help prevent minor health issues from becoming more serious and costly to treat. It also provides peace of mind and financial security for employees and their families. It can help them feel more secure in their ability to afford the health care they need and reduce the financial burden of unexpected medical expenses. This can include medical, dental, and vision coverage.
2. Retirement Plans
Offering a retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or a pension, can provide a way for employees to set aside a portion of their earnings for the future, with the goal of providing a financial foundation for their retirement years.
Retirement plans can also offer tax benefits for both employees and employers. For example, 401(k) plans allow employees to contribute a portion of their salary on a pre-tax basis, which can lower their taxable income and reduce their tax burden. Employers may also be able to claim a tax deduction for contributions they make to a retirement plan on behalf of their employees. By having a plan in place to save for retirement, employees can feel more prepared for the future and less concerned about how they will support themselves in their later years.
3. Paid Time Off
Providing paid time off (PTO), including vacation, sick leave, and holidays, allows employees to take time off when needed and helps to promote work–life balance. PTO can benefit employees in a number of ways:
- Improved work–life balance: PTO allows employees to take time off when they need it, which can reduce stress, increase job satisfaction, and improve overall well-being.
- Increased productivity: allowing employees to take time off when needed can help them recharge and come back to work feeling refreshed and more focused. This can lead to increased productivity and engagement.
- Reduced absenteeism: PTO can help reduce absenteeism by allowing employees to take time off when they are feeling ill or need to attend to personal matters. This can help prevent the spread of illness and improve overall attendance.
- Improved morale: offering PTO can show employees that the company values their well-being and work–life balance, which can improve morale and foster a positive work culture.
4. Flexible Work Arrangements
Flexible working arrangements are employment arrangements that allow employees to have more control over their work schedules and environment. These arrangements can take many forms, such as the ability to work from home, flexible scheduling, or job sharing. Flexible working arrangements also help employees achieve a better work–life balance by allowing them to schedule their work around their personal commitments. They allow employees to work in a way that is more conducive to their productivity and workflow. For example, some employees may be more productive working from home, while others may prefer a more traditional office setting. This can reduce stress and improve overall well-being. These arrangements are among the most innovative employee retention strategies, in that they make the workplace more attractive to employees and help them feel more valued and supported by their employer.
5. Employee Assistance Programs
Employee assistance programs (EAPs) are programs that provide support to employees facing personal or professional challenges, such as mental health issues, financial struggles, or family emergencies. EAPs are provided by professional counsellors and qualified clinicians. The information shared by an employee in EAPs is confidential and will only be disclosed if there is a serious threat to themselves or other employees, or if demanded by law. Knowing that your employer provides opportunities to deal with mental stress goes a long way. EAPs can benefit employees in several ways:
- Improved mental and emotional well-being: EAPs can provide support and resources to help employees manage stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues. This can improve overall well-being and reduce the risk of burnout.
- Financial support: EAPs can provide financial resources and guidance to help employees manage money and debt. This can reduce financial stress and improve overall financial well-being.
- Personal support: EAPs can provide support and resources for employees facing personal challenges, such as family emergencies or relationship issues. This can help employees feel more supported and less overwhelmed.
6. Professional Development Opportunities
Providing opportunities for employees to learn and grow, such as training and development programs, professional certifications, tuition reimbursement, mentorship programs, or networking opportunities can help employees advance their careers. They are among the top job satisfaction factors cited by employees. There are several reasons why employers should offer professional development opportunities to their employees:
- Improved skills and knowledge: professional development opportunities, such as training and development programs or tuition reimbursement, can help employees improve their skills and knowledge in their current roles. They can also prepare for new roles within the company. This can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.
- Career advancement: professional development opportunities can help employees advance their careers and move up within the company. This allows employees to see the potential in their job, thus increasing retention and helping the company retain top talent.
- Increased competitiveness: offering professional development opportunities can help a company stay competitive by ensuring that its employees have the skills and knowledge needed to meet the changing needs of the industry. Moving with the times is of utmost importance.
- Improved retention: providing professional development opportunities can show employees that the company values their growth and development and is invested in their long-term success. This can improve retention and foster a positive work culture.
7. Academic Consulting
Offering academic consulting is another great way to increase employee satisfaction and retention. Academic consulting as an employee benefit allows employers to offer undergraduate, graduate, professional school, and career coaching to employees and their children. This helps the employees feel secure about their children getting the right counselling and being prepared in their professional journey. Employees themselves can use this benefit to advance their portfolio.
By partnering with BeMo, employers can increase attraction of top talent by 47%, as well as increase revenue, profit, and retention. Schedule a free call and get unlimited private coaching, resources, and access to top 5% admissions experts and career coaches. We have a 93.5% success rate for those who actually implement our recommendations.
BeMo’s academic consulting helps employees save the time that they invest in helping family members apply for educational programs. They can connect with a coach anytime, anywhere, 7 days a week. BeMo can also help your employees save money, as we offer this at scale and costs are significantly reduced. You can also set up a co-pay system so that your employees will have to pay just a small percentage of the total fee or nothing at all.
8. Employee Discounts
Employee discounts are discounts given on the original price of goods by the company. Offering employees discounts on products or services can be a cost-effective way to show appreciation and provide a tangible benefit. There are several reasons why employers should offer employee discounts:
- Improved employee satisfaction: employee discounts can be a tangible benefit that shows appreciation for employees and can improve overall job satisfaction.
- Increased loyalty and retention: employee discounts can foster a sense of loyalty among employees and make them feel more connected to the company. Offering employee discounts can help improve retention by making the workplace more attractive.
- Cost-effective benefit: employee discounts can be a cost-effective benefit for employers, as they can be offered at little or no cost to the company.
- Free advertising: having employees use the goods and appreciating them to their friends and family provides free advertising for the brand. Any sale that happens because an employee recommended a product or service is a bonus with only a small investment.
- Improved morale: employee discounts can improve morale by showing employees that the company values their contributions and is committed to their well-being.
9. On-site Amenities
Providing on-site amenities, such as a gym, cafe, free snacks, or childcare, can make the workplace more convenient and enjoyable for employees. They can offer both mental and physical relief for employees, especially on busy days, and thus improve productivity. On-site amenities can make the workplace more convenient and enjoyable for employees, which will improve overall job satisfaction and retention. These amenities improve work–life balance for employees by providing convenient options for activities and services that may be difficult to access outside of work.
- Increased productivity: on-site amenities can help employees feel more comfortable and supported in their work environment, which can lead to increased productivity and engagement.
- Cost savings: on-site amenities, such as a gym or cafe, can help employees save money by eliminating the need to pay for these services elsewhere.
- Enhanced company culture: on-site amenities can help create a positive work culture and foster a sense of community among employees. People from the same or different departments can get together and build a more wholesome working environment.
10. Wellness Programs
Employee wellness programs are initiatives that aim to promote the physical and mental well-being of employees. These programs can take many forms, such as gym memberships, health screenings, nutrition and weight loss programs, stress management resources, and mental health support.
The goal of employee wellness programs is to help employees maintain their health and well-being, which can lead to increased productivity, engagement, and retention. Wellness programs can also help reduce health care costs for both the employer and the employees by promoting preventative care and early detection of health issues.
Wellness programs can be offered by employers or third-party providers, and can be voluntary or mandatory for employees. Some common types of wellness programs include:
- Gym memberships: employers may offer discounted or free gym memberships to encourage employees to be physically active.
- Health screenings: employers may offer health screenings, such as blood pressure checks or cholesterol tests, to help employees identify and address potential health issues.
- Nutrition and weight loss programs: resources and support to help employees improve their diet and maintain a healthy weight can also be offered as part of a wellness program.
- Stress management resources: resources such as meditation or yoga classes can be provided to help employees manage stress and improve overall well-being.
- Mental health support: employers may offer resources, such as counseling services or employee assistance programs, to support employees’ mental health.
How about one more employee benefit, just for good measure?
11. Recognition and Rewards Programs
Recognizing and rewarding employees for their hard work and contributions can improve morale and foster a positive work culture. This can include things like awards, bonuses, and other incentives. The purpose of recognition and the best employee rewards systems is to acknowledge and appreciate the hard work and contributions of employees, as well as to motivate and engage them. These programs can be an effective way to boost morale, improve retention, and foster a positive work culture.
There are many different types of recognition and rewards programs, including:
- Awards: employers may offer awards to recognize employees for their exceptional performance or contributions. These can be formal awards presented at a ceremony or informal recognition through certificates or other methods.
- Bonuses: employers can also offer bonuses to reward employees for their achievements. Bonuses can be based on individual or team performance, or on the overall success of the company. They are a great way to increase retention and keep employees motivated.
- Incentives: companies may offer incentives such as gift cards or other perks to keep employees engaged. These can be based on specific goals or targets, or on overall performance.
- Employee of the month: some companies have programs that recognize and reward an employee of the month, based on their performance or work ethic. This can be an effective way to show you care about employees and motivate them to work harder.
There are other effective employee motivation strategies that employers can implement, such as scaling responsibilities, increasing specialization, setting company goals, and empowering employees.
Along with offering innovative employee perks, there are a wide variety of employee benefits an employer can consider. Some might be legally binding, while others can be offered at the discretion of the employer. Any benefit provided to the employee will make them see the company in a better light and show loyalty. It is important to offer employee benefits, especially in the current market, because an employee can decide to go with a different job that offers a slightly less competitive salary but better benefits. So, evaluate your finances and where your company stands, and pick the right employee benefits for your team.
1. Why do I need to offer employee benefits?
Employee benefits show the workers that management cares for them. Along with salaries, employee benefits are also what candidates focus on while applying for jobs, so to attract the best candidates, it is necessary to offer employee benefits. With benefits, a company can attract and retain top talent, improve employee satisfaction and morale, enhance work–life balance, promote physical and mental health, support career development, and reduce absenteeism.
2. Do I need to offer unique employee benefits?
No, it is not necessary to offer unique employee benefits, though it would make for a more attractive package. Every company needs to offer a basic set of benefits and any other benefit on top of that will be appreciated by current and potential employees.
3. Can offering employee benefits help with absenteeism?
Yes, benefits like paid time off, a hybrid work setting, and employee assistance programs can help reduce absenteeism, as employees can take time off when they need it.
4. What happens if I don’t offer health benefits to employees?
Under the Affordable Care Act, if you employ 50 or more full-time employees, you need to offer health insurance or pay a penalty. It is important for a company to offer employee benefits for a motivated and satisfied workforce.
5. Can I use BeMo to help with my employee benefits package?
Yes, you can fit BeMo into your employee benefits package. You can offer BeMo’s services to your employees directly. There are packages that you can purchase as bulk-buys or on a case-by-case basis, depending on your business requirements. You can also offer BeMo’s academic counselling packages to the children of your employees. Parents worry about their children’s future and the opportunities they will have, so when an employer shares the burden, it's always a plus.
6. What are some rewards I can offer employees?
An employer can offer actual awards to employees based on their performance or achievements. Bonuses are a great way to keep employees motivated and loyal. Incentives also motivate employees and can make them more competitive. Some companies acknowledge an employee of the month based on performance.
7. What are some professional development opportunities for employees?
Training and development programs, professional certifications, tuition reimbursement, mentorship programs, and networking opportunities are some of the professional development opportunities an employer can offer their employees.
8. Do flexible working hours benefit employees?
In most cases, flexible working hours are beneficial for employees, as they allow them to balance their work life and personal life. A lot of employees, especially young workers, appreciate the value of being able to work on their own time.
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