Organizations are expanding the scope of their benefits offerings to attractÂ and retain top talent.
By Marta Chmielowicz
Faced with increased competition for talent and aÂ diverse labor pool, organizations are pressured toÂ provide benefits programs that meet the needs of allÂ their workers. While health and retirement benefitsÂ are still the norm, SHRMâs 2019 Employee BenefitsÂ survey reveals that todayâs top employers are movingÂ beyond standard offerings in order to attract andÂ retain a competitive workforce.
Companies across the board are increasing the scopeÂ of their benefits programs, balancing high-impact,Â high-cost offerings with low-cost perks that appealÂ to a broad swatch of workers. The most commonÂ offerings include:
- Healthcare benefits. As the cost of health insuranceÂ continues to climb, 20 percent of employers haveÂ made the choice to increase their healthcareÂ coverageâthe highest of any surveyed benefitÂ category.
Eighty-five percent offer a preferred providerÂ organization (PPO) insurance plan, while 59 percentÂ opt for a high deductible health plan (HDHP) linkedÂ with health savings accounts (HSAs) and healthÂ reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). HealthcareÂ flexible spending accounts also remain popular amongÂ 68 percent of surveyed respondents, followed closelyÂ by HSAs offered alongside a HDHP (56 percent).
The vast majority of organizations offeredÂ supplemental insurance options, with 83 percentÂ providing accidental death insurance; 71 percentÂ offering long-term disability; 61 percent offeringÂ short-term disability; and 27 percent offering accidentÂ insurance.
- Investment and retirement benefits. Ninety-threeÂ percent of organizations provide traditional 401KÂ plans and 74 percent match employee contributions atÂ some level.
But beyond retirement benefits, HR leaders areÂ recognizing that employees of all walks of life areÂ concerned about their financial health. As a result,Â many have begun to offer advisory services to helpÂ employees with their financial decision-making. Fifty-sevenÂ percent offer retirement investment advice, 36Â percent offer non-retirement financial advice, and 18Â percent offer credit counseling services.
Education benefits have also become a priority, withÂ more than half (56 percent) of companies offeringÂ tuition assistance for current students and a growingÂ number offering student loan repayment services (8Â percent).
- Family-friendly and wellness benefits. While mostÂ organizations (67 percent) have not made changesÂ to these types of benefits in the last year, wellnessÂ benefits represent a huge opportunity for companiesÂ to distinguish themselves among candidates and driveÂ culture and engagement in the organization.
Currently, more than half of employers (58 percent)Â offer wellness benefits. Perks like quiet rooms (21Â percent), fitness activities (30 percent), and standingÂ desks (60 percent) have seen increases in the past fiveÂ years.
Family-friendly benefits are also becoming moreÂ prevalent, with a quarter of organizations allowingÂ parents to bring their children to work in anÂ emergency. Services to support new parents suchÂ as lactation rooms (51 percent), lactation supportÂ services (13 percent), and on-ramping programs forÂ parents returning to work (12 percent) have seenÂ steady increases.
- Leave and flexible working benefits. WhileÂ organizations have begun to focus more on benefitsÂ to support families, paid leave for new parents hasÂ changed little in the last year. Only about a third ofÂ organizations offer paid maternity and paternity leaveÂ (34 percent and 30 percent, respectively).
Nearly all organizations provide paid vacation (98Â percent) and sick days (95 percent), with most optingÂ to manage both options through a single paid timeÂ off bank (62 percent).
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