Trends in Employee Benefits - How to Make a Difference

When one hears the words employee benefits, typically health insurance pops into the mind (rightly so since the Center for Disease Control states there 28.4 million under age 65 uninsured in 2016), vacation, personal time, What exactly are the trending benefits employers offer to their employees outside of traditional benefits?

Often times there is a misconception that employers are required to provide benefits like health insurance. Certainly, employees know how valuable health, dental, and vision plans, life insurance, retirement plans, and paid personal time off are.

These benefits are tacked on to the employee salary and create a package that makes the employer more desirable.

"Give employees the benefits they value, and they'll be more satisfied, miss fewer workdays, be less likely to quit, and have higher commitment to meeting the company's goals," says Joe Lineberry, a senior vice president at Aon Consulting, a human resources consulting firm. "The research shows that when employees feel their benefits needs are satisfied, they're more productive." (Entrepreneur Magazine) Ok, a show of hands.....drum roll please! Do know the basics about benefits?

U.S. law requires employers to provide employees:

  • Give employees time off to vote, serve on a jury and perform military service.

  • Comply with all workers' compensation requirements.

  • Withhold FICA taxes from employees' paychecks and pay your own portion of FICA taxes, providing employees with retirement and disability benefits.

  • Pay state and federal unemployment taxes, thus providing benefits for unemployed workers.

  • Contribute to state short-term disability programs in states where such programs exist.

  • Comply with the Federal Family and Medical Leave (FMLA).

I have heard of trends with employers in central Florida where nutrition shoppers are hired by the company to ensure healthy foods are offered as snacks per survey results. Other firms also hire a company chef to prepare yummy delectable delights once or twice a week. That is an AWESOMELY incredible benefit, honestly who doesn’t want to have someone cook them gourmet food that is healthy and scrumptious?

While hiring a nutritionist or chef might not meet your budget there are other options that you have as a small business owners. Other trends that are easy for small to medium size businesses to implement; require some strategy and establishing a policy about perks and benefits that are additional incentives for employees

  • Flexible schedules

  • Work from home

  • Pet friendly environments

  • Volunteering with a nonprofit once a month (paid time off)

  • Company events centered around team building

  • Tuition assistance (partial or full)

“A perk typically consists of something that could help the employee perform a job better. More traditional perks at work may include a company car (which the employee also uses as a personal vehicle), discount travel fares, and exclusive access to premium hotel suites, while the newer breed of perks could include Summer Fridays, gym memberships, standing desks, and off-site team building activities” (Justworks).

“Millennials make up around 45% of the workforce, and they’d rather spend their money doing something cool and having an experience than buying or having material things,” said Jai Al-Attas, the 33-year-old founder of Loqules. “They’re a lot more socially aware, and they want to be part of companies or groups that give back to the community in some way.” (LA Times)