Posted June 6, 2017
Most employers place a high value on employee benefits for recruitment and retention of talented associates. As the economy grows, businesses are expanding operations. Employers recognize the importance of keeping employees engaged with their jobs, so they are providing more perks and benefits to encourage them to stay. Consider three emerging benefit trends:
Employees want more flexibility in their work so they can balance family commitments and personal interests. Employers are adjusting work and vacation schedules and adopting well-being programs to allow employees to focus on pursing their personal, community, financial, social and work goals. Gallup research shows that when these needs are addressed, employees are happier, more satisfied with their employers, and engaged with their work.
Student-loan repayment assistance
Employees appreciate jobs with opportunities to increase their salaries and health benefits to help them take care of themselves and their families. However, about 20 percent of employees, or 44 million people, are burdened with student-loan debt, with many owing $35,000. A new benefit some employers are offering assists employees in repaying student loans.
An American Student Assistance survey revealed:
- 76 percent of prospective employees would accept a job from employers offering this benefit.
- Employees prefer assistance in repaying their student loans over receiving matching funds for a 401(k) retirement plan.
Currently, only 4 percent of employers assist employees in repaying student loans, making it an excellent benefit for employee recruitment and retention. Ameritas offers a student-debt repayment program called BenefitEd, through its joint-venture with Nelnet. With BenefitEd, employers can customize the program to employees’ needs, such as payments toward student- loan debt or, for employees without student loans, payments to a 529 college savings plan.
Employees value medical insurance along with dental, ortho, vision, LASIK and hearing coverage. They also are interested in newer voluntary benefits that help them address other concerns in their lives, such as:
- Identification theft protection
- Critical illness insurance
- Pet insurance
Research shows that employees with access to voluntary benefits are more satisfied with their jobs.