At The Olson Group, we strive to help employers build programs that deliver benefits employees want and benefits they didn’t even know they wanted. And the imperative to construct a benefits plan employees desire is as great as ever.
A robust job market has given employees and job-seekers a nearly unprecedented amount of leverage. This leverage has increased the competition for the best talent. So, for employers to remain competitive in the talent race, it’s a necessity they understand what the best prospects want from their benefits and their employer.
In this article, we’ll tell you the top 11 benefits your workers want, according to a 2018 Gallup survey. Plus, we’ll give you a short definition of each benefit and how it can help both your employees and your organization. The following are the percentage of employees who say they would leave their job for another if that offered the described benefit.
11. Full-Time Flexible Working Locations – 35%
10. Part-Time Flexible Working Locations – 37%
Both numbers 11 and ten on this list are about flexible working locations. Flexible working locations give your workers the flexibility to choose where they work. The desire for flexible working locations or remote work has only increased over the past few years. But these flexible working arrangements have also produced meaningful, and measurable results.
A 2018 Zenefits survey found 73 percent of employees said flexible work arrangements increased their satisfaction at work. Similarly, a study conducted by Stanford Professor Nicholas Bloom found flexible workers used sick leave less often than those without flexible work options.
This data demonstrates the potential power of flexible work. If you could improve both the satisfaction and health of your employees, why wouldn’t you?
9. Profit Sharing – 40%
A profit-sharing plan is a form of a retirement benefit. These plans are a type of defined contribution plan. Profit-sharing gives employees a percentage share of the company’s profit for that quarter or year. The employer creates these accounts and accepts discretionary employer contributions.
Profit-sharing plans allow businesses to align employer and employee values. Similarly, they give workers a greater sense of ownership with their employer.
8. Paid Leave – 48%
Paid employee leave is an essential benefit to today’s workforce. This benefit gives employees the chance to unplug from the workplace and “recharge their batteries.” When your staff can get away if only for a day or two, it allows them to come back refreshed and ready to work. Taking time off from work has been linked to:
- Increased Productivity
- Greater Engagement
- Better Recruitment
- Boosted Creativity, and
- Increased Retention
7. Insurance Coverage Other Than Health (Dental/Vision/Etc.) – 48%
The seventh most desired employee benefit was insurance coverage other than health. Dental and vision coverage are both much desired and utilized despite the fact they typically fully cover only routine procedures. Still, both are vital to a competitive employee benefits package.
And, not only do they help your employees, but they benefit your company as well. Employers gain as much as $7 for every dollar spent on vision coverage. Similarly, workers lose an average of 164 million work hours each year because of dental disease. Both types of coverages can help your employees stay healthier and more productive overall.
6. Retirement Plan/401(k) with Employer Matches – 50%
Money, whether you know it or not, is likely negatively affecting a significant portion of your staff. A 2018 Bankrate study found 46 percent of employees consider finances their primary source of stress. Similarly, per a BenefitsPro survey, 65 percent of employees reported worrying about running out of money in retirement.
One way to help these financially stressed employees is to provide a company-sponsored retirement plan with employer matches. Plus, this year is the first in many in which Social Security will pay out more money than it takes in. Employees need to prepare for retirement now and plan for a retirement in which Social Security isn’t around.
5. Flex-Time – 51%
The fifth most desired benefit is flexible time. Flexible time means giving your staff the ability to choose when they work. Flexible time lets your employees work around other obligations and work when they know they’ll be the most productive. Flexible working options, which include flex-time, give your firm a myriad of benefits including:
- Decreased costs
- Better rate of retention
- Improved recruiting
- A greener business, and
- Greater productivity
4. Retirement Plan with Defined Benefits – 51%
As previously discussed, your employees are worried about their money and their retirement. A great way to assuage these fears is through a retirement plan with defined benefits. A defined benefits plan, often called a pension plan, gives employees a defined benefit determined by a particular formula.
These plans define the specific monthly benefit employees receive at retirement and are usually funded solely by the employer. There are no individual accounts under a defined benefit plan, and money is held in a trust fund until it begins paying out to the individual at average retirement age (typically 65).
3. Paid Vacation – 53%
Paid vacation is another form of paid leave. Unfortunately, while most businesses offer their staff some type of paid vacation, these paid days of leave often go unused. In 2016, Americans left 662 million vacation days on the table, according to Project: Time Off.
So, it’s not good enough to just offer paid vacation to your employees. Organizations should push their staff to use their days off. Taking a paid leave has been linked to:
- Greater employee engagement
- Better recruitment
- Boosted creativity
- Increased retention, and
- Improve productivity
2. Monetary Bonuses – 54%
Cash, dinero, bucks, stacks. Whatever you call it, your employees want money. The number two most desired benefit was monetary bonuses. Profit-sharing is a specific kind of monetary bonus we’ve already discussed. Piece rates, pay raises, and contests are all other ways to offer employees a monetary bonus.
1. Health Insurance – 61%
Finally, the number one most desired benefit for employees is health insurance. While it may be overlooked by many, health coverage remains the most vital employee benefit. This importance is in large part due to the ever-increasing cost of healthcare. In 2015, U.S. healthcare costs totaled $3.2 trillion, or an average of $9,990 a year per person.
Your employees are paying more for healthcare than they ever had. Because of these ballooning costs, the importance of affordable, quality healthcare coverage will only increase.
This article is by no means a comprehensive list of every employee benefit you can or should include in your organization’s benefits program. Still, you can use this list to build a solid foundation for your benefits offerings. And, if you need further advice, make sure to contact an Olson Group benefits consultant today.