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It’s no secret that the role benefits play in attracting quality employees is growing. Benefits are now viewed as equally important as salary in today’s world. In the past, salary had been highlighted as the key component of an individual’s job. Benefits are vital for the recruitment portion of bringing on employees. It’s also critical for retaining employees; if a competitor offers a benefit, your employees could jump ship. So with all the talk of benefits, and new niche ones being introduced every day, what are the five most meaningful benefits you should be offering? Let’s dig into it.

Five Meaningful Benefits Employees Actually Care About

1. Health benefits

Health benefits are increasingly important for employees to feel financially secure. Employees consistently report this is the most important benefit they look for aside from pay. Benefits are a way to make sure that employees have a good quality of life. Some of those benefits include health, dental and vision. To be more competitive, organizations can offer several options for healthcare plans such as traditional healthcare plans and high-deductible healthcare plans.

Another important option for employees is telemedicine. Telemedicine became increasingly popular in recent years and has become a valuable tool. It saves both time and money for employees by allowing virtual visits for minor injuries or illnesses. Having several options gives employees a sense of control with their health benefits. In addition to having several plans or visit options, health benefits can include Health Savings Account (HSA) or a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Having a pre-tax benefit to help pay medical bills reduces the stress of paying for medical costs.

2. Flexibility and PTO

People have complex lives, and they need their employers to understand that they have a life outside of work. Parents in particular need to have the freedom to adjust their schedules when necessary. Between extracurriculars and children’s health, parents never know what the day may look like. Therefore, they need that flexibility to make sure they can be there for their children. Offering employees a competitive amount of PTO signals that the organization values an adequate work/life balance.

Flexible schedules also allow employees to make appointments throughout the week without worrying about taking time off. Employees can focus on being their healthiest self, which leads to an improvement in the quality of work. Offering flexible scheduling and ample PTO is critical for mitigating employee burnout. When studying the effects of PTO on a company, results show that the companies with more employees that take PTO have higher morale, higher productivity and less absenteeism.

3. Remote work

Remote work recently became a necessity and now it is known to be possible for a wide variety of jobs. Employees want to have the option to work remotely and will seek out jobs that offer remote work instead of in office work. This shift has been more apparent as employers have started encouraging workers to come back to the office. However, employees will leave your company for a company that offers remote work. Remote work dovetails with employees’ increasing desire for flexibility. Less time spent commuting saves them money and gives them more time with their family or others. Due to the recent changes in the workplace, organizations are recognizing that employees can complete their jobs from home. Studies are even finding that productivity while working remotely is actually better than working in an office setting. Remote work is also beneficial to employers because it increases the amount of candidates that can work for a company. An increase in candidate diversity is a positive direction for companies that are employee-focused.

4. Student loan or tuition assistance

Younger generations have developed a reputation for ‘job-hopping’. Studies show that most younger workers will leave a workplace within 2-5 years. The current labor market has made it easy for employees to find more opportunities than previously. If your company wants to attract young talent, and more importantly, retain that talent, offering student loan assistance would be a huge helping hand.

Most students graduate with an extensive amount of student loan debt and any help with that is an attractive benefit. It also helps employees feel supported by their company. Due to tuition assistance being based on a number of years of service for the organization, retention is easier to attain with this benefit. Word of mouth can also attract other young employees to your company; and the development of professional social platforms such as LinkedIn and GlassDoor make word travel even faster.

5. Continuing Education

Continuing education can have a massive impact on employee satisfaction. It can shift employees’ view about their role and future at your business. If an organization stresses continuing education, it will facilitate learning and therefore promotion. When employees start at a company, most want to have a clear path for promotion, so by implementing a continuing education program, it shows employees that you are committed to helping employees climb the ladder.

An employee continuing their education does not only benefit the employee, but the organization as well. Educated employees add in a new perspective and can help communicate new knowledge in their industry. Providing help for continuing education also helps make your company more inclusive. It shows that anyone can continue education, no matter where they are in life, which promotes a positive workplace and demonstrates an employee focus.

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