With an increasingly knowledgeable and experienced job market, companies must be innovative to create advantageous benefits and perks to attract high-achieving talent. The COVID-19 pandemic not only changed workplace conditions but also shifted employees’ priorities and expectations of caring employers. These expectations have created a ripple effect across the workforce that will leave a long-lasting impact.
The best employee benefits are those that enrich the lives of on-the-go professionals who desire balance between work and personal time. Likewise, they are extra incentives — or the cherry on top — that makes a job proposal much more enjoyable.
What benefits do employees value most? There’s really no one-size-fits-all package. Many employers offer a wide variety of benefits to accommodate a diverse workforce, which now include perks that help remote employees achieve both company and personal goals, as well as optimal physical, mental, and financial health.
Let’s talk about the best employee benefits that are valued the most in a post-COVID world.
10 Best Employee Benefits in 2022
The following list features the 10 most desired employee benefits that progressive staff are looking for in this new era.
1. Remote Work and Flexible Schedules
While many employers were skeptical about whether or not working remotely affects workflows and individual productivity, the pandemic proved that many workers can perform their jobs well — if not better. In fact, 94% of bosses felt that there was hardly any decline in productivity rates from when employees were taking up a desk at the office, with some even saying that the output was better when people started working from home and flexing time.
Looking ahead, long-term remote work and flex time options are two of the most desired employee benefits that can also translate to huge overhead cost savings for the company. Even with the rise in vaccinations, offices are under no pressure to reopen, with 92% of remote employees still expecting to continue with a work-from-home setup at least once per week and 80% hoping for the same at least three times per week.
Flexible scheduling also has several benefits. Employees can plan their workday around busy hours to maximize their productivity. Additionally, workers can plan their workday around life events like doctor’s appointments or kids’ soccer games. It is a desired employee benefit that helps people improve their work-life balance and work on their terms.
2. Childcare and Family Benefits
Family and parental benefits are what workers desire to have more of in the new year. Having childcare and family benefits give parents ease of mind to temporarily leave the workforce to bond with their family or take care of their needs without fear of repercussions.
This popular benefit encompasses a wide range of items, including adoption assistance, paid parental leave, surrogacy operations, time off to care for a sick child or spouse, and the ability to attend to immediate needs. The many challenges brought by the pandemic significantly affected working parents, who now have to get their jobs done while juggling with homeschooling and other personal activities that draw a very fine line between work and home life.
3. Telecommuting and Home Office Expenses
Telecommuting, or remote work, is a popular benefit in companies that do not heavily rely on employees being in the office, but the pandemic has made it necessary for almost all industries.
Employees can make themselves comfortable in any environment that inspires them to do their best work — and has an internet connection. In addition, there is a wealth of coworking spaces that welcome entrepreneurs and remote workers to collaborate.
Remote work has several benefits: zero commute time, flexible schedule, increased productivity, and improved work-life balance, and employee retention. Ultimately, telecommuting is a win for both the employee and employer!
To ensure that employees have all the resources they need to operate remotely, many companies are investing in equipment or giving out reimbursements and allowances for home office expenses. This coveted employee benefit is supported by one in five companies who are willing to pay for their staff’s home office needs.
4. Professional Development Programs
Career stagnation plays a significant role in employee retention, which is particularly important in the pandemic setup. Employees that do not feel challenged, and as if they are not progressing, are more likely to seek alternative employment options. Given the amount of time and high cost to hire great new people, companies have to make sure their good employees stay.
Professional development programs and conferences or webinars allow employees to grow their skill sets and explore new areas of work. Additionally, professional development mentorships present unique opportunities for employees to visualize promotion possibilities and learn more about the business.
In the long term, professional development programs are a worthwhile investment that benefits the employee and employer.
5. Financial Planning Benefits
Retirement is a hot-button topic for savvy employees thinking ahead to the future. Retroactively, traditional employee benefits packages include life insurance and a variety of retirement savings plans, like traditional 401k, Roth 401k, and more.
With an ever changing economic environment, employees seek out further financial assistance to enrich their financial knowledge. Correspondingly, more employers are now offering financial planning services that include paid consultation with financial advisers.
With this much-desired company benefit, employees can make educated decisions about their finances, plan for significant life events — like buying a house or having a child — and prepare for the future.
6. Employee Resource Groups
Employee resource groups are a safe space for diverse communities to seek mentorship, feedback, and community. Depending on the workforce, there are a variety of specialty groups that an employer can support, including veterans, single parents in the workforce, and more.
There are several benefits that employees can reap from employee resource groups. For example, employees can connect with company leaders and gain a better understanding of the company. Even more, employees that seek out ERG’s are more engaged in their work and company culture.
7. Mental Health Support
COVID-19 has made a significant impact on employees’ mental health, making it evident for companies to provide comprehensive benefits to ensure their staff are mentally and emotionally healthy. While this desired company benefit is nothing new, the collective trauma that workforces experienced when the pandemic hit necessitated providing better support for staff. In fact, 39% of employers added more mental health support to their benefits in 2020 in response to this need.
8. Paid Sick Days and/or Time Off
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’ll be surprised to know that 32 million workers in the U.S. do not get paid sick days. Paid sick days and vacation time goes a long way toward boosting your employees’ quality of life and morale.
9. Health Insurance Benefits
One of the best employee benefits that a company can give is health insurance. The organization takes care of the monthly premiums to cover a staff member’s medical needs, which may include hospitalization, losses from disability or accidents, and sudden death. Having health coverage gives employees the confidence to perform optimally knowing that the company cares.
10. Performance Bonuses and Rewards
There are different structures and types for performance bonuses, mostly rewarding employees for meeting or exceeding their responsibilities. The bonuses can be in the form of cash, high-value items, stock options or equity, or whatever works depending on what your staff will respond to most positively. Create a clear and transparent rewards system that encourages your employees to go above and beyond professional goals to create a win-win situation for the company and the team.
Fair compensation and lucrative company benefits can make or break a job offer — thoroughly research the best employee benefits and the best companies at BestCompaniesAZ. Likewise, if you’re stuck in the job search cycle, BestCompaniesAZ has a plethora of job hunting resources and interview guides to help you nail the job search and find your dream job. Don’t wait another moment — good luck job hunting!