Now more than ever, benefits matter. With an abundance of vacant jobs and job seekers demanding more from their potential employer, the benefits a company offers can be the difference between a candidate saying yes or no to a job offer. Standard benefits are still expected, but unique employee benefits can be especially appealing in this tough market.
Different from a hybrid workplace, flexible workplaces are a unique employee benefit that’s gaining traction. Many employees need flexible schedules that allow them to balance work and life demands better. Flex schedule examples include employees working a split day or working longer some days and taking other days off. Women left the workplace in droves by the end of 2020 as a result of the pandemic. To bring this talent back, flexible schedules are a must. Organizations like Bus Stop Mamas are driving this movement forward.
Some employers give employees the day off when it’s their birthday or provide PTO for all employees between Christmas and New Years Day. These extra PTO days go a long way toward reducing burnout and improving employee morale with time to celebrate special occasions. Some organizations are already offering flexible PTO and others unlimited PTO, but these bonus days off create a culture of rest and recovery for better productivity.
A rise in the need for mental health support has led some workplaces to create a unique employee benefit by offering a pet-friendly environment for employees. Research suggests that having a dog around can help increase focus and reduce stress for employees. Pets also help relational wellbeing for employees who tend to be less social. Interacting with a dog helps them connect with others who are doing the same, spurring conversation and connection.
As more of the workforce is working from home, many people are adopting pets. The addition of voluntary pet insurance is a unique employee benefit that’s being added in response to this surge. 20% of employers surveyed currently offer this voluntary benefit, and researchers predict that 27% of employers will offer the benefit in 2023.
Tutoring & Child Care Help
Another unique employee benefit that emerged as a result of the pandemic is assistance with tutoring and child care for those with children. As schools shifted to online or hybrid schooling, school-aged children needed additional help from their caregivers and also needed a place to go with schools and after-school programs closed. In response, a stipend for tutoring and child care assistance was added by some creative employers to help parents who were, and still are, in a bind.
Target recently announced that “it would offer all U.S. front-line employees debt-free assistance with certain educational costs through provider Guild Education.” The decision now matches the popular benefit Walmart has been offering to their employees since 2018. Encouraging both part and full time employees to continue their education is part of the investment in people that sets it apart as a unique employee benefit.
Benefits will continue to evolve with the changing needs of today’s employee and unique employee benefits will continue to attract top employees for great organizations.