With the makeup of the workforce changing, the benefits employees value are changing as well. Gen Z and Millennials are edging out Baby Boomers and Gen Xers for the lionshare of the workplace… so what benefits are important to these employees? What will they value that will help you not only recruit but retain top talent? I talk to hundreds of employees each month, and hear firsthand what staff are looking for.
Here are five benefits employees love:
Student Loan Repayment Assistance
In a Student Loan Hero survey, 54 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 24 stated they’d rather have student loan repayment assistance than a 401k plan. Debt creates financial stress for employees, which can lower their productivity and engagement at work. Consider offering student loan repayment assistance to not only retain and attract employees but help ease their financial stress.
Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce, and they also own more pets than any generation prior to them. Also, the average American spent at least $15 billion at the vet last year alone, which is why employers offering pet insurance in 2019 will have a competitive advantage in recruiting and retaining millennial talent. Pet insurance helps employees cover the cost of medicine and vet care, which can be very costly!
Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)
Offering an EAP is one way employers can help employees who are struggling with personal or work-related problems. EAPs give employees free access to confidential services for grievance, drug and alcohol abuse, counseling, financial support and more. It can in turn decrease absenteeism and increase productivity and engagement in employees, as they will be less distracted by issues outside of work.
Identity theft protection
In today’s digital era, avoiding identity theft is top of mind for many professionals. Identity theft protection is a benefit companies can offer mainly as a voluntary benefit that helps employees with the finances and legal aid necessary to handle identity theft. Dealing with identity theft can be extremely distracting and stressful for employees and those who have the protection will be less distracted if they fall victim to it.
Pre-Paid Legal Insurance
Employee performance can be hindered due to the stress and distraction cause by any legal issue the employee may be facing. Pre-paid legal insurance provides basic legal consulting (so employees don’t have to seek counsel on their own) for any legal matter like traffic tickets, name changes, prenuptial agreements and small claims assistance, to name a couple. It’s a nice-to-have benefit that helps employees feel protected and at ease, allowing them to be far more productive in executing their day-to-day tasks.
There are a lot of ways to use benefits to recruit and retain talent. Get creative and ask employees for feedback on what they like in their existing benefits package and what they’re hoping to see more of. This feedback will continuously help you better your offerings to continue hiring and keeping the best.
Originally posted on SHRM Chicago Blog.