There was a time when only HR professionals were concerned about the nuts and bolts of employee benefits such as paid leave, telework and health care. Perhaps a top recruit asked a question or a female worker expecting her first child sought clarification on the Family and Medical Leave Act. Or maybe it was HR’s perennial favorite time of year: open enrollment season.
Not any longer. Employee benefits have gone mainstream.
Today, companies make news with their latest and greatest perks, ranging from unlimited vacation to free college degrees to, most recently, student loan payments. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made headlines when he took time off for parenting, and Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer stirred controversy after opting to drop her company’s telework option.
Even in the political arena, paid leave has officially become a hot topic. More and more, policies once discussed by HR professionals and managers around conference room tables are now being hashed out in national conversations. That’s why I say we are in the Decade of Human Capital.
In the modern workplace, there is greater diversity—age, gender, ethnicity and more. The tenured career is on the decline, and the freelance nation is on the rise. Employees must balance work and personal lives that are more intertwined than ever before. Moreover, advances in technology have given people greater flexibility than they’ve ever had to work when, where and how they choose. According to SHRM research, telecommuting has tripled in the past 20 years.
Read this month’s issue of HR Magazine to learn more about why the “so-called” typical worker no longer exists.
Know that, as you adjust your company’s benefits offerings, you are doing far more than simply adding new programs. You are shifting the employee-employer relationship to an approach that makes sense for people and organizations in the 21st century workplace.
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