A recent survey of 3,000 employees at small and medium businesses revealed “unconventional benefits” can go a long way in helping them be satisfied in the jobs.
Since it’s becoming harder and harder to keep employees in jobs, it’s forcing employers to look beyond traditional benefits like health and dental insurance, and start focusing on the unconventional.
The SMB employees surveyed said they would like commuter benefits, flex time, remote work and volunteer time to be part of their benefits package.
In return, businesses would see improvements in morale, retention and company culture, according to the survey by HR services provider TriNet.
The survey’s release comes at a historic time in the job market. The Department of Labor said in September that people are quitting their jobs at a level that hasn’t been seen since 2001.
In the department’s Jobs Opening and Labor Survey report, which covered July 2018 labor stats, the department said job openings are at an 18-year high.
There are currently 6.94 million open jobs in the US. The largest share of workers since 2001 quit their jobs, with 2.4 percent of the workforce voluntarily leaving.
As the economy expands and workers feel confident they can land better opportunities, the benefits package is one-way employers can compete to find the best talent.
“With low unemployment and more jobs available than job seekers, it is an important time for companies to re-evaluate their incentive and benefit offerings to recruit and retain employees,” said Catherine Wragg, senior vice president of Human Resources at TriNet.
“Non-traditional benefits can help employers stand out by offering uncommon perks that can be meaningful to employees, positively impact company culture, and potentially help retain top talent.”
Here are some ideas from the survey to get you going:
Employees want to save money on their commutes. While some local governments and agencies currently mandate commuter benefits programs, most of the country does not. However, commuter benefits are a federal government fringe benefit that helps employers and employees.
Employees can save up to 40 percent on their commuting costs by putting aside tax-free money from their paychecks to pay for it. Employers then save up to 7.65 percent in payroll taxes. One of the benefits of this program is that it isn’t hard to manage when you use an administrator like Edenred Commuter Benefits Solutions.
Flexibility and non-traditional work setups
Workers also said they want flexible scheduling, remote work options, unlimited time off and paid company shutdowns during major holidays.
Commuter benefits help with work-life balance. However, respondents also said they’d like to have education assistance, health and wellness assistance, paid leave (excluding vacation pay, sick pay and paid time off and childcare benefits).
Don’t forget the pet
Respondents enjoyed bringing their pets to work, and about 30 percent are allowed to do so.
Younger workers vs. older workers
Do you employ Millennials or hope to hire more? According to TriNet, they want paid leave, health and wellness and work-life balance benefits most of all.
However, if you employ workers aged 65 or older, stick to fine-tuning your traditional benefits. TriNet says 25 percent of respondents in the age range of 65 and older rated non-traditional benefits as not important.
Does saving money on payroll taxes and helping your employees sound good to you? If you want to know more about commuter benefits, download our 101 Guide: