What Benefits Do Employees Want Most?

What Benefits Do Employees Want Most?

HR professionals and recruiters know that attracting top talent isn’t simply about posting job listings and conducting interviews. It’s also about making sure open positions come with the kinds of benefits that are most important to employees.

However, employee attitudes are constantly shifting. The benefits and perks that may have been attractive to workers in the past might not have the same appeal today. Also, new benefits and perks may be of a higher priority to job candidates now than they were in the past.

Read on for some of the more crucial benefits employees look for. While you don’t necessarily need to offer all of these perks when filling vacancies at an organization, their importance can be easy to overlook. Keep them in mind if you’re trying to make open positions look as attractive as possible.

Work/Life Balance

The rise of e-mail, messaging apps, and similar other technologies have made it easier than ever for employees to continue working, even if they should have clocked out for the day.

This may be why a certain degree of work/life balance has become increasingly important to today’s workforce. While in decades past, workers were unavailable to their place of employment as soon as they left the office for the day, today, employees have had a markedly different experience. They know that employers may be in contact throughout the day via e-mail, text, or chat. It’s simply a reality of work for them.

work-life balance

Accepting this, they seek out employers who offer flexible scheduling and work-from-home options in exchange for working longer hours. If they’re going to be working beyond the typical nine-to-five schedule, they at least want to know they’ll still have time to focus on other important life priorities.

Take the time to develop a plan for offering more work/life balance at your company. Although this may involve making significant adjustments to your benefits packages and overall operations, boosting work/life balance engages employees and improves retention rates. This can guard against the high cost of employee turnover.

Unlimited Vacation

Offering a degree of work/life balance may sound reasonable enough to you and other major decision-makers at the organizations for which you’re recruiting, but unlimited vacation, on the other hand, may sound like a recipe for disaster. How can you expect workers not to take advantage of such a flexible policy? More importantly, if they do, how you can hold them accountable for abusing it if doing so doesn’t have a clearly negative impact on their performance?

On the contrary, research indicates that when companies offer unlimited vacation, workers tend to take fewer days off than they did when there was a limit on how much paid vacation they could take.

There are a few reasons this may be the case. For one, limited vacation days typically expire at the end of the year. This incentivizes employees to “use them or lose them.”  Secondly, offering unlimited vacation indicates the organization has a degree of trust in (and respect for) its employees. As a result, workers are more engaged and feel less of a desire to find job opportunities elsewhere.

That’s not to say unlimited vacation policies are always ideal. They can only be offered to workers whose wages are tied to whether they get their work done. Workers paid by the hour may not qualify. That said, by experimenting with this policy, you may find it delivers surprising results.


Fitness Club Memberships

Organizations need to support the health and well-being of their workers. Healthy employees are more likely to be productive, engaged, and, well, present.

That’s a good reason to offer fitness club memberships as part of a benefits package. On top of that, working out is one of the most effective (and safe) ways to reduce stress. The less stressed employees are, the happier they’ll be on the job. If workers share the same gym membership, they might also work out together, fostering the social bonds that boost retention.

Just remember, these are merely a few extra benefits and perks worth considering. You still need to stay abreast of developing employee attitudes. When you know what employees want, you’re more equipped to offer it.

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