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9 Emerging trends for employee benefits

9 Emerging trends for employee benefits

Great benefits are vital if you hope to attract and retain the best talent in your industry. Even if you believe your compensation and benefits package is competitive, it's essential to recognize that employee benefits trends constantly evolve. Given the fast-paced nature of today's professional landscape, businesses aiming to stay ahead must remain informed about the trending employee benefits that can move the needle.

Learn about all the latest trends in employee benefits here — we’re diving into the top 9 perks employees want today, including:

  • Remote work benefits
  • Mental health and well-being support
  • Fitness perks
  • Financial wellness programs
  • Childcare and family support
  • Diversity and inclusion initiatives
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Unlimited PTO
  • Health and wellness tech integration

1. Remote work benefits

The pandemic did more than just nudge us into the era of remote work. It started an employee benefits trend that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. The ability to work remotely is something that talented employees will likely continue to seek out in 2024 and beyond.

Recent research by Gallup found that more than half — 54% — of workers admit they’d be willing to leave a job for something that offers more flexibility in their work structure. Offering remote work options provides a healthy work-life balance for employees.

Our advice for 2024: Fostering a remote-friendly environment can give you the edge you need to attract a broader talent pool. Remote working arrangements can be an appealing benefit, eliminating taxing and draining commutes and providing greater autonomy in how employees manage their days. Studies suggest remote employees may experience lower stress levels, increased productivity, and greater job satisfaction. All in all, if you want to improve your employee benefits package, consider offering remote work as one of your employee perks.

2. Mental health and well-being support

In recent years, offering support for employee mental health has become a central focal point for companies. Businesses today acknowledge the importance of employee mental well-being, and they’re more willing than ever to provide the support their workforce needs.  

To answer this call, online platforms like Talkspace offer convenient, affordable, and easily accessible mental health services for struggling employees seeking help. In 2022, nearly 20% of adults in the United States experienced at least one mental health condition — a testament to the need for accessible care options. 

Our advice for 2024: To effectively implement a mental health benefits strategy in the upcoming year, it’s essential to first take the time to understand the needs of your workforce. You can use surveys or focus groups to tailor your approach. Then, you can make compelling resources available — like access to online therapy for employees, reimbursement for mindfulness apps, stress management workshop opportunities, and more.

3. Fitness perks

Promoting fitness and health in your organization is about more than just looking good — it’s well-known that exercise releases endorphins that make us feel good, too. Encourage a healthy and active lifestyle by offering fitness perks that work to increase productivity and job satisfaction. In the long run, this is likely to lower overall health-related costs, since the people who work for you will be healthier and might need less medical care.

Our advice for 2024: You don’t need a huge budget to prioritize fitness in your company. Even the smallest steps can significantly enhance job satisfaction, productivity, and a positive workplace culture. If you want to boost benefits utilization, consider giving employees access to valuable perks like:

  • Gym memberships
  • In-house facilities
  • Fitness challenges
  • Healthy break room snacks and beverages
  • Physical fitness-related workshops or retreats
  • Company-sponsored 5K walks or events

4. Financial wellness programs

One popular trending employee benefit we hear a lot about these days is wellness programs in the workplace. However, the concept of financial wellness programs, that aim to reduce employee financial stress, is often overlooked. 

These programs are about more than just salary hikes, financial incentives, or performance bonuses. Research links financial stressors to reduced productivity, increased time taken off work, and a higher likelihood of employees leaving their jobs for better pay. 

In short, when employees are stressed about their finances, the impact can often be felt organization-wide. Investing in financial wellness programs is a great benefit offering that will ultimately help your company.

Our advice for 2024: Provide strategic information on budgeting tools, debt counseling, and retirement planning. These game-winning tactics can help you stand out against your competition, increase company morale, ramp up productivity, enhance employee retention rates, and ultimately improve your bottom line.

5. Childcare and family support

A recent study found that, on average, working parents spent more than a quarter of their total household income (27%) on child care in 2022 — and that’s up from the previous year’s 24%. Today’s families can pay an astounding four times what’s considered “affordable,” according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Work-life balance has become more of a focus and priority for many organizations. Companies that focus on a benefits strategy that offers childcare support and flexible scheduling might see a competitive edge that allows them to draw top talent and maintain happier employees, which is always good for business.

Our advice for 2024: Before opening that in-house daycare, make sure you’re providing employees with families the support they need most. Ask what would help working parents, so you can implement effective benefits that will be useful. This might mean offering remote or flex schedules, on-site daycare, or childcare reimbursement. Remember, the same solution probably doesn’t work for everyone on your team — so take your time figuring out what will be most helpful in your quest to become a family-friendly employer.  

6. Diversity and inclusion initiatives

Diversity and inclusion are more than just trendy buzzwords today. Initiatives that aim to create environments where people feel valued, heard, and seen can pay off in multiple ways. 

According to Glassdoor research, more than 3 quarters of job seekers (76%) say that an organization’s diversity is something they research and consider before accepting a job offer. 

SHRM’s recent State of the Workplace Learning and Development Executive Summary 2022 found that for 88% of respondents, being in an equitable, diverse, and inclusive environment is one of the most crucial components of a positive workplace. 

Our advice for 2024: To drive change at your company, assess your current workforce and assess employee needs within your company. Start by analyzing metrics like race, gender, age group representation, and other factors to identify gaps that need attention. You can also implement important and effective company policies and strategies to course correct as needed by doing the following:

  • Making diversity and inclusion training mandatory
  • Training leadership on the critical value of diverse and inclusive policies 
  • Using inclusive hiring practices
  • Improving the lines of communication by establishing open-door policies
  • Creating safe and confidential ways for people to report concerns without having a fear of retribution

7. Professional development opportunities

Most employees want the potential for growth in their role at a company. Professional development opportunities are an employee benefits trend that’s expected to gain even more momentum in the future. 

SHRM reports that nearly 92% of workers say being able to grow dramatically impacts their job satisfaction. Offering professional development and growth opportunities isn’t just good for morale; it’s smart for business, too. Companies with robust training and education programs regularly see higher productivity and lower turnover rates.

Our advice for 2024: Host relevant skills-building workshops or certification classes that are tailored to your industry or brand. You can also offer role-specific training that helps employees move up the ranks. If you’re planning to support continuing education opportunities, consider leveraging digital platforms that are more flexible and conducive to various learning styles and paces.

8. Unlimited PTO

Unlimited Paid Time Off (PTO) may sound like a benefit that couldn’t work. Yet, the concept is gaining popularity among companies willing to do what it takes to hire the best of the best. 

Not convinced? Multiple studies show that offering unlimited PTO actually increases employee productivity, employee engagement, and job satisfaction.

Our advice for 2024: Implementing unlimited PTO as an employee perk is not saying that every day is a holiday. Specific guidelines must be implemented and followed for this benefit to be effective. To create an unlimited PTO policy in your company, use the following tips:

  • Create clear policies around usage
  • Encourage employees to not feel guilty about taking time off
  • Reinforce the idea that paid time off does not mean an employee is slacking
  • Promote a culture of trust, where leadership believes in their teams’ ability and commitment, even when they’re out of the office

9. Health and wellness tech integration

Gone are the days when gym membership reimbursements were the only way you can make health a company priority. Today, tech has taken the health and wellness industry to new heights, making it easier than ever for employees to stay mentally and physically fit. 

Using digital tools to create a healthier and more positive work environment isn’t a trend going anywhere anytime soon. Wearable devices indicate the growing acceptance of tech for personal well-being management — and smart companies can benefit from promoting them. 

Our advice for 2024: Survey your company about their health and wellness goals. Partner with platforms like Fitbit Health Solutions or Peloton’s Corporate Wellness. These apps and platforms help employees make positive physical changes in their lives by tracking goal-driven progress, promoting healthy and active lifestyles. Consider partnering with Talkspace to also provide convenient virtual mental health support 

Remember, healthy employees are more productive, and your investment in health and wellness tech integration can pay off in more ways than just having a physically healthy workforce.

Enhance your employee benefits with Talkspace

Staying competitive enough to attract top talent in 2024 will be easier when you know about the future of employee benefits that will make a difference. Implement the benefits discussed here today, as they fit into your company culture, to ensure you stay ahead.

Upgrading to meet the latest trends in employee benefits can mean offering mental health support from an effective platform like Talkspace. Convenient and accessible online therapy is an effective way to demonstrate how much you care about your employees.

Contact Talkspace to learn more about how you can invest in mental health services that enhance your employee benefits offerings.

Sources:

  1. Hickman, Adam, and Jennifer Robison. “Is Working Remotely Effective? Gallup Research Says Yes.” Gallup.com, January 24, 2020. https://www.gallup.com/workplace/283985/working-remotely-effective-gallup-research-says-yes.aspx.  
  2. “Surprising Working from Home Productivity Statistics (2023).” Apollo Technical LLC, January 3, 2023. https://www.apollotechnical.com/working-from-home-productivity-statistics/.  
  3. “Adult Data 2022.” Mental Health America, 2022. https://www.mhanational.org/issues/2022/mental-health-america-adult-data.  
  4. Harber, Victoria J., and John R. Sutton. “Endorphins and Exercise.” Sports Medicine 1, no. 2 (1984): 154–71. https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-198401020-00004.  
  5. “Special Report: Financial Stress and the Bottom Line.” PwC, September 2017. https://resources.salaryfinance.com/hubfs/PwC%20Financial%20Education%20Report:%20Financial%20stress%20and%20the%20bottom%20line.pdf.
  6. “New Care.Com Report Reveals Soaring Childcare Costs Are Crippling Majority of American Families.” Care.com Corporate, June 13, 2023. https://www.care.com/about/press/new-care-com-report-reveals-soaring-childcare-costs-are-crippling-majority-of-american-families.
  7. “Glassdoor’s Diversity and Inclusion Workplace Survey.” Glassdoor, September 29, 2020. https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/glassdoors-diversity-and-inclusion-workplace-survey/.  
  8. “2022 Workplace Learning & Development Trends - SHRM.” SHRM, 2022. https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/trends-and-forecasting/research-and-surveys/Documents/2022%20Workplace%20Learning%20and%20Development%20Trends%20Report.pdf.  
  9. O’Loughlin, Henry. “Unlimited Pto Statistics (2023).” Buildremote, July 24, 2023. https://buildremote.co/unlimited-pto/vacation-statistics/

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