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12 Inclusive benefits to offer employees in 2024

12 Inclusive benefits to offer employees in 2024

Inclusive benefits have become the cornerstone of any attractive compensation package. They can meet the needs of today’s employees who are seeking environments where they feel valued and supported. A recent survey conducted by Glassdoor and The Harris Poll found that more than 3 quarters (76%) of job seekers now view diversity as a critical factor when they evaluate or consider working for a company. 

Creating inclusive employee benefits is easy when you know simple ways to modify the benefits you offer. Doing so is critical, given the evolving nature of workplace dynamics today. From ensuring access to diverse healthcare, to enhancing and improving other traditional perks, you’ll see how easy — and rewarding — it can be to create tailored offerings that recognize the unique challenges various groups in your organization may experience. 

Crafting inclusive benefits plans and packages that genuinely make a difference in your employees’ lives will create a workplace culture that embraces everyone. It will allow you to attract the best of the best talent, the people who are actively seeking an employer that holds diversity and inclusion in high regard and makes it a priority.   

What are inclusive benefits?

Inclusive benefits are benefits accessible to everyone in a corporation or company. They’re available regardless of gender, race, culture, sexual orientation, background, marital status, religion, or other factors. Inclusivity is a significant component of the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) movement we’ve seen sweep workplace culture and it’s essential for companies wanting to keep up with the needs, desires, and demands of today’s diverse workforce. 

Offering inclusive benefits in addition to your DEI initiatives will help your organization stay competitive so you can find and retain top talent. 

12 Inclusive benefits to provide for a more inclusive workplace

We cannot overstate the importance of offering inclusive employee benefits in the workplace. The compensation and benefits package you provide sends a distinct message to those who work for you, and those you hope to bring on board. Benefits should represent your organization’s values. They directly impact things like employee satisfaction, morale, brand reputation, retention rates, and a positive company culture overall. Consider implementing the following inclusive benefits in your company’s packages. 

1. Floating/flexible holidays: Personalizing time off

Allowing personalized time off is one way to honor cultural diversity across your team. Offering floating and flexible holidays ensures people can take time off for dates that are personally important to them. Rather than solely adhering to a national holiday schedule that appeals only to the masses, make a conscientious move to acknowledge and respect religious and cultural differences.

2. Diverse healthcare providers: Ensuring inclusive care

A crucial component of any inclusive package is access to healthcare professionals and services that understand and cater to various cultural backgrounds. By expanding your healthcare network, you can help employees feel comfortable and confident in seeking the help they need without fear of bias.

3. Paid parental leave: Supporting new parents

Gone are the days when maternity leave for an expectant mother is sufficient. Paid parental leave should be available to both parents, regardless of gender, as well as to those adopting. Doing so demonstrates a commitment to family well-being and gender equality. Encouraging shared caregiving responsibilities, regardless of gender identity, shouldn’t be seen as progressive — it should become the norm.

4. Mental health services: Fostering wellness at work

The American Psychological Association (APA) found that, on a scale of 1 - 10, 24% of adults in the United States rate their stress level between 8 and 10. Yet, 37% don’t seek help because of a lack of insurance coverage. 

Ensuring affordable and accessible access to mental health services is critical to creating a positive and healthy workplace environment. A large percentage of today’s workforce is overstressed and on the verge of collective burnout. We must continue to work to remove the stigma surrounding mental health.

Talkspace offers easy-to-access, affordable, convenient online therapy for employees that can accommodate workers’ schedules. Talkspace makes it simple to add on mental health services as part of the benefits you offer your workforce. 

5. Domestic partner benefits: Expanding coverage

Expanding benefits and coverage to include domestic partners is a great way to show the people who work for you that you value all types of relationships and partnerships. 

Though domestic partner definitions can vary, as an employer, you can enhance inclusivity by doing things such as offering benefits to any couple who’s lived together for a certain length of time — and research shows that domestic partner coverage doesn’t cost organizations any more than traditional spousal or dependent children coverage does. 

6. Flexible/remote work options: Adapting to modern workstyles

If there’s one thing that came out of the pandemic, it’s proof that flexible and remote work options can benefit both organizations and employees alike. Past concerns about reduced productivity from remote workers have been squashed, with research supporting the idea that productivity levels can actually increase when employees are allowed to work remotely or maintain a flexible schedule. 

Studies suggest that working remotely also improves job satisfaction, makes people happier, and increases retention rates, saving you money in the long run when you don’t have to hire and train new people to replace those who’ve left their roles. 

7. Family-building benefits: Supporting growing families

Family-building benefits acknowledge the struggles some couples or people experience when starting or growing their family. Consider offering support or reimbursement for efforts like fertility treatments, surrogacy, adoption, and other avenues people take to create their families — remember that it’s essential to make these benefits available to everyone in your workforce.  

8. Child care assistance: Easing the burden for working parents 

Childcare is not only expensive but also often incredibly stressful and taxing for working parents. Showing that you understand and are willing to help can go a long way in reducing stress and ensuring the parents who work for you can trust that you care about them and their families.

9. Wellness benefits: Promoting overall health

Innovative organizations today recognize that overall employee health plays a critical role in the success of a business or brand. They also know it’s not enough to only offer physical healthcare. 

Wellness initiatives can supply a range of perks that result in happier and more well-rounded, rested, and energized employees who come to work ready to give it their all. Consider access to fitness centers, health apps, nutrition and dietary advice, meditation and yoga opportunities, and other things that make workdays and life just a little bit more enjoyable for your employees. There are a variety of employee wellness ideas to choose from.

10. Caregiver benefits: Supporting employees with responsibilities

Many working adults today are desperately seeking that delicate balance between doing their best at work and being a caregiver at home. It’s not limited to caring for children these days, either — many people are juggling work with the responsibilities of managing aging parents, grandchildren, and other family members. 

Forward-thinking companies can offer flexible scheduling and remote work opportunities to accommodate additional care duties. For those trying to figure out how to work and take care of loved ones, offering caregiver benefits is a way to acknowledge the responsibilities that extend far beyond professional life.

11. Career development & education: Encouraging professional growth

Research suggests that when companies offered employee development in 2022, they saw a 58% uptick in retention. They also realized an increase in productivity to the tune of 24%. 

Investing in employee growth signals that you’re committed to your employees’ future with your company. You can offer access to continued learning opportunities through courses, workshops, and training or tuition reimbursement.

12. Pet insurance: Valuing all members of the family

Pets are an integral part of our life — for many of us, they’re part of the family. Recognizing their importance through benefit offerings speaks volumes about your company’s perception and understanding of family. Offering your employees access to pet insurance coverage can help alleviate the financial stress that’s often associated with pet ownership.

How to update your benefits package to be more inclusive

Revamping the benefits package you offer employees will help you cultivate a welcoming and inclusive environment. It demonstrates that you value and respect all lifestyles. The task might seem overwhelming, but by making some — or all — of the changes here, you can offer diverse, inclusive benefits to attract the type of talent you want.

  1. Evaluate and assess your current plan — Start by asking: Does it allow easy access? Is there enough variety? Look at what is working, what from our list is missing, and where you can expand to be more inclusive. 
  2. Check your language — Review policies, handbooks, and benefit plan guides and revise them where needed to remove any exclusive or limiting terminology. Focus on gender-neutral language and make simple tweaks, like replacing terms like “spouse” with “partner.”
  3. Ask for feedback — Survey your employees to see what they need and want from a benefits package.
  4. Build in floating/flexible holidays — Ensure everyone on your team knows they can take meaningful days off for themselves and their families without penalty or repercussions.
  5. Diversify healthcare providers — Having access to a wide range of both medical and mental health professionals shows employees that you understand and value different lifestyles, needs, and cultural backgrounds. It also begins to remove the harmful stigma that’s driving the mental health crisis stemming from people feeling ashamed or afraid to ask for help. 
  6. Look at your budget — While you may not be able to afford to offer everything all at once, there are simple things you can do almost immediately that won’t break the bank. Perks like flex or remote work options and floating holidays cost you little to nothing to implement but can go a long way in showcasing your dedication to diversity. 
  7. Share your new focus — Don’t forget to share this new direction your company is heading in. Explain the new benefits and DEI goals and detail how they’re the first step in creating a company-wide inclusive environment. 

Investing in accessible mental healthcare for diverse needs

Embracing inclusivity and diversity in the workplace is a must in today’s professional landscape. The people who work for you are pivotal to your success, and ensuring every member of your team is openly valued is crucial if you’re going to be an inclusive leader in your industry. You can start practicing inclusive leadership by making sure you offer inclusive benefits, including access to mental healthcare.  

Talkspace is an online platform that makes accessing mental health services simple and affordable for your employees. Companies that partner with Talkspace find they’re able to bridge the gaps that can otherwise be barriers to getting essential care. See how Talkspace can be the first step you take in transforming your benefits with inclusivity in mind. Ensure your employees have talk therapy, psychiatric services, and self-guided solutions that help them thrive in life and at work.    

Sources:

  1. “Glassdoor’s Diversity and Inclusion Workplace Survey.” Glassdoor, September 29, 2020. https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/glassdoors-diversity-and-inclusion-workplace-survey/.  
  2. “Stress in AmericaTM 2023: A Nation Grappling with Psychological Impacts of Collective Trauma.” American Psychological Association, November 1, 2023. https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2023/11/psychological-impacts-collective-trauma.  
  3. “Domestic Partner Benefits: Cost and Utilization.” HRC Foundation. Accessed February 12, 2024. https://www.thehrcfoundation.org/professional-resources/domestic-partner-benefits-cost-and-utilization. 
  4. “Surprising Working from Home Productivity Statistics (2024).” Apollo Technical LLC, February 7, 2024. https://www.apollotechnical.com/working-from-home-productivity-statistics/.  
  5. Harper, Jane. “2023 HR Trends: A Look Ahead.” The HR Digest, January 9, 2023. https://www.thehrdigest.com/2023-hr-trends-a-look-ahead/.  

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