Employee Benefits can range from free coffee at work to a fully-paid vacation. Types of employee benefits encompass any indirect compensation to employees. Jobs with better benefits packages are likely to attract better talent.
In many cases, the benefits package is a part of an employee’s overall financial remuneration; in other cases, benefits could be based on how the employee has performed or how the organisation has performed.
Four Major Types of Employee Benefits
Traditional employers stick to these four main types of employee benefits:
- Medical insurance
- Life insurance
- Retirement packages
- Disability insurance
Over time, this has evolved, and in many countries, labour laws dictate a strict requirement for these four benefits. They may not be seen as adequate benefits by employees anymore.
Instead, benefits that could be offered can be classified into these four categories:
- Work-based benefits
- Health centric benefits
- Financial nets
- Benefits that improve employee’s quality of life
This blog examines ten different types of employee benefits.
Here are 10 Types of Employee Benefits that Employees love:
1. Schedule flexibility
This is a great benefit, and when you have employees that put in their all every moment, giving them a chance to choose when they would like to spend that energy most productively can work wonders.
Numerous studies around the world suggest that humans have a threshold for how much time they can execute a specific activity and produce the best quality of work.
For example, a technical research writer may be able to work up to three or even four hours a day with their concentration levels at a peak, after which the quality of work they produce slowly starts to decline.
In another instance, data-entry experts may be able to execute their functions at top speed for up to five or six hours a day. Keep in mind that this varies from the type of job and the individual.
Setting milestones instead of adhering to strict schedules may result in a more productive workforce for such jobs.
On the other hand, IT experts may be required to spend the entire day at work and (more often than not) stretch those work hours. While overtime may make up for some of the efforts, offering such employees a few days off every so often is likely to have them back in the office in a happier and more reliable state of mind.
Families these days tend to be a balance of effort from both parents. Paid leave for employees and their families is a good way to ensure they get a healthy work-life balance and feel more accomplished as parents.
2. Invest in skills
Businesses worldwide are adapting to change and technological advancements at a rate that has never been seen before. This pace could leave some employees feeling that they no longer have the skills or simply cannot keep up with that change.
It is vital to make sure young employees get access and exposure to the skills they need to execute their roles well, now and in the future.
The same goes for more tenured workers; they need to constantly be updated with the skills required to keep up with technology and more skilled, younger employees.
This has to be a constant investment, and it doesn’t always have to be an investment by the organisation. More employees now realise that it is vital that they are useful and adaptable and are thus willing to make an effort and spend the money to get skilled.
While technology may be one of the causes for this requirement, it also enables learning and training in many ways. Leveraging the right tools and providing access to them is a great way to ensure your workforce is competitive.
This ultimately makes an organisation more competitive in their industries.
3. Consumable benefits
Meal vouchers or food cards that can be spent on groceries are a great way to ease an employee’s spending stress.
You don’t want your employee worrying about how much their lunch at work will cost, being able to purchase groceries for the family. That energy is better spent on being more productive at work.
A free meal at work or some grocery coupons can go a long way into contributing to an employee’s well-being.
4. Work clubs and activities
Many think that they need to spend time away from colleagues and can often find the time to indulge in activities that are just meant for fun.
It is often the case that as an employee’s tenure increases, they spend more time with their colleagues and end up socialising outside work.
Having work clubs, such as literary clubs, or giving fitness enthusiasts a common platform at work can make dynamic shifts in the workplace. Not only do employees feel that the organisation cares for more than just their contribution, but they also feel that the organisation wants them to lead healthy lives.
This can increase not only employee productivity but also does wonders in bringing teams closer together.
Benefits for Health
5. Employee wellness
Wellness programs are becoming increasingly popular as a potential type of employee benefit. This could be something as simple as a weekly meditation session or full-fledged yoga every day.
Companies should offer a mix of wellness benefits, allowing employees to choose a benefit that suits their requirements most.
Mental and emotional packages have become easier to offer in terms of cost and accessibility and are also becoming more of a requirement.
6. Health benefits
While yoga and gym memberships promote healthier living, health benefits such as free or subsidised access to medical professionals can help employees worry about bills.
Employees tend to appreciate health benefits that extend to family and parents.
7. Retirement plans
Retirement planning can be quite a task; saving up month on month for a plan that is likely twenty or more years away isn’t the easiest thing to do.
While many employees may not see this as a great benefit, it becomes more appreciated as the time of retirement closes in.
Insurance benefits are a norm and, in many places, a mandate. However, offering access to flexible premiums or extended insurance is a great way to compensate employees indirectly.
With the worldwide pandemic to consider, an insurance plan that covers Covid-19 from day one and extends to families and parents would be looked at as a boon.
There are many insurance providers out there - find the ones willing to compete on cost and offer more benefits.
9. Financial management assistance
Employee financial well-being is key to their ability to be productive at work. Offering assistance on financial planning, loan management, and more beneficial savings plans is a good way to keep financial stress away.
There are a host of financial management service providers out there. Simply giving your employees access to them can make a big difference.
Benefits that Improve the Quality of Life
10. Quality of life improvement
Work-life balance is an area that HR departments and companies have promoted for years. This is a benefit that employees see as very useful. Personal budgeting can be exhausting, and with increasing access to goods at people’s fingertips, spending carefully can be difficult.
Simple things like a child-care plan or access to legal representation and advice tend to take a huge burden off employees. This could also come in the form of family tours from the workplace or better rates on flights and holiday packages.
Implementing the types of employee benefits packages deserve careful consideration. Depending on the industry and the type of work, HR departments need to plan out packages aimed at truly enhancing an employee’s life, thus getting the most out of them at work.
The focus or lean towards different types of employee benefits varies from type of work to even the age demographic of the employees. Offering access to a customisable package that allows employees to choose what works best for them may be something worth considering.
Take a look at the Employee Happiness Index Study conducted a few years ago to understand how much value employees place on different types of employee benefits.