Breaking Down Employee Benefits: 5 Different Types You Should Know

Employee benefits are quickly becoming a vital tool for employers when attracting new talent. The companies that offer these fringe benefits, instead of just competitive salaries, are better able to stand out from the crowd. Here is a list of the five basic benefits that companies are now offering – are you keeping up with Joneses?

1) Health Plans

Health insurance is almost a necessary benefit in today’s workplace culture. According to a report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) in 2013, more that 75% of employees found a health insurance offering to be important in their decision to take the job or not. They also found that over half offered dental and vision plans in addition to traditional health insurance. These are basic plans that give employees peace of mind for themselves and their families.

2) Insurance

In addition to health plans, there are a few other types of insurance that can be attractive to employees. Long and short-term disability insurance can be important in many industries. Hopefully it will never be needed, but it extends that level of comfort for employees in case something goes awry. This level of comfort can be extended even further with life insurance. Like the health plans, these types of insurance are becoming more standard as offerings from employers. They are relatively low-cost to companies, and let employees rest easier since they aren’t worrying about a worst-case scenario.

3) Money Management

Retirement plans are gaining in popularity as more employees take an active role in their investments. The typical forms of retirement plans are 401K’s and pension plans. Fewer pension plans are offered in today’s world because they are typically harder on the company’s bottom line.

There are a few other money management benefits that employers can offer as well. Teaching employees how to make good decisions about personal spending is an underutilized perk in many companies. Hello Wallet is a great example of a tool that helps employees view all of their assets in one place and make good decisions about money management from petty spending to retirement.

Companies can also offer tuition reimbursement programs. This is a great tool for attracting younger candidates. It incentivizes them to continue educating themselves, which benefits both the company and the individual!

4) Flexibility

Flexibility is something that has changed the culture in the workplace over the last few years and can come in a variety of ways. Paid vacation time, sick leave, and holidays are traditional methods of flexibility that a majority of companies offer.

Family leave is also a benefit offered by most companies, but the large majority offers unpaid leave (80%) instead of paid leave (12%). More recently, flexibility has come in the option of teleworking or shorter workweeks. This allows the employees to set hours that might work better with their life schedule and still complete their work.

5) Lifestyle & Convenience

Lifestyle and convenience perks are the newest form of fringe benefits. While employees in the past were satisfied with healthcare and a stable job, many employees are now looking for an employer who cares about all aspects of their lives.

Fringe benefits often focus on health and wellness or relaxation. There are a wide variety of options for the employees, depending on how the individual likes to unwind. Gym memberships and yoga classes attract those interested in health and wellness, while spa days and manicures appeal to those looking for some relaxation.

Some fun benefits allow employees to just get outside the office for a while, or take a task off their hands. Getting tickets to sporting events can be an awesome way to bond with friends or family. Food delivery and cleaning services help those employees who find themselves without the time to cook dinner or clean the house. Monthly subscriptions to wine and coffee delivery services allow employees to explore hobbies outside of their 9 to 5.

As Google and other tech companies raise the bar for what is considered a traditional benefit, many HR departments find themselves scrambling to keep up.

While it’s definitely important to offer healthcare and baseline benefits before expanding into non-traditional benefits, you might begin attracting more talent with some of these newer perks on your benefits page!