5 Benefit Trends You Should Be Watching

Employee recruitment, engagement and retention continue to be hot topics for employers. Companies are looking for ways to show both employees and candidates that they’re an excellent employer.

One of the ways to build an excellent brand is by offering a competitive benefits package, according to a Unum study of 1,500 working adults. Seventy-five percent (75%) of employees who rate their benefits as excellent or very good also rate their workplace as above average. The challenge is deciding on the right benefits to offer.

To get the conversation started inside your organization, here are five employee benefits that an increasing number of employers are considering:

1. Financial wellness
Employees can become distracted or stressed by financial worries, which doesn’t help productivity. Financial wellness programs can help employees become better money managers. Programs could come in the forms of financial advice, education or literacy programs. These programs are often integrated with other components of an overall benefits package.

2. Voluntary benefits
Seven in 10 employers (70%) offer voluntary benefits as a way to improve employee satisfaction and increase retention. These types of benefits include life insurance, disability insurance, critical illness insurance, accident insurance, pet coverage, ID theft monitoring services and legal services. These benefits are usually offered and administered by the company but paid partially or entirely by the employee.

3. Paid leave
There are many different types of paid leave scenarios. Some organizations are implementing paid leave programsin response to trends in recent legislation. Others are taking a more proactive approach toward paid leave, so the company is seen as a forward-thinking. Either way, it’s a benefit that’s viewed favorably by candidates and employees.

4. Fitness wearables
You’ve likely heard the “sitting is the new smoking” comment. Both employees and employers are being proactive and looking for ways to get up and get active. Trackers like Fitbit and Apple Watch are changing the way people thinkabout health and wellness. Some companies are offering employees discount options to get fitness trackers.

5. Student loan repayment
Young professionals today are saddled with huge student loan debt. This financial burden can keep employees from furthering their education or being able to devote resources to other things like saving for a home or retirement. A student loan repayment program can help employees get a good financial start to support their careers.

The goal for any employee benefit is to align with organizational culture so employees will value and use it. But it takes time to properly research, budget and implement programs. Staying current with employee benefit trends can help you remain competitive and find the best talent.

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