Understanding the needs of your employees is essential to a functional workplace. Not only does it increase your likelihood to achieve the company’s goals and maximize productivity, but it also ensures that employees feel understood and appreciated. 

That is why it is so important to recognize the emerging trends in workplace benefits to set yourself apart from other employers. 

Finding and retaining great employees is a goal for any successful organization. Being able to offer top-notch workplace benefits is the key to not only attracting elite talent but also to helping the entire workforce achieve a better quality of life.

A recent Gallup Poll highlighted the advancing directives associated with alternative benefits for employees and how they are impacting employee perspectives and job retention. 

It highlighted specific trends, such as: 

  • 51% of respondents stating they would change jobs for one that offered more flexible work time
  • A majority of millennials prefer employment opportunities that provide developmental opportunities and continued education

It is essential for employers looking to stay competitive in the job market. By understanding how workplace benefits needs and wants have shifted employers have better success in attracting and retaining high-level employees.

Common Trends in Workplace Benefits: Alternative Benefits for Employees

What’s considered comprehensive in the realm of workplace benefits, and employees’ expectations of a satisfying career and work environment have changed over time. Today, alternative benefits have grown in popularity due to their ability to help employees improve their physical health, emotional well-being and overall satisfaction in life.

Some of the emerging and growing trends include:

  • Student loan reimbursement
  • Paid paternity leave
  • Child care reimbursement
  • Professional development programs
  • On-site healthy meal offerings
  • Flexible work time and location

These alternative benefit options enable employees to achieve a higher sense of happiness within their day-to-day life because they impact areas outside of work.

After all, employees are more than the job they do. 

By offering benefits that can help decrease the stresses associated with tertiary loans or the birth of a child, employers are showing an increased level of empathy. An all-encompassing benefits plan displays to employees that they not only value their employees for the work they do, but they also value them as human beings.

Most Important Benefits to Employees that Elevate Workplace Wellness Programs

While the trend of offering alternative workplace benefits has continued to grow, there are a few examples that stand out as being more preferred by employees. These offerings have shown the ability to elevate workplace wellness programs by positively impacting both the individual employee and the entire workplace as a whole. 

The following are a few of the more prominent, trending benefit offerings, enabling employers to attract top-tier talent to their organizations by appealing to desires to achieve a sustainable work/life balance. 

They include:

1. Flexible Work Hours

Leading the current list of emerging trends among alternative workplace benefits is flexible work time. The typical 9-to-5 time clock has dominated the work environment for decades, but times are changing.

Today’s modern employee is more focused than ever on not only attaining a successful career but also maintaining a healthy and happy home life.

By offering flexible work hours, employers can see an uptick in both employee morale and performance.

2. Remote Work Offering 

Another trending workplace benefit is the option of completing a majority of the workweek from home. Studies show that employees who take advantage of remote work options actually display an increase in work productivity as well as a higher rate of retention over time.

Better productivity in these studies is primarily attributed to the decrease in distractions, the ability to begin work when properly focused, and maintain attention easier and at a longer rate.

3. Student Loan Reimbursement 

A final trend that has increased in popularity is offering employees a student-loan reimbursement option. With the majority of the current workforce facing some form of student loan debt, the opportunity to receive financial assistance from their employer has been widely embraced.

It not only decreases the financial burden for the employee, but it also addresses the personal stress associated with the outstanding monetary liability of their school debt.

Why These In-Demand Benefits Continue to Grow in Popularity 

These alternative workplace benefits are growing in popularity for several reasons.

First, they are enabling employees to achieve a higher level of satisfaction in their private lives.

Second, this higher level of satisfaction is positively impacting their work performance and perspective toward their employer.

Third, they are allowing organizations to become more in-tune with their employees, improving work relations and increasing overall morale within the workplace.

All of these combined benefits create a scenario in which success can not only be achieved but also sustained. This is due to the fact that employees feel more valued, employers are attracting higher-quality staff, and organizations are increasing the level of connectivity between all involved employees.

The importance of offering programs that will address your employee population’s total well-being in the workplace cannot be overstated.