- New parents employed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) will get six months of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child, the company announced.
- Other new benefits HPE said it will offer include: wellness Fridays, which allow employees to leave work at 2 p.m. one Friday a month to improve their health, volunteer or develop professionally or personally; parental transition support, which allows new parents to work part time for up to 36 months; career reboot, which provides job opportunities to people who have exited the workforce; and retirement transition support, which allows employees within one year of retirement to work part time to ease into their post-work years.
- "Innovation is our top priority at HPE, and that is made possible by the culture we build," HPE CEO Antonio Neri said in a press release. "We will retain and attract the best talent because of who we are, how we work, and how we treat our people, which in turn will pay dividends for our customers and partners."
The benefits HPE introduced correlate with those gaining popularity among many large employers, especially as organizations bulk up their compensation packages to compete for talent.
For example, PwC introduced a phased return to work program akin to HPE's parental transition support benefit; both aim to help parents who have been out on leave ease back into their jobs. Parents who have been out on leave after the birth or adoption of a child sometimes have difficulty returning to work and re-assuming their role on the job. Working women who take maternity leave sometimes lose out on promotions or assignments that could advance their careers, especially if their employers aren't intentional in avoiding such situations, studies show. Other employers looking to provide benefits for working parents have introduced flexible work benefits and breastfeeding benefits that build on the basic protections the law gives nursing mothers.
Retiring workers have garnered the attention of those designing benefits, as well. Easing out of the labor force is a challenge for many employees of retirement age. By offering older workers phased retirement, employers retain some workers with deep institutional knowledge and allow them to earn money while preparing for the transition into retirement.
Of course, employee mental health is another area employers have responded to via benefits. Employers can help workers manage stress by sponsoring physical and mental well-being programs. And addressing stressors, like work overload, financial worries and caregiving responsibilities, can help create a more healthful, productive workforce to attract and retain quality talent.