Survey: 'Work perks' are gaining on traditional benefits
- Most employees (68%) said they think "work perks" are just as important as health coverage, life insurance and other traditional benefits, according to a survey of 600 small and midsize businesses by Zenefits. The HR software company said small businesses without big-company resources can compete for talent in the tight labor market by offering popular fringe benefits that don't cost much to provide.
- More than 70% of respondents "strongly agreed" or "somewhat agreed" that fringe benefits would be a key consideration in evaluating future jobs. Respondents were more mixed with their responses on whether they would leave their current jobs within a year for another offering more fringe benefits: 40% said they strongly agreed or they somewhat agreed that they would, but a quarter of respondents said they strongly disagreed.
- Respondents identified wellness programs as the most important perk, followed by education programs, financial wellness programs, free meals or snacks and commuter benefits.
Benefits play such an important role in employee satisfaction that more than half of workers in a Randstad US study said they have left jobs after hearing the siren calls of better benefits elsewhere. More than 60% of respondents also said they would take a job with a lower salary for better benefits, the survey found. If research tells us anything, employers may be able to drive recruitment, engagement and retention by offering low-budget, meaningful fringe benefits. Like Zenefits points out, anything from free lattes to on-site yoga classes can count.
Voluntary benefits — nontraditional benefits often paid for by employees — have also become must-haves for workers. Among the most popular benefits identified in studies are student-debt repayment plans, identity theft, cybersecurity insurance, pet insurance and financial counseling.
Services that ease employees' personal duties as caregivers have also become a valued nontraditional benefit. Most voluntary benefits address workers' needs in very personal ways, which can make them invaluable perks for talent attraction and employee engagement.