Trending in perks: Pawternity, egg freezing and wedding leave
- Companies from all industries and of all sizes are offering workers innovative benefits, including many workers say they want, according to Fit Small Business, a digital resource for small businesses. The firm released a list of 15 innovative perks that employers are providing to attract and retain talent and that go beyond free coffee and game rooms.
- Among the most innovative perks are: pawternity, which is time off to care for a new pet; egg freezing and fertility treatments; global retreats; paid time off for giving service; pet bereavement; weather-based flextime; wedding leave; free life coaching; and spa and wellness services.
- Fit Small business cited the cost of what it calls the new "job-hopping" culture in the U.S. as an estimated $30.5 billion a year, with the average cost of replacing a departing worker at $4,100 for the training of each new hire.
Some innovative benefits are nice-to-have perks that possibly come with a high price tag. This category of benefits might not be a practical investment for organizations of any size or financial status; employers have to be careful not to follow trends for trend's sake if their employees express no interest in them.
Gregor Teusch, VP of total rewards at Lowe's Companies, Inc., told HR Dive in early 2018 that employers might need to change their understanding of what benefits mean to today's workers so that their new offerings actually meet worker needs. Employees used to simply look for a better job with higher pay and benefits, but today, workers want their jobs to be part of a healthy and fulfilling life and seek benefits that reflect that.
Employers that are able to tailor their benefits to what their workers want will likely see higher utilization rates, and as such, voluntary benefits packages have exploded in the market. Employers should keep in mind, however, that money is still the greatest motivator for people, whether as job seekers or employees deciding whether to stay with a company. In some cases, raising pay could be a better investment in recruitment and retention than offering unusual but costly perks.