In today’s war for talent, the power unequivocally lies in the hands of the candidates. As a result, expectations for workplace benefits are rapidly shifting. Employers recognize that attractive benefit plans are critically essential to engage and retain a competent workforce, but rising costs (usually in the group health sphere) can be cost-prohibitive, hindering an organization’s ability to rework their offerings substantially.

The solution? Developing rich fringe benefits plans that enhance the well-being of your workforce.

Fringe benefits plans generally include a broad range of employee perks, such as flexible working hours, wellness programs, subsidized childcare, diversity and inclusion and paid family leave policies. Examples range from free food, pet insurance, student loan reimbursements, paid volunteering time and intern housing to free health trackers, in-office daycare and dress for your day policies.

Creating an appealing fringe benefits program requires a delicate balance between options that satisfy employees’ wants and needs with those that align with the company’s values and objectives. In our unique multi-generational workforce, this can present some curious juxtapositions and challenges.

It’s important to note that even small changes (i.e., free healthy snacks like trail mix and fruit), can be impactful. We don’t all need to take our cues from the Silicon Valley culture (read: please don’t buy a Foosball table and call it a day). An effective strategy is to analyze the plans of leading competitors within your industry to pinpoint benefits that can be implemented within your own programs.

Given our current economic climate, the competition for employee talent has been particularly intense. This has largely been responsible for a recent uptick in benefits offerings across the board, as employers cannot recruit on salaries alone.

The 2019 Society for Human Resource Management Employee Benefits Report states that over the past twelve months, employers were more likely to increase offerings in benefits categories than to decrease them. No more than three percent of organizations decreased benefits in any category.

Specifically, student loan repayment increased four percent, standing desks increased seven percent, and part-time telecommuting increased five percent. Health and wellness benefit programs increased by 20 percent, higher than any other category.

Gen Xers and Millennials place especially high importance on fringe benefits.

According to Forbes, 89 percent of millennials prioritize benefits over pay raises, and 83 percent would change their job if it meant better benefits.

As younger generations are more rapidly filling high-level positions and the futures of companies are heavily reliant on their skills, offering attractive fringe benefits could be a key factor in winning over the Millennials and Gen Xers as employees.

Ultimately, fringe benefit plans are instrumental in building a likable company culture that captivates individuals who want to feel valued. Employees who feel comfortable and influential in their work environment have a higher motivation to achieve. Moreover, the ability of organizations to respond and adapt to changing expectations will significantly impact success in employee retention and recruitment efforts while preventing notable turnover costs.

Interested in exploring fringe benefits for your organization? Contact us today!