10 Employee Benefits You Might Not Be Offering

The rise of the gig economy over the past decade has resulted in job seekers being far more selective when deciding on a place of employment. Today, as your company builds its workforce, there is a corresponding need to spell out all of the benefits you offer. While a competitive salary is still the top priority for job searchers, a comprehensive benefits package’s added value can’t be overstated. If your company hopes to recruit and retain top-notch talent, take some time to compare what your company offers with what applicants are seeking.

Employee Benefits

Choosing the right package for your employees will require dedicated research time along with a clear-eyed willingness to consider what your current plan may be lacking. To help you get started, here are 10 popular benefit categories for your checklist.

1. Matching Contributions to 401(k) Plans

After salary, tax-advantaged saving for retirement is easily one of the employee’s top five concerns. A 401(k) matching plan means that your company agrees to match an employee’s contributions taken out of pretax earnings. Most employers choose to put a cap on matching contributions, typically a certain percentage.

For example, your company might agree to match 100% of employee contributions up to 4%. If an employee earned $50,000 annually, that would mean a potential matching contribution of no more than $2,000/year. Again, that amount may vary based on employee participation. If your company doesn’t offer this benefit, consider adopting a small business 401(k) plan that meets applicant expectations and your financial realities.

2. Life Insurance

Any unexpected loss of life causes tremendous grief and turmoil. Most job seekers will want to protect loved ones from the added burden of financial hardship. Employers can show they care by offering their new hires a few life insurance options.

There are two main types of life insurance: term and whole. Term life insurance remains in effect for a predetermined amount of time. If the employee doesn’t die during the term of the policy, there is no payout. On the other hand, whole life insurance pays out as long as the plan is kept up-to-date. Learning the advantages and disadvantages of each can help you make the right choice for your company.

3. Workers Compensation Insurance

In addition to physical injury and pain, workplace injuries can cause financial suffering as an employee is rendered unable to work. Even so, companies can make themselves more appealing to job applicants by offering more than the required minimum. Ith the lone exception of Texas — requires employers to offer workers comp.

All worker’s compensation plans provide employees with financial protection and medical care in a workplace injury. If an employee is injured on the job, that employee receives income and help with medical expenses. Companies that go above and beyond what is required by law offer reassurance to job seekers, especially those in higher-risk occupations.

4. Disability Insurance

Like workers comp, disability insurance protects an employee’s income in the event of illness or injury. As long as an employee cannot perform their work duties, they are entitled to a portion of their monthly income.

Disability insurance is also called “disability income insurance” or “income protection.” Monthly payouts are proportional to the income an employee was earning when their illness or injury.

5. Stock Options

Stock options offer employees the benefit of receiving or purchasing company stock. Giving employees a chance to invest in the company they work for is a great way to increase workplace engagement. As the tide comes in, financially speaking, everyone’s boat is lifted.

There are two primary types of plans employers can offer: stock options and stock ownership. A stock option plan gives employees the right to buy company stock. On the other hand, stock ownership plans are typically contributions of stock made directly to an employee’s retirement plan.

6. Relocation Reimbursement

Relocation reimbursement plans help employers attract and secure needed talent outside of their local community. When an employer identifies a valuable addition to their team, they may choose to sweeten the deal by reimbursing relocation expenses.

Some employers go beyond traditional “moving expenses” and offer mortgage assistance, apartment subsidies, and more. Knowing what to include in a relocation reimbursement plan can help you put together the most enticing benefits package to lure potential employees.

7. Commuter Benefits

Commuter benefits are excellent incentives to offer in metropolitan areas with public transportation systems. Employers can offer pretax transportation credits, train tickets, or subway passes.

Such perks are a benefit for employees and employers alike. They help employees keep more of their earnings while reducing the number of properties employers must allocate for parking. Learning more about commuter benefits plans will help you create one that is relevant to your workforce.

8. Unlimited Paid Time Off

Unlimited paid time off (PTO) began as a way for startups to compete with larger companies offering higher salaries. This type of vacation policy allows employees to take days off for any reason as long as managers approve the request.

Unlimited PTO, though, does require a great deal of employer-employee trust and effective workload management. Still, if you lead a company with some flexibility, this might be an enticing benefit to consider.

9. Paid Volunteer Days

Paid volunteer days are an effective way for an employer to demonstrate a socially conscious organization. This benefit functions much like a paid vacation day except that employees spend the time serving the community. Employers often partner with local food banks or homeless shelters and suggest possibilities for employee volunteer days.

10. Office Happy Hours

Office happy hours can be a fun way to help employees relax after a long week. Allowing employees to share food, beverages, and work jokes helps build team camaraderie.

Employers that don’t offer office happy hours should consider them — they tend to cost much less than other benefits. They’re also fairly easy to implement. Of course, you’ll want to sign up some designated drivers and be sure to offer non-alcoholic beverages at every event.

The Advantage of Offering Unique Employee Benefits

Developing an employee benefits plan that mixes unique perks with standard offerings will make your employees feel valued. Skilled applicants will be attracted by a holistic approach that supports financial, physical, and mental wellness. When seeking top candidates, anything that differentiates you from competitors can be helpful.