In today’s competitive job market, attracting the best candidates has become more difficult. To appeal to job seekers, an employer’s benefit package must contain the types of benefits employees want.
Here is a list of the top five employee benefits and perks ranked “most preferred” by employees according to the Robert Half 2018 Popular Perks, Incentives and Benefits survey. The International Foundation report Employee Benefits Survey reveals the prevalence of the top benefits and perks. See how your organization measures up.
1. Health Insurance
No employee wants to be left with a pile of medical bills from not having health insurance coverage, making this the most preferred benefit by employees.
- Nearly all employers offer health care benefits for some of their employees: 97%.
[Related Reading: Innovative Health Offerings: 24 Considerations for Your Plan]
2. Paid Time Off (Vacation, Sick Days, Paid Holidays)
Employees love paid time off, and most employers provide it, whether in the form of vacation time, sick days, paid holidays or a combination in a paid-time-off (PTO) bank.
- Separate vacation plans: 59%
- Paid sick leave as part of a standalone plan: 54%
- At least one paid holiday: 47%
- Paid-time-off banks combining vacation, sick and personal days into one bank: 36%
- Paid sick leave as part of a PTO bank: 35%
- Unlimited vacation time: 3%
[Related Reading: 5 Innovative Vacation Benefits for Your Organization]
3. Retirement Savings Plan
The third most preferred benefit is a retirement savings plan. Employees want to save for retirement, and many employers offer a defined contribution (DC) or defined benefit (DB) plan to help employees do so.
- DC retirement plans are most popular for employers to offer: 68%
- Of those, 62% offer a matching contribution
- Employers providing DB pension plans to employees: 51%
4. Dental Insurance
Dental insurance is almost as common as health insurance, according to employers.
- Employers providing dental insurance: 93%
5. Vision Insurance
Rounding out the top five employee benefits preferred by employees in the Robert Half survey is vision insurance.
- Employers providing vision insurance to employees: 75%
1. Flexible Work Schedules and Compressed Work Weeks
The top perk employees are looking for is flexibility in the form of flexible work hours or compressed work weeks. Flexible works hours offer employees a variable work schedule instead of the typical 9 to 5 schedule. Employees have discretion as to when they start and end their day. In a compressed work week, an employee works a schedule that involves fewer than the traditional five days in one week or ten days in two weeks. Typically, employees work more hours per day during the days they worked.
- Employers offering employees either flexible work schedules or compressed work weeks: 51%
[Related Reading: Family-Friendly Employee Benefits]
For telecommuting purposes, an employee works from home while continuing to communicate with staff at the office.
- Employers offering employees the option to telecommute either full- or part-time: 53%
3. On-Site Amenities
Employers offer a variety of other benefits to appeal to employees at their workplace, including on-site fitness centers, meals, massages, postal services, banking services and child care.
- On-site fitness centers and/or subsidized fitness centers: 41%
- On-site and/or takeout meals: 20%
- Massages: 18%
- Postal services: 11%
- Banking services: 9%
- On-site or near-site child care: 5%
4. Paid Time Off for Volunteer Activities
Many employees want to give back to their communities, and employers provide employees the chance to do so without losing pay.
- Employers offering employees paid leave for volunteering/community service: 26%
5. Employee Social Events
The last perk preferred by employees involves attending events and other entertainment outside of the workplace.
- Employee/family events including picnics, fairs, and concerts: 38%
- Discounted tickets to sporting, recreational, or cultural events: 35%
- Sports teams, leagues or clubs: 12%
- Free or discounted activity lessons, including personal trainers, scuba diving or surfing: 7%
Learn More About Top Employee Benefits and Perks
The top employee benefits and perks preferences are just a starting point for what to offer to potential job seekers. To see what other preferred benefits and perks employers are offering, access a copy of the report Employee Benefits Survey: 2018 Results at www.ifebp.org/BenefitSurvey2018.
Amanda Wilke, CEBS
Information/Research Specialist at the International Foundation
The latest from Word on Benefits:
- New Mental Health Parity Guidance: More Clarity, But More Compliance Obligations
- Legal & Legislative Reporter: Medical Provider May Not Bring Claim on Behalf of Participants and Beneficiaries
- Five Steps to Nurture Belonging in the Workplace
- Navigating Uncertainty
- DOL Guidance on Mental Health Parity: Proposed Rules for NQTL Comparative Analyses