Considering Non-Traditional Benefit Offerings

With unemployment at a 50 year low, it is becoming increasingly difficult for employers to attract and retain top talent for their organizations.  Often we see employers trying to impact their recruiting and retention efforts with enhancements to their benefit offerings.  Some employers are now offering dual plan options to give employees a choice for their medical coverage, higher annual benefit maximums on their dental plans and vision plans being paid for in full or part by the company.  Employers, who in the past did not offer short and long term disability benefits, are now considering adding this to their benefits package as well.

Outside of the adjustments to these core benefits, we are also starting to see employers adopt non-traditional benefits.  While these may not be true benefits, as it relates to health and wellness, they are perks that employees can take advantage of. This is a creative way for employers to stand out in the market. Following are few of these new offerings.

Student debt and housing cost assistance
This new trend is becoming more and more popular as Millennials and Gen Z employees begin replacing a retiring workforce.  Younger employees are often saddled with debt from college and these assistance programs are a great way to help them achieve financial independence.

An accommodating travel policy
Entrepreneur reports that 59 percent of candidates surveyed by the Global Business Travel Association consider travel policies when choosing the company they want to work for. Allowing employees greater freedom when choosing how to travel is the underlying goal with this.

Retirement planning assistance
While many employers offer a retirement savings plan, proactive employers are providing engagement resources for employees to better plan for their futures.  Similar to the student debt programs, this is designed to help employee’s secure financial independence in their later years.

These are just a few examples of what can be offered and employers who want to separate themselves from their competition are looking for options like this.  Understanding what is important to employees is a great way to begin the process of adding non-traditional benefits.  Gaining their perspective can help target the benefits you should consider for your organization.