The days of offering “competitive benefits” are over. In 2019, companies are facing a combination of important cultural and societal factors that impact HR. For example:

  • Millennials: With a median age of about 31, this independent generational bloc is gaining influence at many companies, and with that comes the demand for greater allowances for parents, as well as financial wellness.
  • Baby Boomers: Yes, this generation is still in the workforce, and increasingly, they too need allowances to take care – of their aging parents. They’re also reaching retirement age at the staggering rate of 10,000 a day, so financial and health concerns are top-of-mind for them.
  • American Health Care: Increasingly expensive for employees and employers alike, health care is constantly being looked at for ways to reduce high costs.
  • More Jobs Than Workers: The job market continues to be among the most competitive America has seen, with record-low unemployment and more jobs posted than people to fill them.

Companies struggling to get the right workers in the right amount of time (and keep them) need to seriously consider revamping their employee benefits management approach in 2019.

We’ve collected 17 benefits that are gaining popularity across four broad categories. Take a look and improve your recruitment and retention with targeted offerings.

Leave Policies

Employees have spoken. They want paid leave, for pretty much everything. Here are some benefits that are spiking in popularity:

“82 percent of Americans say mothers should receive paid leave following the birth or adoption of their child. Sixty-nine percent say fathers should.”

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Office Policies

Keeping things up to snuff at the office will play into your employees’ perception of benefits. Leading the pack for in-office efforts:

  • Wellness Initiatives
  • Lactation Room: The Affordable Care Act mandates that employers covered by FLSA provide a reasonable amount of time and space for mothers to express milk.
  • Bring Your Baby Programs: Sounds a little out there, but for some workplaces like the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa, it works.
  • Mentoring Programs: According to an article, quality mentoring programs create a more engaged workforce and decrease employee turnover.
  • Flextime: 51 percent of workers would change jobs for flextime, according to Gallup.
  • Casual Dress Every Day: A great way to help make workers comfortable, and as a bonus – cash strapped entry-level workers don’t need to worry about having professional attire.

Employee Support

We’ve all heard the quip, “Happy wife, happy life.” Now make it employee-focused. Happy employees are good business, and in today’s environment, a happy employee is worth quite a bit. These employee-centric benefits are popping up:

  • Employee Assistance Program (EAPs): The Office of Personnel Management defines an EAP as a “voluntary, work-based program that offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related problems.” This rolls right into the next emerging benefit…
  • Elder Care Resources & Referral Services: Baby Boomers are clambering for this assistance, as their parents age and not only need increasing amounts of assistance but also help for navigating the complex world of aging in America.

Health-Related Benefits

The American healthcare system is expensive! For employers and employees, the cost is a major part of the budget each year. Cost-management continues to be a focus, and companies will keep exploring mutually beneficial solutions for employees.

  • Health Savings Account (HSA) Education: Already well-established, HSAs will continue to pop up, and employee benefit managers will need to continue educating employees about what they are and how they use them advantageously.
  • Direct Contracting with Health Care Providers: According to SHRM, self-insured employers who contract directly with local health care providers will lower costs.
  • Telemedicine

Financial Wellness

Between the masses of Millennials who are still paying off student loans and the bulk of Baby Boomers who are looking at retiring soon, financial concerns loom large.

  • Student Loan Assistance or Repayment
  • Employee Discount Programs
  • Cost-of-Living Raises: Not tied to performance or seniority, these raises help employers stay competitive, especially in high cost-of-living locations.
  • Roth 401(k)s
  • One-on-One Financial Advice

Free Technology: According to SHRM, employers offering workers free computers for personal use has seen a 15-point increase in the past five years.

The hunt for talent is on, and if your organization – like many – are facing long recruitment timelines and a shortage of prime applicants, it’s time to kick your employee benefits management strategy up a notch.