9 Best Employee Benefits to Offer in 2021

Best Employee Benefits

Recruiting new talent is always a challenge—keeping that talent is even tougher. How can you attract the best employees and ensure they stay with your company?

Of course, wages are enticing—bonuses, too—but most employers know it takes more than great compensation to stop their top employees from looking elsewhere.

As many of today’s jobs have made the shift to remote work, special perks like comfy communal areas make little sense anymore, even if you do still have staff in the office. But free coffee and healthy snacks are great if you offer special subscription services like Caroo (formerly SnackNation) and offer to ship to your employees’ homes.

That said, it’ll take more than special perks to attract today’s top motivated talent. The best employee benefits belong to four major categories:

  • Quality of work–Employees want to feel appreciated and that their work makes a difference.
  • Quality of life–Their job should improve their overall lifestyle and offer balance.
  • Professional development–The best employees love learning and constantly improving their knowledge and worth.
  • Financial or insurance benefits–Show your devotion to staff by providing them with tools for their financial and physical wellbeing.

These are nine of the best employee benefits to offer your staff:

1) Flexible Working Arrangements

The most important aspect of being an employer is ensuring your staff completes assigned tasks, right? Well, for many employees, especially the younger generation, the flexibility to complete tasks when and where they can is an appreciated perk. Flexible working arrangements boost work quality, employees appreciate the nod to their abilities, and it costs you very little to implement.

2) Tuition Reimbursement

Most of today’s positions require a specific degree, license, or certification. Many employees want to take their careers to the next level, though, which requires ongoing education. For these staff members, offering tuition reimbursement for classes or programs that specifically relate to their positions is a game-changer.

3) In-house or Virtual Seminars & Workshops

It’s a nice break from the everyday when employees get to learn relevant and timely information from subject matter experts. Guest speakers presenting interesting information your staff doesn’t hear every day can inspire employees to stretch outside their comfort zones.

4) Formal Mentorship or “Buddy” Programs

And what about new hires? If you ever changed schools as a kid, you remember all too well that feeling of being out of place, not knowing anyone, and certainly not knowing what they expected of you. Being the unfamiliar face at a company feels a lot like that. Implementing a “buddy” program helps foster forward-thinking and goal orientation. Pair up your new hires with experienced staff as early as possible, and offer the program to any employee that could benefit.

5) Paid Parenting Leave

Federal laws still don’t mandate paid leave for new parents. But employees covet employers who offer this precious benefit. The number of employers offering this benefit in 2020 jumped to 55% (up from just 35% in 2018). According to SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management):

  • 55% offer paid maternal leave
  • 45% offer paid paternal leave
  • 35% offer overall paid family leave

6) PTO for Volunteering

People have a growing desire to be more connected to the communities they live in. But just 26% of employers offer paid time off for volunteering. Offering just a few of these days each year shows you care about what your employees care about.

By promoting volunteering, you demonstrate good leadership and citizenship. It also gives a nod to overall mental health awareness, too. This benefit appeals to employees regardless of age. According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), the likelihood of an individual volunteering breaks down as follows:

  • 28.9% of 35-to 44-year-olds
  • 28% of 45- to 54-year-olds
  • 26.4% of 16- to 19-year-olds
  • ~25% of 20- to 24-year olds

7) Mental Health and Substance Abuse Programs

While these have long been considered taboo subjects, mental health and substance abuse are getting easier to talk about, even while not particularly easy to solve. Solving these issues will take time – but most importantly, it takes understanding and a willingness to listen.

Employers open to recognizing these issues and striving towards an open, non-judgmental environment for their employees typically offer programs and resources to employees and at no cost. Employees can seek counseling services for various personal issues, such as:

  • Mental health concerns
  • Marital or familial problems
  • Substance abuse
  • Finances

Having access to resources helps both employees and employers alike and keeps problems from spilling over into the workplace with adverse affects.

8) Student Loan Payments Help

Fourteen percent of American adults have some amount of student loan debt, meaning you might have employees that deal with this financial burden. Average monthly student loan payments are just below $400 per month. Politicians speak about helping Americans with this mounting debt. But until that time, your employees would welcome repayment assistance.

9) Health Coverage

One of the best employee benefits is one that less than half of US citizens have—health insurance. Covering the costs of healthcare for employees is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a must. Dental and vision, too. With all the worries the average American faces, taking healthcare coverage off their ever-increasing plate is definitely the best employee benefit you can offer.

Wondering what you can do to attract and retain the top talent? Visit us online and see how America’s Back Office can help you implement today’s best employee benefits.