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Employee benefits: Which are the most rewarding, and what should you avoid?

Published on May 30th, 2018 by Triton Benefits & HR Solutions

The benefits and perks that human resources leaders and executive stakeholders offer their employees are now more important than ever before. While elements like health insurance have become mainstays, today's HR managers are getting creative with their business's benefits, as these can help attract and retain top talent.

In fact, according to a Glassdoor survey, 57 percent of candidates said that the benefits and perks offered by the employer are among their top considerations ahead of accepting a position. What's more, 80 percent of workers would rather have new benefits than a raise in their pay.

So which perks are the most rewarding for employees, and which should you and your HR stakeholders avoid?

Advantageous and attractive employee benefits

Certain benefits have proven to be more motivating and appreciated by workers than others. When building out your benefits plans, consider adding these helpful perks for your staff members:

Extended paid parental leave

One of the most stressful times in an individual's life is when they welcome a new member to the family. Parenthood is an incredible adventure, and most new parents admit that they didn't feel like they had enough time to spend with their new babies during the first few months of their lives. Offering extended maternity and paternity leave – or simply including paid leave for new fathers – can be considerably attractive for the young workforce and is a godsend for your employees who become new parents.

This is something that more companies are looking to do – in fact, Netflix offers its employees a whole year of paid parental leave, Fast Company reported. What's more, employees have the option to return in full-time or part-time capacity and can take as much leave as they need throughout the year.

Chalkboard with the words "EMPLOYEE BENEFITS" across the top with things like "paid vacation," "adoption leave," and "overtime" written underneath. Which perks serve to motivate employees and which benefits should be avoided?

Duvet Days 

Paid sick days are offered by many companies, but these precious days off are typically saved for when employees simply aren't well enough to work. As RewardGateway pointed out, sometimes a worker is feeling fine, but just doesn't feel up to a full day of hard work or needs to take a morning off.

In these situations, employers can offer Duvet Days, or Duvet Mornings, which allow workers to call in for the day or for the morning on short notice. These special days can help prevent employee burnout while also helping staff members save their sick days for when they're actually ill.

Financial wellness advice and support 

Financial advice and training on spending best practices can be beneficial for employees, especially in businesses with a younger workforce. Financial wellness programs are becoming increasingly common, helping to support skills like budgeting and bolstering savings.

Other options to consider here include tuition reimbursement, employee-matched 401(K) opportunities and commuter transportation discounts. 

Benefits that aren't beneficial: Avoid these perks

While things like extended parental leave and the ability to take the morning off can help motivate and support your employees, some benefits aren't actually beneficial to the workforce:

  • Employee of the Month recognition: Dan Ryan of Ryan Search & Consulting told Forbes that while this is often a benefits staple, a monthly program like this can actually unmotivate those who aren't recognized and make employee efforts feel overlooked.
  • Unlimited vacation: It's unclear in what situation this type of benefit would function well, but it's also worth pointing out that unlimited days off can actually result in employees working more and taking fewer days off, leading to low job satisfaction and quick burnout.
  • Discount programs: This does not extend to commuter discounts and helpful elements of that sort, but rather to programs that only focus on company partnerships and not employee needs. As Larry Boyer of Success Rockets LLC told Forbes, employee discount programs are usually centered around generating revenue for the company and its partners, not about rewording team members for their efforts.
  • Empty titles: Recognition shouldn't have to come with a meaningless title that may only serve to confuse internal stakeholders and partners.

To find out more about creating and managing the best benefits program for your employees, connect with the experts at Triton Benefits & HR Solutions today.