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Emerging Benefits Offerings Reflect Changing Employee Needs

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Employers are increasingly broadening their scope of employee benefit offerings to meet the changing needs of their workforce.

A survey of more than 1,000 organizations conducted by WorldatWork with underwriting support from Korn Ferry found that elder-care resource and referral services, women’s advancement initiatives and disaster relief funds are among the benefits that had statistically significant increases from 2017 to 2018.

In addition, telemedicine offerings, identity theft insurance, unpaid sabbaticals and paid parental leave also saw increased participation in 2018.

The growth of non-traditional benefits shows employers acknowledge that employees have concerns and responsibilities outside the job, said Malinda Riley, Korn Ferry senior principal. “These benefits help address those issues, which increases employee loyalty and productivity,” she said. “We are also impressed with the increase in women’s advancement initiatives, which will contribute to stronger, more balanced leadership teams.” 

The study also found that some benefits that have increasingly been in the headlines are not being adopted quickly by organizations. Only 9% of respondents said they offer an unlimited paid time off (PTO) program, and 6% of the respondents said they offer college debt repayment programs.

Experts recommend that companies closely review which benefits will make the largest impact on their workforce.

“While the possibilities for meeting employee needs through benefits programming are endless, it’s important to note that not all emerging programs will be a good fit for an organization,” said Alison Avalos, director of membership and total rewards strategy at WorldatWork. “Employer brand perception, organizational culture and workforce demographics are just a few of the factors that should be considered when determining whether an emerging program will be a worthwhile addition to an organization’s total rewards package.”

About the Author 

Melissa Murdock is the director of external affairs at WorldatWork. 

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