The workplace is constantly evolving. Employees expectations can change year-upon-year. This means that what might have been a valued employee benefit just a few years ago might not have quite the same appeal in 2024.
There are three employee benefits that your workforce will actually want in 2024.
According to a recent SHRM Employee Benefits Survey, 81% of respondents rated leave benefits as either “very important” or “extremely important.”
A leave benefit is any kind of benefit that allows employees to enjoy a good work/life balance through encouraging them to take regular breaks.
Examples of leave benefits include:
- A generous leave allowance that goes above and beyond their statutory rights.
- Paid time off (PTO) including optional sabbaticals for employees to travel, or to pursue training, development, or voluntary opportunities.
- Family leave, including maternity and paternity leave and pay.
- Travel insurance benefits, to cover all the risks associated with either business travel or personal travel outside of work.
In the same survey, 89% of respondents rated healthcare benefits as “very important” or “extremely important.” This was the highest ranking of all the benefits listed in the survey.
Health benefits are any benefits that allow employees to prioritise their mental or physical health, both in and out of the workplace.
This might include:
- Workplace wellness schemes, including subsidised gym memberships, cycle to work plans, workplace yoga or massage sessions, dress-down Fridays, and so on.
- Employee healthcare schemes, including fast-track access to GP appointments, plus cover for private healthcare treatment, and separate cover for mental health support and dental services.
- Personal injury insurance, including lump-sum payments and cover for ongoing rehabilitation costs, such as physiotherapy expenses.
Healthcare insurance has become even more important over the last few years as NHS waiting lists have become longer so having a healthcare benefit that gives staff fast-track access to GPs can be a huge perk.
During the 2020 lockdowns, working from home became the new normal for millions. Employees now expect to have the final say on where, when, and how they work.
The importance of flexible working as an employee benefit are highlighted by a 2022 CIPD study, which found that over 4 million employees had changed their careers due to a lack of flexible working opportunities. A Small Business Prices survey revealed that over 25% of employees would prefer flexible working relationships over a pay rise.
If you don’t offer flexible working, then both potential and existing employees might start looking elsewhere for work – such as to your competitors.
Flexible working benefits can include:
- Remote working opportunities.
- Flexible hours – such as condensed or compressed hours and flexitime arrangements that allow employees to choose their working hours, within agreed limits.
- Annualised hours – where employees work a set number of hours over the course of a year, but they get to choose when they work these hours.
Flexible working arrangements give employees much greater control over their work/life balance, and they appear to be particularly popular with younger Gen Z and Millennial employees.
Conclusion – in 2024, show your employees you care
Good employee benefits can:
- Boost employee morale and productivity while reducing workplace stress and anxiety.
- Make both recruitment and retention a lot easier.
- Allow employees to get fast-track access to healthcare, dental care, and even mental health support, which can help reduce unplanned absences.
Flexible working, wellness schemes, generous leave allowances and workplace healthcare cover are among the most meaningful benefits for one simple reason: They send a strong message to employees that you truly care about their individual needs, and that you value their time, their welfare, and their wellbeing.
If you want to attract and retain the most talented individuals in your industry, make 2024 the year you introduce an employee benefits package that truly strikes a chord.