30 Employee Perks to Retain Employees in 2023

Remaining competitive in the employee market is all about striking the right balance of perks and benefits employees look for these days. This blog post reveals the latest trends, so read on to get inspired to perk up your perk offering for 2023.

October 14, 2022 By Ravijojla Novakovic Share on Twitter! Share on Facebook! Share on LinkedIn!

Introduction

We’re living in unprecedented times in many ways, especially when it comes to the way we work. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Industrial revolutions brought irreversible changes, all the way to the recent shifts that made employees in certain sectors work from home. And even though it may have seemed temporary at first, remote, hybrid, and flexible work is here to stay. 

Changing along with the times are the perks and benefits the employees look for from an employer. Historically, employers have used various benefits to attract and retain employees. Nowadays, the combination of perks and benefits companies offer their employees have become more varied than ever, with plenty of options serving the varying desires of a diverse workforce. 

Mercer’s 2022 Health & Benefits Strategies report finds that “70% of all large employers are planning benefit enhancements for 2023”. Instead of reacting to employee demands, companies think of employee perks and benefits as a way to be proactive in securing their top talent. Read on to find out the latest and most attractive perk offerings currently at the leading edge across industries.

What are Employee Perks and Benefits?

Even though these terms are often used interchangeably, employee perks and benefits are not the same, as experts suggest.

Employee benefits are a part of an employee’s total rewards package alongside compensation, wellbeing and recognition programs, and learning and development plans. Examples of widespread employee benefits are personalized health insurance options, commuting costs, or 401(k) contributions. 

Perks are additional offerings that come on top of the salary and are generally not included in the total rewards package. They are nice-to-haves and usually smaller in terms of financial investment for the employer. Still, perks can significantly enhance an employee’s experience, motivation and satisfaction with their workplace. 

Perks come in many shapes and sizes these days, and they can range from financial aid to help employees freeze eggs (offered by Apple and Facebook) to free coffee or lunches at work. As the saying goes, different folks, different strokes, so make sure you can read your workforce. 

Both benefits and perks can be negotiated at any convenient time of the employee journey, for example, during recruiting – for attracting the right talents, or during some critical Moments that Matter for employees, such as getting a new house, getting married, or nourishing a family member in need.  

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Why Review the Employee Perks and Benefits Offering

Reviewing a company’s perk offering and total rewards strategy takes a lot of effort, but the outcomes are worth it. The Predictive Index finds that the No. 1 driver of retention is benefits. 

Additionally, according to Gartner’s Employee Benefits Survey, 64% of employees believe the benefits packages their organizations provide meet their needs. That leaves plenty of space to improve and lots of employees to appease. 

The current talent shortage is well-documented. According to Forbes, retaining talent is nr. 1 concern for executives across a wide range of industries, and recruiting talent is nr. 2. Knowing what your competitors offer and designing a total rewards strategy that best serves your workforce is vital to retain and recruiting new talent. 

The Great Resignation, aka the Great Reshuffle, or most recently and maybe the most accurate term, the Great Upgrade, has financially damaged employers. In The State of Talent Optimization by The Predictive Index, the average cost of a single resignation is approximately $11,372 per employee.

However, the Great Upgrade has brought on a positive shift, too. Employees now want more from employers, getting into an employer-employee relationship that becomes more of a partnership in which both parties work to serve each other’s interests better. When employers deliver the desired work conditions, including perks and benefits, employees respond with more engagement, which always impacts the bottom line. In the end – everybody wins. 

The Most Attractive Perks in 2023

Flexible, hybrid, and remote work options and hours

Having experienced working from home during the pandemic, many workers simply do not want to work for workplaces that don’t offer at least some level of understanding for events happening outside of work. SHRM provides the following numbers regarding flexible benefits: flexible work benefits were at 49% in 2019, 83% during the pandemic when many workers were required to work remotely and have now settled at 70% in 2022.

Whether their job is remote first, remote-friendly or onsite, employees nowadays expect flexibility from their employers. According to a survey by The Predictive Index, nr. 1 driver of attrition is inflexibility. The same survey found that remote-friendly companies are experiencing 33% lower turnover.

Additionally, Deloitte’s 2022 survey found that “three-quarters of employed adults with remote-work experience—and half of employed adults overall—prefer virtual or hybrid working options”. 

Even during the pandemic’s fiercest stages, some workplaces couldn’t shift to flexible and hybrid work options due to the very nature of their work itself. Those companies can compensate for this by offering flexibility in terms of flexible work hours and an allocated number of days to work from home.  

Mental and physical wellbeing plans 

According to the most recent HR Leaders Monthly’s report, only 44% of employees and 57% of leaders report they “feel physically well.” Those are alarming numbers urging companies to redirect efforts into adding perks and benefits that target employees’ health. 

Deloitte’s 2022 report on wellbeing reveals that more employees are leaving work or expecting to leave due to wellbeing concerns (including mental and physical wellbeing). The associated costs for employers have risen by 25% since 2019, presenting a considerable expense that employers can avoid with programs that tackle wellbeing preemptively. The most substantial of the associated costs is presenteeism – employees being at work while sick or not at full capacity due to illness.  

To help employees cope and thrive, many companies are increasingly allocating budgets to employee wellness. And rightly so, Deloitte’s model has found that the average return for employers incorporating wellbeing initiatives at work is £5.3 for every £1 invested. 

Some ideas for the most popular mental wellness perks include:

  • Wellbeing apps like Wellbeing, Limeade, Calm, Headspace, Thrive, etc.
  • Teletherapy face-to-face
  • In-person face-to-face therapy
  • Inclusive family-building support (fertility, adoption, and surrogacy benefits)
  • Body aid devices and prostheses benefits
  • Multi-sports card 
  • Spa days
  • Educational materials
  • For on-site workspaces: free fruit and healthy snacks at work
  • Health trackers
  • Ergonomic office furniture for on-site employees and reimbursement plans for those who work from home
  • Onsite lactation room for office-bound employees
  • Paid time off to volunteer
  • Experiential rewards
  • Floating holidays
  • Employee resource groups

Bonus tip: tie the use of health trackers with company-wide wellbeing initiatives for maximum impact.

➵ Learn about the importance of a healthy and thriving workforce and how recognition impacts it here.

Financial wellbeing budget

Worry is a natural part of life, but worrying too much depletes people and causes their morale, creativity, and productivity to suffer. The pandemic brought us a myriad of financial challenges, and the recent global events only added to the economic stress burden. SHRM’s report found that 28% of employed Americans report their financial situation has suffered due to the pandemic. 

Employers who show initiative and support to alleviate some worries about financial wellbeing can gain a critical advantage when retaining top talent. As a strategy, this is not something new – we can trace employers offering financial aid packages on top of employee compensation in the wake of the Great Depression of the 1930s. 

SHRM reports that 77% of working Americans list retirement as the most important financial benefit. Close to the top is the Safety Net Insurance (54%). 

Excellent up-and-coming practices for financial wellbeing perks include:

  • retirement plans (401(K) programs)
  • Safety Net Insurance
  • property loan repayment for new homeowners
  • Flexible paydays and emergency funds
  • Financial coaching & planning
  • Stipend for home office

Education budgets

According to SHRM’s report, 18% of working Americans chose Education benefits as their preferred perk. For employers, the benefits of including such perks go beyond employee satisfaction: increasing competencies and competitiveness of their workforce, preemptively tackling talent shortage. 

Ideas for perks regarding employee education: 

  • 529 plans for college and further education
  • Student loan repayment for recent graduates
  • Tuition reimbursements for upskilling and reskilling employees

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Aid for employees with caring responsibilities

These employees carry a substantial burden and are more prone to stress and burnout. Deloitte’s report found that 46% of employees used their annual leave to care for their family members in need, and a further 15% used their sick leave.

Employers that help their caring employees during critical time gain more trust and increase the loyalty of their employees.  

The aid for employees with caring responsibilities can be perks in the form of: 

  • child care support
  • financial aid to help pay for external care-takers
  • increased flexibility and paid time off (family support leave, carers leave)
  • tailored mental health services to support employees in coping with their current life challenges

Conclusion

Due to massive changes in how we work: the introduction of hybrid and remote work, WFH, and various degrees of work flexibility, companies have many options regarding the perks and benefits they offer to employees to remain competitive as a company.  

What works today may not work tomorrow, which undoubtedly relates to employee perks and benefits. Employees want it their way nowadays, and personalization is critical. Companies are advised to be well acquainted with their workforce so as to know what makes their employees tick and stay at a company. 

Based on our research, we have presented 30 ideas for perks your employees will appreciate and grouped them as flexibility, mental and physical wellbeing plans, financial wellbeing budgets, education budgets, and aid to employees with caring responsibilities. 

Regarding the outcomes of successful perks and benefits offerings, we have defined: improved employee retention, employer branding, talent acquisition, employee engagement, trust, loyalty, and employee health. For more content on HR-related topics, subscribe to our newsletter below or contact our specialists at: contact@semoscloud.com.

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