We talk a lot about how the workplace is changing. And how as a result, we need to manage employees differently, use newer technologies, etc. But what about employee benefits?
For the past twenty years, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has been publishing an employee benefits survey. This year, they decided to compare the benefits of twenty years ago and today. Evren Esen, director of survey programs at SHRM, shares some of the interesting results. “The biggest surprise was that, overall, while the number and types of benefits offerings from organizations has grown over the past 20 years, there have not been many major changes in terms of coverage of core employee benefits. Benefits such as health care, retirement planning and employee assistance programs are offered to employees at the same level as in 1996.”
The good news is that employers are listening to demands for better work/life balance with increased telecommuting, flextime and other accommodations. Since 1996, the percentage of organizations offering telecommuting has increased threefold (from 20 to 60 percent), and the percentage offering telecommuting on an ad hoc basis has increased from 45 percent in 2012 to 56 percent in 2016.
I understand the core benefits Evren mentioned are expensive to an organization’s bottom-line. But if we want to attract, engage, and retain the best talent, the company’s benefit package needs to show it. That doesn’t mean simply adding a foosball table or a “Bring Your Dog to Work” day. It means adding or enhancing core benefits.2