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6 Benefits Today's Workers Expect

By Maurie Backman - Dec 15, 2018 at 12:18PM

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Want to know what employees are looking for? Here's some intel.

In today's healthy job market, attracting and retaining talent is easier said than done. As an employer, however, you're no doubt aware that replacing valuable workers comes at a cost and finding new hires can be a time-consuming process. It's therefore wise to be aware of the benefits that employees find most important. Here are six to focus on based on data compiled by Jobvite.

1. A solid healthcare plan

It's no secret that medical care is expensive, but having a good health plan with a wide range of coverage can help ease the burden for today's workers. It's not surprising, then, that 79% of employees expect their employers to offer good health insurance. If you're willing to generously subsidize your workers' premiums, even better.

Man sitting at desk smiling with multiple computer screens in the background.


2. A 401(k) plan

Saving for retirement is important for workers of all ages. It's possible to build a nest egg outside an employer-sponsored plan, but 401(k)s offer one major benefit that IRAs do not: higher annual contribution limits.

Beginning in 2019, workers under 50 will have the option to sock away up to $19,000 a year in a 401(k), while those 50 and over can contribute up to $25,000. The annual limits for traditional and Roth IRAs, on the other hand, will max out at $6,000 for younger workers and $7,000 for those 50 and older. That explains why 60% of workers expect their employers to sponsor a 401(k).

3. 401(k) matching dollars

Many companies that offer 401(k)s also agree to match employee contributions up to a certain limit. As a result, workers effectively get free money for retirement, provided they contribute enough from their own paychecks to capitalize on this benefit. A good 46% of workers expect this matching feature to be part of their 401(k) plan, so if your company has a plan with no match, consider it a wake-up call to do better.

4. Bonuses and stipends

Employees want to be rewarded for a job well done and want the opportunity to grow their skills and develop professionally. That's why 39% of workers expect bonuses and stipends from their employers. The former can serve as a token of gratitude for going above and beyond, while the latter can be used to pay for things like online courses, seminars, and conferences.

5. A casual dress code

Maintaining a business wardrobe can get expensive, and coming to work every day in business suits can be downright uncomfortable. A good 33% of workers want their employers to offer a casual dress code. If your business doesn't currently uphold this practice but also doesn't host many formal clients on site, it pays to relax your policy. Besides, being physically comfortable might make your workers more productive, which only helps the business.

6. Parental leave

Parental leave (or lack thereof) is a hot-button issue in today's workforce, especially since U.S. companies are notoriously stingy in this department. But 26% say that generous parental leave is important to them, so it pays to evaluate your company's policy and see if you can do better.

The better a benefits package you offer, the more likely you'll be to keep your top workers happy while enticing new ones to join your company. Keep the above benefits in mind as you map out your company's offerings, especially if you've been struggling to retain or attract talent of late.

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