Move over health and dental. There’s a new class of employee benefits emerging as a real difference-maker when it comes to showing employees you care and establishing your organization as an employer of choice.
Companies are expanding their work-life benefits not just because they want to, but because they have to. These are the benefits that are going to help you recruit and retain top talent, and keep employees present and engaged – especially the growing millennial generation.
- 62 percent of employees would leave a job for one with better work-life benefits
- 90 percent of employees have left work, and 30 percent cut back by more than 6 hours per week due to family responsibilities
- 70 percent of working parents say the cost of child care has influenced career decisions
More than ever before, top organizations who stand apart as “Best Places to Work” earn those accolades by recognizing that their employees’ family lives don’t stop at the office door. It’s companies that care that are meeting the demands of our modern workforce and getting the best results.
Why do they win? Because they’re addressing employee needs with work-life benefits that cut absenteeism, attract and retain the best employees and drive performance.
Need more proof? Five of the top eight companies in Glassdoor’s annual “Employees’ Choice Awards” – honoring the Best Places to Work for 2016 as determined by ratings and reviews from current and former employees -- work with Care.com to provide innovative work-life benefits for their employees.
Here, we’ll take a look at five of the ways companies that care about employees lives outside of work will win in 2016.
- They’ll #LeadOnLeave
Maternity and paternity leave programs have been some of the hottest employee benefits of the past few years. Summer 2015 might has well have been the Summer of Maternity Leave Love, as company after company announced expansions of paid parental leave policies. What we can expect in 2016 is for progressive employers – companies who care – to take the next step to lead the paid leave evolution: Rolling out programs and services that bookend parental leave, supporting a successful transition from workaholic to working parent. We’re predicting more formal and flexible transition plans, more subsidized backup child care for last-minute needs and resource and referral programs that will help families find and manage care for their families.
In our Better Benefits Survey last year, we found that 83 percent of millennials would leave their current job for one with better family/lifestyle benefits. Given the size of this generation, they will have a significant impact on shaping workplace policies.
- Give Your Employees Access to the World's Largest Database of Caregivers
- 7 Companies with Innovative Parental Leave Benefits
- Top 10 Ways Companies Are Making It Easier to Return from Maternity Leave
- And Support Sandwiched Employees
Nearly half of adults ages 40 to 50 fall in what we call the Sandwich Generation, meaning they’re simultaneously providing some level of care for both their children and aging parents. Right behind them are the millennials, who now make up 25 percent of the 44 million caregivers in the workforce. With the 65 and older population expected to hit 55 million by 2020, we’re experiencing a new wave of working caregivers with work-life needs that employee benefits and workplace supports have not traditionally addressed.
The aging population is becoming more than just "the aging workforce" issue. With 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 every day on average, there’s a massive population of working caregivers who will need support – something employers can and will need to provide.
In response to this rising demand, we expect companies who care will implement benefits and cultural standards to address the challenges and stresses common among employees facing senior care issues in their lives. Look for more companies facilitating support groups for working caregivers, and more employers bringing experts on-site for seminars on topics like long-distance caregiving, Alzheimer’s and coordinating care with siblings. As more people live longer, the need for elder care supports is only going to grow – and companies who care are going to be providing more than a standard, reactive EAP.
- 5 Things You Need to Know About the Sandwich Generation
- Learn More About Senior Care Planning
- 5 Things You Need to Know About Aging in America
- They’ll Provide #BetterBenefits for the Modern Workforce
With the shifts in workplace culture, combined with generational differences among employees, the one-size-fits-all approach to benefits is becoming a dinosaur. We’re starting to see a movement toward a one-size-fits-one approach, where companies are turning to flexible benefits programs that leverage tech-friendly platforms and pay-as-you-go models that allow employees to use what they need when they need it.
Beyond that, we’ll start to see benefits become “smarter” as employees engage more, providing relevant information in a timely fashion. According to our Better Benefits survey, 40 percent of respondents would be more inclined to use employee benefits if they were accessible on a mobile device. So, as employees become more mobile, expect benefits to become more mobile, too.
- How Work-Life Benefits Improve Workplace Performance
- 15 Companies with Work-Life Benefits Your Employees are Dreaming About
- Learn More About Employer-Provided Backup Care
- Keep Culture at the Core
Employees today – and especially millennials, who are now the largest workforce population – put a premium on company culture. With the continued rise of flexible schedules and distributed talent, leading employers are finding way to make sure culture is a consistent experience throughout the entire workforce, regardless of geographic location. To that end, we’ll see more and more companies innovating ways to extend organizational culture and workplace supports beyond office walls.
For example, look for an increase in fostering community among distributed workers through personalized app experiences and mobile communications. Even though employees may be thousands of miles from one another, we’re seeing technology being used to create greater benefits equity and cultural consistency among distributed teams. Mobile technology allows remote employees to experience the company’s culture, with access to the same corporate benefits as those who work at the Mothership.
- 101 Reasons to Care About Employees’ Lives Outside of Work
- 5 Reasons Work Perks Do Not a Culture Make
- The Link Between Better Benefits Communication and Employee Performance
- And Bring in the Experts
As work and life become increasingly intertwined and companies strive to respond to the challenges employees face, we can expect to see an increase in access to experts as an employee benefit. Think of it as bringing in experts for experts. We’re talking lactation consultants, yoga instructors, social workers and personal chefs.
An increasingly popular benefit available through Care.com’s corporate services is Adult and Senior Care Planning, which provides access to Master’s level social workers who help employees navigate conversations around their aging parents. When a company makes the effort to assists employees in navigating life’s challenges, it engenders loyalty and helps workers to bring their best selves to work every day.
- 5 Steps to Curbing Workplace Absenteeism
- The Future of Employee Wellness Programs
- 8 Great Employee Benefits for Recruiting Millennials
Michael Marty is Care.com's VP and GM of Operations and Business Services.