Flexwork. Emergency savings accounts. In-home childcare. Unlimited vacation time. Employee satisfaction, attitudes, and needs have transformed dramatically since 2020. So have their expectations. When it comes to hiring and retention, your benefit packages and perks could be the difference between keeping or losing top talent.
While salary and wages will always be a driving force, benefits and perks are quickly becoming as important in incentivizing and appreciating employees. Pandemic era decision-making has shifted employee priorities toward greater flexibility, work-life balance, and holistic wellness. Your 2022 benefit packages should reflect this.
Scanning the employment landscape across the country, we’ve seen a wide range of new benefits popping up — some would have been considered extreme in the past, but in today’s market companies are becoming innovative with their employment perks.
Here are a few of the benefits getting increased attention:
- Hybrid work environments. Flexibility is the leading perk in returning to the office. COVID variants are cropping up around the country with continued uncertainty around school closures and reduced childcare (as well as elderly care) availability. Implementing a hybrid work policy gives employees the option to blend their time at the office and home, empowering them to manage challenging schedules and prioritize family needs. Caregiver flexibility is critically important in 2022. A recent com survey found, “Providing employees with the flexibility they need to perform their role as caregivers is integral to enhancing their mental health, and that in turn supports their productivity.”
- In-home childcare. Another new perk, highlighted in a recent Harvard Business Review article, is an increase in paid memberships to online platforms that help employees find care-based services. Childcare, new parent support, and tutoring, as well as pet care and elderly care services, have all seen significant jumps. Onsite, corporate childcare centers are becoming a thing of the past in exchange for partial reimbursement for in-home services.
- Matching emergency savings accounts. Helping employees prepare for unexpected expenses contributes to financial security and stability. Emergency savings accounts can help many Americans avoid hardship when they can tap into liquid assets during difficult times. Employers are setting up automatic payroll deductions and, in some instances, matching those contributions. This is perceived as a critical investment in employee wellbeing, as 37% of American households could not come up with $400 to meet an emergency, and 52% of middle-income households do not have enough funds to cover three months of expenses.
- Unlimited vacation. While unlimited vacation isn’t new, these policies are gaining renewed interest in light of COVID-19. Tech companies and startups were early adopters of unlimited vacation, which places no maximum on vacation days that can be taken at any time—as long as work gets done—and for any reason, such as sick time, mental wellness, bereavement, volunteering, etc. Such programs were met with mixed reviews in years past because employees do not accrue time off. However, the recent surge in unlimited vacation highlights the need for flexibility. More and more employees are tapping into this resource as they juggle competing priorities at home.
These four examples are just a sampling of what top talent will be seeking—and expecting—in 2022. Retaining and attracting highly qualified candidates will hinge upon a combination of competitive wages and benefit packages that provide flexibility and renewed focus on overall employee wellbeing, including mental wellness. Learn more about what employees value most in ARG’s upcoming 2022 Salary Guide.