Lifestyle Benefits Becoming the Future of Employee Benefits
Lifestyle benefits have become the latest trend in employee benefit packages. Lifestyle benefits are coming to the forefront for companies which provide employee benefits packages. Employee benefits continue to evolve as workers’ lives become more complex and lifestyle benefits are structured to reduce some of that complexity.
What is causing employee benefits such as lifestyle benefits to be surfacing? These employee benefits are designed to help make workers’ lives better by going above and beyond standard medical, dental and vision benefits. Lifestyle employee benefits include more robust offerings such as childcare, student loan repayment assistance, emergency savings help, financial wellness benefits, etc.
More prospective hires are showing an active interest in companies’ employee benefits offerings. Candidates are asking about employee benefits in interviews, and they expect employers to answer that they provide offerings beyond traditional cafeteria-style employee benefits. In fact, 60% of employees say employee benefits significantly impact their decision to take a new job or not, according to a Glassdoor survey cited in a recent Employee Benefit News article on lifestyle employee benefits. Moreover, younger employees, like Millennials, are more apt to change jobs than their older Baby Boomer counterparts if they are dissatisfied with the employee benefits offerings available to them.
The primary drivers behind workers’ desire for lifestyle employee benefits are socioeconomic, including the high cost of childcare and the student loan crisis. According to Employee Benefit News, “Competitive employers offer perks addressing these needs to help their workforce achieve greater work-life balance, which leads to higher productivity rates and employee loyalty.”
Employees who struggle outside of work bring that anxiety and stress to work with them. Employers who can assist employees to get ahead of stress by offering lifestyle employee benefits will help to boost productivity, retention and loyalty. Of course, income is a primary factor in determining employees’ lifestyle. However, if raises aren’t possible, employers can provide employee benefits to help their workforce make the most of the income they do have. Some employers, like Salary Finance — a financial wellness provider — offer workers employee benefits such as the ability to get advances on their paychecks rather than relying on short-term loans or predatory payday lending practices to pay their bills on time.
Financial stress causes workers to have sleepless nights and potentially fight with coworkers, neither of which contributes to a good or productive work environment. Lifestyle employee benefits can help improve productivity and the environment in the workplace by reducing financial and other employee stressors. Employers may consider offering employee lifestyle benefits such as childcare benefits, student loan repayment assistance, emergency savings opportunities, financial wellness, gym membership subsidies and more.
Growing numbers of employers are catching on and beginning to offer competitive packages which include lifestyle benefits. Employers who do not are in danger of being left behind, and not being able to recruit and retain talent. According to Kate Ott, director of worksite benefits and employee practice at M3 Insurance who was quoted in the Employee Benefit News article, employers should introduce employee lifestyle benefits gradually to make the maximum impact.
Lifestyle benefits provide another positive effect: They show employees that their employers care about them and take an interest in their lives outside of work. After all, happy and physically and mentally healthy employees are more productive, which is better for the bottom line. From that perspective, it is beneficial for employers to offer lifestyle benefits to improve workers’ lives in and out of the office.