Employee benefits help keep workers healthy and save for their golden years. That’s great for the workers, but how about the employers? What do they get out of them? Benefits help employers retain and attract talent, which contribute to the bottom line. In the competition for the best and the brightest, the decision could easily hinge on which benefits an employer brings to the table. In order to distinguish themselves from competitors, some companies go beyond the standard benefits options and get a little unconventional.
The social media giant first started providing the benefit, which applies to employees and their spouses or domestic partners, in January. According to Bloomberg, the company offers full coverage, or as much as $20,000 in expenses, related to the procedure, which could include surrogacy or court fees.
Apple announced it will begin offering egg freezing benefits to its employees next year, with company spokeswoman Kristin Huguet saying they want to “empower women at Apple to do the best work of their lives as they care for loved ones and raise their families.”
But like any newsworthy benefit, this one comes with its share of scrutiny: Some question whether the benefit is pressuring women to delay childbirth in favor of their careers.
Some companies — ok, very few — are beginning to take a fresh look at paid time off — by offering unlimited amounts of it to its employees.
The reason behind it is simple: By offering unlimited PTO — say, to spend a week unwinding in the Caribbean or taking an afternoon off to hang with your kid — companies are putting trust into its employees and boosting their morale, loyalty and productivity all at the same time.
It hasn’t quite caught on yet: According to the Society for Human Resource Management, only about 1 percent of U.S. companies offer unlimited PTO plans to employees, though most of those one-percenters seem happy with the results.
Meanwhile, Americans lose billions in benefits by not taking the PTO days they do have.
So it may not seem like unlimited PTO is going to catch on any time soon, but us busy-bee workers can only hope.
Health insurance? 401(k)s? Nah. Employees are just hungry for food perks. A survey by Seamless, an online platform for ordering takeout or delivered meals, found that 57 percent of workers say food-based perks provided by employers would make them feel more valued and appreciated, 50 percent said food-based perks would make them more satisfied with their employers, and 38 percent said that food-related perks would make them more inclined to rate a company highly in a “Best Places to Work” survey.
And some employers are satisfying their craving: Seamless found an 11 percent increase in the number of companies offering food-based perks to workers in the past year.
While not everyone is going the Google-route (with unlimited free breakfast, lunch and dinner and dozens of food stations in its headquarters), some employers offer donuts in the mornings, lunch-provided meetings and snacks and dinner for evening work.
Healthy employees make for more productive employees, but what if they aren’t so healthy financially speaking?
Some workers living paycheck to paycheck rely on a payday lender – or perhaps worse, borrowing from their 401(k) – to help make ends meet. But some equate either option to a bandage on a bullet wound because the exorbitant fees can leave people in a deeper financial hole.
Enter the employer-based loan alternative, such as SimpleFi, which provides financial help to employees without risk to employers. Personal financial counseling comes included with the $30-a-year fee, so workers can eventually re-establish a sound financial footing instead of jumping precariously from paycheck to paycheck.
Employee purchase programs
How much is that wraparound leather couch with massaging recliner and ottoman in the window? Way more than people probably think if they go the rent-to-own route.
Credit is harder to come by following the financial crisis, which makes it harder to purchase big-ticket items such as televisions, computer and appliances. For some, rent-to-own is their only option. But not so different than payday loans, the high fees associated with rent-to-own stores could push people further into financial turmoil.
Through employee purchase programs, workers can purchase products they need, when cash and credit aren’t available, through automatic payroll deductions with no late fees or ballooning interest.