Benefits Administration, Employee Engagement, Open Enrollment, Voluntary Benefits

Three Unique Benefits Gaining Traction in Today’s Workforce

April 18, 2023 | Winston

We’ve talked a lot about employee benefit trends in the last few months, and in the process, we’ve seen some unique offerings, which is one way that companies try to attract and retain top talent. However, some benefits that were once considered outside the status quo are gaining traction and becoming more widely offered in today’s workforce.

Childcare Benefits

Five to ten years ago, childcare benefits were not commonly offered at many companies. Yet, more recently, companies have been prioritizing offering these benefits specifically to retain their female workers, as women are reportedly twice as likely as men to take time off work due to childcare responsibilities. Childcare benefits can look like monthly stipends, access to pre-selected childcare centers that are aligned with your company, and even having a childcare facility on- or near-site.

While some companies still feel like offering childcare benefits is in the distant future, recent government funding initiatives could change that. According to an article by Human Resources Executive, the Commerce Department recently unveiled provisions of its funding application for its CHIPS Incentives Program, which will require semiconductor companies of a certain size and under federal contract to offer affordable childcare to all employees. While this is a small step in the direction of providing access to childcare, it’s still a look into what could come if the initiative proves successful.

Four-Day Workweek

So, the four-day workweek has been a hot topic in the corporate world for a while now, but most have taken it as more of a dream rather than a possibility. The argument for the four-day work schedule is as follows; technology has advanced so much in the last fifty years that tasks that used to take employees a day to do now take an hour or so. Therefore, many employees argue that they would be more productive if given a four-day window to complete their work rather than five days because they would feel less burnout and more motivation to succeed. This notion started gaining popularity following the pandemic when many workers started working remotely and found that they were more productive and were able to complete their work more efficiently compared to when they were in the office, prompting the question of whether five days of work was necessary.

While some companies have tried out different forms of this theory by either cutting down to four days, opting for half-day Fridays, or Summer Fridays, where employees have more flexibility in the summer months, many company leaders are still skeptical. The counterargument is that some employees cannot lose that fifth day of work; in fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that roughly 32% of full-time workers work weekends just to keep up with their workload. CEOs especially were found to work 79% of weekend days at an average of 3.9 hours daily. Yet, the fact remains that this is a benefit trend we don’t see going away anytime soon and could be an excellent tool for combating burnout.

Pet Benefits

A big motivation for employees when searching for a new position is voluntary benefits that can improve their lives outside of work. Pet benefits have easily risen to the top when it comes to unique benefits adding value for employers as it helps to tackle the often overlooked issue of pet healthcare costs. In fact, these benefits have become so popular that according to Forbes, 30% of eighteen to forty-one-year-olds are most concerned with having pet insurance available as a benefit. 

Offering support for pet benefits is indirectly tied to the larger issue of inflation and rising costs nationwide. For many, pets are an integral part of their lifestyle and happiness, yet the cost of veterinary care places a burden on pet owners. By offering employer-sponsored pet insurance, companies can show their employees they care about more than their ability to work but their overall quality of life.

Are you thinking about implementing a unique benefit into your current offerings? Winston can help create strategic communication campaigns announcing any new offerings during your next open enrollment period! In addition, we provide year-round call center decision support to ensure your employees understand these new benefits. Learn more about our services!

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Disclaimer: This content is strictly informational and should not be used as specific advice on insurance products, legal, accounting, and/or tax related matters. Insureds should always contact the appropriate licensed professional for their insurance, legal, accounting, or tax needs.

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