There’s not a day that goes by where you can’t log into Twitter or LinkedIn and see a new article about the hot trend in employee benefits or commuting.
What matters most is what trends stick around. Earlier this year, the Society for Human Resource Management published its 2018 Employee Benefits survey with HR professionals. It benchmarks the prevalence of 300-plus benefits over a five-year period.
About 285,000 human resources professionals were asked what benefits they had offered, and what they planned to offer over the next year. The results were compared to previous surveys to see benefits are increasing, and which are on the decline.
Here is a look at the survey’s results:
The current state of benefits
Employers are increasing their offerings as part of the retention strategies . And for a good reason.
Thirty-four percent of companies increased benefit offerings in the last year, according to SHRM. A large amount — 72 percent — said they did it because they wanted to retain employees. Another 58 percent wanted to attract new employees.
So what benefits are on the rise?
Seventy-five benefits have more employers offering them than before. Companies are putting a premium on offering emotional, financial and physical wellness for employees.
Here are a few snapshots from the survey:
- Do your employees have a parent who needs care? In 2018, 27 percent of companies offered paid parental leave while none did in 2014.
- Do your employees ask for a standing desk? More than half of all companies offer this benefit now compared to 2014 when 20 percent per did.
- For health insurance, consumer-directed plans are on the rise — 40 percent of the companies are offering them in 2018. A total of 30 percent did in 2014. There were also increases in Health Savings Account, which pairs with this.
- Some other big risers included onsite stress management systems, allowing employees to have a room in the workplace where they can go for some peaceful time alone (meditation, prayer, etc.), and one-to-one individual retirement investment advice.
Commuter benefit trends
Commuter benefits were not designated as a category. But the survey counted transit subsidies for public transportation and park subsidies for a paid parking benefit.
Overall, commuting benefits remained relatively flat from previous years. The only rise was in employee parking subsidies, which increased to 12 percent in 2018 from 7 percent in 2014.
Thirteen percent of business offered commuters a break on public transportation commuting costs — about the same as previous years.
One thing to keep in mind is that effective Jan. 1, commuters will now have a pre-tax limit of $265 for their commuter benefits. That will also help companies because of the corresponding decrease in the payroll tax.
If you are not providing commuter benefits to your employees, you’re missing out on serious tax savings and the ability to offer a great benefit to your workers and attract new hires.