After wages, insurance is probably the most important benefit for workers. Indeed, for some employees, health insurance is After important than the salary.
But workers also want other non-insurance benefits. Some companies brag about offering pet-friendly table tennis tables and desks, but these perks aren’t really popular. So what do workers really want to? Well, that tends to vary from generation to generation.
A study by Unum reveals that, overall, the top three non-insurance benefits are:
1. Generous paid vacation (35%)
2. Flexible / remote working options (27%)
3. Paid family leave (24%)
To complete the top 10:
4. Incentives for physical fitness or a healthy lifestyle (19%)
5. Financial planning resources (18%)
6. Professional development (17%)
7. Employee assistance program (17%)
8. Protection against identity theft (15%)
9. Membership to on-site gym or fitness center (12%)
10. Healthy eating options on site (10%)
Rob Hecker, vice president of Global Total Rewards at Unum, says he’s not surprised by the top three benefits, especially considering how the pandemic has affected the work environment. “The sudden switch to virtual work has caused workers a lot of anxiety, and offering more flexible working conditions is a great way to relieve some of their stress. ”
(And Hecker says Unum’s workforce has been equally productive with increased flexibility in times and places.)
For three consecutive years, paid vacation has been the most sought after benefit in the annual survey. “The pandemic has reinforced the value for employees of taking time away from work to rejuvenate mentally and physically, or perhaps to care for someone who has fallen ill.”
And he says employees are increasingly recognizing the value of paid family leave. “Even before the pandemic, 1 in 6 workers performed care duties, and maintaining performance and attendance at work is one of the biggest challenges for these people. Whether it’s caring for a sick family member or bonding with a new child, Hecker says businesses can help ease pressures at work while providing a stable income for these. employees.
The main benefits vary from generation to generation. For example, almost half (47%) of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers cite generous paid time off as the main benefit, compared to just over a quarter (26%) of Millennials. But among Gen Z, it’s not even in the top three – in fact, generous paid time off is in fifth place at 17%.
Flexible remote / work options ranked second on the list for Baby Boomers and Millennials, and third for Gen X. However, it is not in the top five among Gen Z.
One benefit that is consistent from generation to generation is paid family leave. It ranked second among Gen X and Generation Z, and third among Baby Boomers and Millennials.
Financial planning resources ranked fourth among Baby Boomers and Millennials, but not in the top five for Gen X and Gen Z.
Incentives for fitness and a healthy lifestyle rank in the top five for all groups except Baby Boomers.
Only Gen X ranked professional development in the top five, while only Gen Z included the benefits of student loan repayment.
Interestingly, Gen Z’s primary benefit was identity theft protection, and Baby Boomers ranked it as the fifth most desirable benefit.
The Generation Z factor
“In many ways, Gen Z’s preferences are most similar to the baby boomer generation,” says Hecker. “They have suffered the impact of the financial crisis on their parents and tend to focus on financial stability. ”
And it’s no surprise that Gen Z sees the benefits of paying off student loans as a desirable benefit. “Student debt now exceeds about $ 1.6 trillion in the United States, and studies suggest that rising debt is hurting people’s overall well-being,” Hecker says. “Student loan repayment benefits are designed to help reduce financial stress and anxiety. Hecker says that 30% of his company’s workforce has student loan debt, and the company has introduced a student debt relief program. “In 2019, he paid $ 528,000 on behalf of the 428 employees who signed up for the program.”
Fitness / healthy lifestyle incentives are also higher among Gen Z. “This indicates that a generation that has just entered the workforce cares about their emotional and physical well-being. ”
And it’s no surprise that identity theft detection is the most important benefit for Gen Z. “They grew up in a connected world where shopping, communicating with friends and family, and entertainment can all be done online or through an app. “Since their world is digital, protecting it is important.