Amid the eco­nom­ic pan­ic last year, work­ers were unwill­ing to sac­ri­fice job secu­ri­ty for a new work envi­ron­ment.  Many work­ers felt it was fool­ish to re-enter the job mar­ket dur­ing a shut down.  How­ev­er, in 2021, employ­ers have expe­ri­enced high turnover rates and experts are now pre­dict­ing a “turnover tsuna­mi” in vol­un­tary depar­tures and res­ig­na­tions.  Cur­rent pro­jec­tions esti­mate that 3.3 mil­lion Amer­i­cans will leave their jobs by Decem­ber in search of new ones.

Turnover is expen­sive: the process­es of recruit­ing, hir­ing, on-board­ing and train­ing cost exten­sive time but is also a con­sid­er­able invest­ment. When an employ­ee leaves, the com­pa­ny not only los­es a valu­able resource but also has to re-dis­trib­ute duties to oth­er team mem­bers in the inter­im of find­ing a replace­ment.  The team mem­bers who absorb the addi­tion­al respon­si­bil­i­ties reach their own tol­er­ance thresholds.

Employ­ers are always look­ing for ways to sweet­en the attain and retain tal­ent­ed employ­ees.  For any job offer, salary will remain a cru­cial aspect but ben­e­fits also play an impor­tant role in over­all employ­ee com­pen­sa­tion. This year more than ever, employ­ers have a unique oppor­tu­ni­ty to show employ­ees how val­ued they are and may con­vince those who are seek­ing a new job to remain through their ben­e­fits.  So, what are some of the top ben­e­fits employ­ees are look­ing for right now?

  • Health Insur­ance

This sta­ple ben­e­fit is of the utmost impor­tance to job can­di­dates and typ­i­cal­ly includes cov­er­age for their fam­i­lies.  In fact, 46% of U.S. adults said health insur­ance was the either the decid­ing fac­tor or a pos­i­tive influ­ence in choos­ing their cur­rent job.  And 56% said that employ­er-spon­sored health cov­er­age is a key fac­tor in decid­ing to stay in their cur­rent job.

  • Retire­ment

The most com­mon type of retire­ment ben­e­fits is the 401(k) plan.  This allows employ­ees to deduct a cer­tain per­cent­age of each pay­check to put towards retire­ment sav­ings.  Some busi­ness­es choose to match the employee’s deduc­tion or up to a cer­tain percentage.

  • Dis­abil­i­ty

Employ­ers can offer short ‑term dis­abil­i­ty (STD) or long-term dis­abil­i­ty (LTD) insur­ance to their employ­ees.  If an insured employ­ee is injured or has a lengthy ill­ness, the ben­e­fit pays them dur­ing the peri­od of time they are unable to work.  STD pays a por­tion of an employee’s salary if tem­porar­i­ly become sick or are unable to work.  LTD pay­ments are paid to employ­ees who have a per­ma­nent ill­ness or injury pre­vent­ing them from per­form­ing their duties.

  • Life Insur­ance

Life insur­ance and acci­den­tal death & dis­mem­ber­ment insur­ance (AD&D) are impor­tant as employ­ees look to the future and want reas­sur­ance in pro­tect­ing their families.

Employ­ers should also con­sid­er some perks that have become increas­ing­ly sought after.  Perks are some­thing that is in addi­tion to the employee’s salary and ben­e­fits pack­age that may sway an employ­ee to val­ue one employ­er over anoth­er.  Some of the most val­ued perks in 2021 are:

  • Men­tal Health Resources

Well­be­ing and men­tal health pro­vi­sions have tak­en on a new sig­nif­i­cance in the last 12 months.  Employ­ers can offer an Employ­ee Assis­tance Pro­gram (EAP) which helps employ­ees to solve prob­lems – whether those relate to finances or oth­er non-work stress­es. But employ­ers are also offer­ing more com­pre­hen­sive men­tal health ser­vices such as coun­sel­ing or ther­a­py.  48% of employ­ees indi­cat­ed they had expe­ri­enced high lev­els of stress over the last year and are look­ing for sup­port for stress, burnout, and oth­er men­tal health issues.

  • Flexibility/Remote Work Options

Remote work and flex­i­bil­i­ty have always been pop­u­lar among employ­ees but their impor­tance soared in light of the pan­dem­ic.  Flex­i­bil­i­ty has been a key fac­tor in pro­vid­ing for employ­ees who have had changes in their life such as car­ing for a chron­i­cal­ly ill loved one or those who sud­den­ly had vir­tu­al school for their chil­dren.  In fact, 76% of work­ers said they would be more will­ing to stay with their cur­rent employ­er if they could work flex­i­ble hours.

  • Paid Time Off

This past year has served as a reminder that employee’s lives don’t just revolve around work.  With pets and chil­dren crash­ing our Zoom calls, and oth­er respon­si­bil­i­ties – includ­ing elder­care and child­care – on many worker’s minds, it’s evi­dent that employ­ees have oth­er respon­si­bil­i­ties and pri­or­i­ties that dis­tract us from work.  Dur­ing the pan­dem­ic, one in four women con­sid­ered leav­ing the work­force or scaled back their work role because of added fam­i­ly care­giv­ing pressures.

Many employ­ees don’t under­stand the ben­e­fits they chose dur­ing open enroll­ment — which means some employ­ees may be look­ing for a new job for ben­e­fits or perks they already have!  Now more than ever, it is crit­i­cal for employ­ers to start com­mu­ni­cat­ing ear­ly about open enroll­ment.  Get­ting the word out about open enroll­ment and avail­able ben­e­fits will help employ­ees weigh the advan­tages of guar­an­teed perks and ben­e­fits with search­ing for a new job.  Giv­ing employ­ees more time to under­stand their ben­e­fits is cru­cial to employ­ee reten­tion and contentment.