Medical, dental, and a 401(k) won’t cut it for most employees anymore. The economy in 2019 will be booming, and employers need a robust and modern benefits package to draw people in and keep them happy. But with so many trendy new perks out there now, it can be hard to tell which ones are worth adding. On-site dog grooming? Free beer? Free mechanical bull rides at the local bar?!
Luckily, we’re here to help you sort through the fads to focus on the perks that will have real staying power in 2019 and beyond. More employees want benefits like family and pet leave, day-care options, professional training, and shopping programs. These benefits can be the deciding factor in recruiting and retaining talent in 2019.
1. Family and Pet Leave
As Millennials start their own families, and the economy expands, you’ll see more companies updating and adjusting their paid family policies throughout 2019. Apple is leading the pack by offering their US employees up to four weeks before and up to 14 weeks after labor for mothers1. Fathers and non-birth parents get six weeks of parental leave. While maternity leave has been around for a while, plans that also give time to dads will become more common and more desired by employees this year. Many corporations have adapted flat family-leave plans that offer a set amount of time off for any employees who are new parents, regardless of gender.
Time off for a new pet may sound crazy, but many established companies now include it in their benefits package. BitSol Solutions, BrewDog, and Mparticle all allow their staff to take time off to care for furry family members. Mparticle provides a full two weeks for employees who adopt rescued dogs. If paid time off for pet care isn’t an option, developing a telecommuting or flex-time policy can also help new pet parents.
2. Family Care Solutions and On-Site Day Care
Businesses are also offering on-site day cares and other family services as a result of growing Millennial families. If you get a little stressed at the thought of dealing with vetting, regulations, and other hurdles that can come with on-site day cares, don’t fear. In 2019, employer-sponsored family care solutions run the gamut from pre-tax paycheck deductions for day care to tuition discounts for specific day-care centers.
Something as simple and inexpensive as allowing employees to choose their own work schedule and location, a strategy Birchbox has taken up2, can make a world of difference to parents battling both upcoming deadlines and a preschooler’s stomach bug. Discounts are a big help too. Adobe’s payroll program helps employees set aside up to $5,000 before taxes each year to pay for child-care and other family-care needs.
3. Life Coaching
Zappos, famous for their forward-thinking and fun work culture, offers life coaching to all of their employees3. Zappos workers who met with a life coach noted that their communication skills and relationships improved, on and off the job, and their job satisfaction increased.
Life coaches can be life- and career-savers for employees feeling stuck in a rut. Coaches help participants select and define goals that help them grow in both their personal and professional life. Employees accomplish their goals without leaving their company, and the satisfaction they feel while accomplishing these goals provides a huge incentive to stay.
4. Professional Development and Training
If you would rather offer something more directly related to job roles and skills, you can follow the lead of Microsoft and Adobe by providing professional development and training. Adobe refunds their employees up to $1,000 per year for short-term educational programs and skill development like professional and technical training courses, conferences and workshops, and professional memberships. Microsoft workers can access in-person and online courses. Microsoft also trains their managers on professional coaching skills, so both managers and their staff make progress in their careers and skill sets.
Professional development might be popular this year, but it’s no flash-in-the-pan perk. It’s an investment in the future of your company. Any program that helps your people expand their professional knowledge and ability is a program that will pay for itself over the years with improved retainment and a high-functioning workforce.
5. Employee Marketplace Platforms
Maybe you want to provide better perks to your employees, but the budget and staff just aren’t there. Look no further than employee marketplace platforms, one of the easiest and most inexpensive perks to add. These online marketplaces have exclusive deals on name-brand products and services for employees. They provide unique deals not available outside the workplace, creating a strong retainment incentive, so you are a hero to your people and your boss.
Use this list to start updating your benefits package for 2019. What trends do you think we’ll see this year? Tell us in the comment section below.
If you want even more info on 2019 benefit trends, check out our comprehensive webinar on January 16 at 3:00 p.m. (CST).
1. “Apple unveils new perks to attract talent,” Careers, Fortune, updated October 2, 2014, http://fortune.com/2014/10/02/apple-employee-perks/.
2. “How Some Companies Are Making Child Care Less Stressful for Their Employees,” Human Resource Management, Harvard Business Review updated April 17, 2017, https://hbr.org/2017/04/how-some-companies-are-making-child-care-less-stressful-for-their-employees.
3. “How a Life Coach Can Help Your Employees,” Blog, Zappos, updated August 29, 2014, https://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/how-a-life-coach-can-help-your-employees.