6 Current Benefits Trends Driving Employee Engagement

These days it takes so much more than just compensation to attract and retain employees. More than ever, they’re seeking strong benefits packages to pair with their competitive salaries. They want variety and affordability when it comes to the offerings provided by organizations.

So what do those strong benefits packages typically include? Here are six current benefits trends driving employee engagement today.

Trend #1: Health

Health benefits have always been at the top of the list when it comes to employer offerings. But the expectation of what is included today is quite expansive. Health benefits must be holistic, covering not just physical health but also mental health and overall wellbeing.

According to a Metlife study, 50% of Millenials and GenZ employees sought mental health assistance in the last year. While a majority of employers typically offer an employee assistance program, only about half offer online counseling platforms like Talkspace or BetterHelp. So utilizing such a platform could set you apart from other hiring companies.

Employers also need to ensure their health coverage is affordable and accessible. An extremely popular, reasonably priced benefit employers can offer is telehealth. Employees appreciate the ability to get an appointment from the convenience of their home, while employers like the reduction in ER and urgent care claims that can quickly raise costs on their plans.

Trend #2: PTO

A close second on that same benefits list is paid time off (or PTO). Organizations are moving away from the typical vacation/personal/sick time categories in favor of a consolidated bank of PTO. This allows employees to take time off regardless of the reason.

Another trend being embraced is making the time available immediately and increase faster. For about 6% of employers (per SHRM’s 2022 benefits survey), this means embracing the concept of unlimited PTO. It’s a system in which employees can ideally take as much time off as they want within certain parameters set by the employer. Unlimited PTO doesn’t mean time off is truly unlimited; approval for time off is left to management’s discretion. It does, however, allow for flexibility on the amount of PTO to accommodate workers’ needs outside the office.

Even though unlimited PTO is an attractive recruitment tool, it does have an unexpected pitfall. Statistics have shown that employees tend to underutilize the benefit. This has driven employers to mandate time off to ensure employees are getting the recharge time they need.

Trend #3: Flexibility

Today’s employee thrives on flexibility. According to Forbes Magazine, the ability of employees to choose when they want to work is the most empowering benefit. Employees want to work remotely — not necessarily from home, just the ability to work from anywhere besides the office. Ideally, they would like to pick their own schedules and work when it is optimal for them. Minimally, however, most employees want a hybrid “best of both worlds” schedule that can provide both flexibility and in-office socialization.

Trend #4: Family-Driven Benefits

Paid parental leave is a prized benefit employers can offer to both mothers and fathers who add newborns to their home. The goal of this benefit is to encourage bonding and work-life balance during the joyful (but stressful) time that comes with expanding your family.

With multigenerational households on the rise, child care and eldercare incentives are also being added to employer packages. This supports your employees by alleviating the stress and costs associated with their caregiving roles.

Trend #5: Get Creative

Today employers are thinking way outside of the box to give their employees a broad spectrum of offerings. While voluntary benefits like critical care and accident coverage are typical, there are other creative options. Examples include vacation bonuses, professional development cost matching, social outings, home office reimbursement and personal concierge services. These options are attractive to employees who may not be interested in more traditional benefits.

Trend #6: Be Inclusive

Finally, it’s of the upmost importance for employers to be inclusive when it comes to the benefits they offer. Ensure your family-driven benefits are gender neutral to recognize domestic partnerships. Incorporate floating holidays to accommodate employees who celebrate different days that may be significant to their culture or religion. Bottom line, be fair and equitable for all of your employee population regardless of their background.

Don’t know where to start or what your employees want? Work with your HR team or an experienced HR consultant to create and distribute a benefits survey. This first step will give you insight on what offerings your employees want the most.


All content provided in this article is for informational purposes only. Matters discussed in this article are subject to change. For up-to-date information on this subject please contact a James Moore professional. James Moore will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within these pages or any information accessed through this site.