Employee Benefits

Benefits Employees Love to Use

By Kandy Cantwell on January, 18 2022
4 minute read

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Employees care about their benefits plan. When employees are on the hunt for a new job, the benefits their prospective new employers, as well as the benefits of their current employer, have to offer can become a major factor in choosing one job over another (as long as the salary offer is competitive).

This is especially important right now, as many industries are in a candidate-driven job market and need to impress their potential new hires. 

In this blog we’ll cover nine of the top benefits that employees love to use and how adding them to your benefits package can help recruit new employees and retain your current top performers. 


Mental Health Support

Access to mental health support has become something that more employees are looking for in their benefits packages. As the stigma surrounding therapy has started to fade, people are being more open about their struggles and proactively seeking treatment. 

Employers can support mental health in a variety of ways. Some common approaches are:

  • Making resources easy to access in the workplace.
  • Introducing mental health days, allowing employees to take time off when they need to.
  • Expanding the definition of therapists covered under a benefits plan 
  • Increasing  the reimbursement amount for visits to psychologists or mental health practitioners


Ample Time Off

Work-life balance is another dynamic that has recently received more attention. Fewer employees are consistently willing to work overtime and weekends unless circumstances absolutely require them to. They want to protect their personal time. Following from this stems the desire to have enough time off to explore the world, take vacation, and experience life to the fullest.  

Though most Canadian jurisdictions require businesses to provide their full-time employees with a minimum of ten days vacation per year, many employers realise that the bare minimum simply isn’t an enticing offer. Rather, they offer employees three to four weeks vacation to start, with some companies experimenting with an unlimited vacation policy as well.



Flexible Work Hours

Another offshoot of the work life balance, combined with the growing ubiquity of remote work, is the idea that there’s no real reason everyone has to work from 9 to 5. Some employees may have kids and would prefer to start a little later to drop them off at school. Others may have after work commitments and would rather work earlier in the morning and be done in the afternoon rather than the evening. As a result we are seeing more businesses embrace flexible work hours. 

Businesses that have a flexible work hours policy have a set of “core hours,” a chunk of time where the big tasks of the day are completed. It’s expected that all meetings, collaborative sessions, and emails will be done during this time and employees must make themselves available accordingly. Each business is free to set their own core hours. Common examples are 10:00am to 3:00pm or 9:30am to 2:30pm. 


Employee Discounts

Everyone loves a discount, and your employees are no exception. With perks programs, employees are able to save a bit of money on their big purchases, new laptops, phones, televisions, and more. Being able to offer these discounts is a great way to give back to your employees. 


Home Office Allowance

It’s important to be comfortable at work. While working in pajamas may be extremely comfortable, the couches that many of us are guilty of working from don’t exactly provide the same lumbar support that our office chairs once did. Nor is our work laptop quite as nice as our multi-monitor setup. 

Though having a proper work space would be appreciated, employees often don’t want to foot the bill for what they feel is fundamentally a work expense. As a result, they soldier on, working uncomfortably (and less productively) from the discomfort of their makeshift office. 

To combat this, and to encourage employees to assemble a work space they’ll enjoy, many businesses are opting for a home office allowance of between $500 to $1000. Enough for employees to buy what they need to feel that they have their own space to work and stay productive and focused throughout the day.



Education Allowance

Hard working employees are invested in their career. They’re constantly looking for ways to grow and new opportunities. One way you can encourage their continual development is by providing them with an annual allowance to spend on professional development. This can be used to take courses, attend conferences, or enrol in webinars. 

Providing employees with access to continue their professional education (bonus points if employees can use a bit of company time for their career development ) is a great way to retain your top performing employees and ensure that they always have a new goal and challenge in front of them.


Final Thoughts

Employees are keenly aware of what their benefits packages provide them. They likely also know what friends and former co-workers get from their employers too, and use those as a benchmark. Hopefully this list provides employers with insights into the perks and benefits that employees really appreciate, and allows for smarter packages that keep people happy.

Revisiting Employee Benefits in Light of COVID-19

Learn about changes in the employee benefits world and what these changes mean going forward for your organisation and how to best manage your benefits plan right now.


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