More employees are seeking employment opportunities that resonate with their lifestyles. In today’s world, this takes more than just money. By offering desirable employee benefits, you are more likely to attract the top talents to your organization. You will also be able to retain these employees if they feel content with their benefits packages.

The incentives and benefits offered by companies may vary in nature. Some are driven by monetary incentives, while others aim to improve the well-beings of the employees. As your business grows, the needs of your employees also become more complex. Their benefits packages will need to be processed carefully and efficiently, often with the help of employee benefits management software that streamline the process.

No matter how big or small your business is, there are certain benefits so fundamental that employees come to expect them from any organization. You can go beyond the standard benefits if you want, but you should make sure your company offers the following benefits:

1. Health Insurance Benefits

Health insurance is one of the most essential benefits offered by companies. In fact, this is often the first benefit that most employees look for in a new job. If you don’t offer this benefit, chances are you have a very precarious staff, each most likely with an ear to the ground for greener pastures.

The typical medical insurance covers vision, dental and health insurance. It’s a common practice for employers to bundle these three types of medical insurance together. For those in the USA, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) makes it mandatory for employers with a staff of 50 or more full-time employees to offer medical insurance through an employee benefits program.

2. Paid Time Off (PTO)

Paid time off refers to a situation where an employee is paid their salary while off work. PTO includes company holidays, paid vacation, sick days, and more. There’s a monetary value attached to an employee’s accrued PTO. In some jurisdictions, accrued PTO is paid out to an employee upon quitting, resignation or retirement.

This benefit is not demanded by the law, but a large number of employers provide it to their employees. They do this to remain attractive and competitive.

3. Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)

According to FMLA, an eligible employee can take up to twelve workweeks in unpaid leave within 12 months. The reasons for this range from taking care of a sick family member, a new child, or any other qualifying family-related emergency. Taking such leave doesn’t jeopardize a job in any way.

FMLA eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • an employee should have worked for a particular employer for not less than twelve months
  • the employee should also have clocked in not less than 1,250 hours during that period

There may be exceptional cases where local and regional laws may demand more time for FMLA-qualifying employees. To be sure, check with your local employment laws and keep your HR department compliant with updates in the FMLA laws.

4. Disability Insurance Benefits

Disability insurance protects an employee’s wage in case unforeseen circumstances make it difficult or impossible for an employee to work for long hours. This is one of the highly attractive benefits offered by companies. A majority of organizations provide this option to accommodate the diversity in their workforce.

The two types of disability insurance are long term and short term:

  • Short-term disability insurance includes circumstances or injuries that make it impossible for an employee to work for a short period, such as a few weeks to several months. Injuries that fall under this category include pregnancy or maternity leave, an outpatient surgery requiring recovery, a broken limb that needs time off to heal, among others.
  • Long-term disability insurance refers to a circumstance or an injury suffered by an employee, which depletes the options provided under short-term disability. It kicks in where the short-term disability options end. Long-term disabilities range from circumstances or injuries that take between three to six months to resolve. These include mental illness, cancer, or other medical complications requiring multiple surgeries.

5. Life Insurance Benefits

Most companies provide group life insurance benefits for their employees. These policies include options for dismemberment and accidental death. They are taken by an employer on behalf of the employees and cover designated beneficiaries such as the employee, spouse, and children. In some cases, members of the employee’s extended family may also be covered.

While it’s not recommended for an employee to depend exclusively on these insurance plans, they supplement other insurance options at their disposal. Many employees will appreciate the life insurance benefits offered by companies.

6. Stock Options

This is one of the most lucrative benefits offered by a company to its employees. Basically, it gives the employees a chance to own a slice of the company. The employee is allowed to buy a maximum number of shares in the company at a pre-set price within a specified period.

Stock options were usually availed to the highest performers or those with extended periods of service to the company. They were also offered as a reward to employees with decades of loyalty. Today, they are provided to employees for unlisted companies to fuel growth.

7. Retirement Savings

Most employees also look for companies with employee retirement savings plans. In some countries, these plans are more popular than pension plans. There are several reasons for this scenario: first, they are cheaper, and, second, an employer is not obligated to pay for them. They also give an employee more control over their contributions than a pension scheme does.

Irrespective of whether an employer chooses to offer their employees a retirement or a pension plan, an employee would be seeking an option that gives them retirement savings.