aAccording to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) 2018 Employee Benefits Survey the current low level of unemployment is driving employers to beef up their benefits to retain and recruit employees. More than two-thirds of the employers in the survey raised their benefit levels in the past 12 months. There were expanded offerings in:
- Health-related benefits (up among 51 percent of respondents)
- Wellness (44 percent)
- Employee programs and services (39 percent) such as retirement savings and advice
- Professional and career development benefits (32 percent)
- Leave, family-friendly and flexible working benefits (each 28 percent)
The report details the types of increased benefit offerings in each category as well as trends that have stabilized or reversed. For example, under Wellness, it notes that substantial increases were seen in:
- Company-organized fitness competitions/challenges (38 percent, up from 28 percent last year).
- CPR/first aid training (54 percent, up from 47 percent).
- Standing desks (53 percent, up from 44 percent).
“One sign that employers are targeting their benefit spending for maximum effectiveness: Since 2014, the share of organizations offering offsite fitness center memberships fell to 29 percent from 34 percent, while those that provide a subsidy/reimbursement for offsite fitness classes rose to 16 percent from 12 percent. Too often, people will join a gym but rarely go, employers found, while those who sign up for classes are likely to use them.”
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