Trends in Employee Benefits 2016
Though it wasn’t necessarily obvious on January 1, there are some major employee-friendly trends brewing, according to some HR thought leaders. Competition for great talent is intense at the moment, and Inc. talked to some HR soothsayers about how they foresee companies upping the ante in 2016.
Help With Education Costs
Bruce Elliott, manager of compensation and benefits for the Society for Human Resource Management, sees stronger support for employee education. Last year, trendsetting PricewaterhouseCoopers announced that they’d pay up to $7,200 of an employee’s student debt; up to $1,200 a year for six years. Another interesting wrinkle is the approach taken by Starbucks, which announced a partnership with Arizona State University to pay for an employee’s pursuing a bachelor’s degree, full-time or part-time.
Family Leave Support
Private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company is paying for workers to bring their kids along on business trips. Companies are also taking notice of Netflix’s unlimited maternity/paternity leave in the first year or a newborn’s life or the first year with an adopted child.
Grovo’s VP of people, Joris Luijke, also sees companies becoming more deliberate about reintegrating employees back into work after an extended leave using flexible scheduling. He imagines companies allowing people to start part-time before diving completely back in.
More Support for Body and Mind
According to Luijke, we can expect a continued strengthening of 2015’s increased support of employees’ physical and mental well-being, ranging from reimbursement for a gym membership to providing a staff personal trainer, as Grovo does.
Health Care Everywhere
Storm is excited about the services of companies like One Medical Group. They operate a 24/7 virtual care clinic employees can reach via a mobile app, and offer same-day appointments with doctors in over 40 cities.
Making predictions about business is always dicey, especially with the roiling stock markets we’ve seen since so far in 2016. But as long as companies are serious about acquiring and retaining strong talent, we can be sure they’ll continue to search for new ways to support prospective and current employees.