Employee Benefits: How Your Workplace Can be a Cut Above the Rest

I was traveling last week, cross-country, to facilitate a retirement preparedness workshop, so to fill the two hour layover I had at the airport, I found some interesting reading material from the Society of Human Resources Professionals on a report on their 2011 Employee Benefits Study.

Here are some common workplace benefits:

  • 77 percent of companies provide free coffee;
  • 67 percent  of companies allow employees to keep hotel points for business travel (MY FAVORITE!);
  • 55 percent of companies provide a yearly company picnic;
  • 55 percent of companies offer casual dress day one time a week;
  • 54 percent of companies have a service anniversary award.

So with everyone offering free coffee, hotel points, and a picnic, how can your company stand out as a cut above the rest? Well, I got a kick out of the fact that 2 percent of companies last year hosted a “take your pet to work day,” and 6 percent of companies have a liberal pets at work policy, which I am sure my cat would not find pleasurable at all.

Pets can certainly help relieve stress but that doesn’t mean Fido or Felix needs to accompany you to work. Given that financial issues are the leading cause of stress, another way is by offering financial education/investment advice:

  • 30 percent of companies provided one-on-one financial education/investment advice in 2011;
  • 24 percent of companies offered financial education/investment advice in a group setting in 2011;
  • 22 percent of companies offered financial education/investment advice online in 2011;
  • 37 percent of companies offered retirement preparation planning advice in 2011;
  • 18 percent of companies provided access to a credit counseling service in 2011.

Although increasing, providing financial education and advice is still a new trend. Financial literacy of the workforce should be a high priority as we see the burden of retirement funding shifting more and more to employees.

Article Continues Below

Next week, I’ll be examining more of these trends in employee benefit offerings over the last five years.

This was originally published on the Financial Finesse blog  for Workplace Financial Planning and Education.

Linda Robertson is an experienced financial planner with FinancialFinesse.com, the nation’s leading provider of unbiased financial education programs to corporations, credit unions and municipalities with over 400 clients across the country. Her focus is on retirement and tax planning, and her background includes positions with NationsBank, H & R Block, and Metropolitan Life. Contact her at linda.robertson@financialfinesse.com .

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