The Employee Benefits Landscape in a Recovering Economy

2012 Employee Benefits SHRM 2012 Report

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If you plan on attracting and retaining talented employees, what employee benefit programs will keep you at par or ahead of your competitors? This was the question the Society for Human Resource Development (SHRM) hoped to answer as they conducted their 2012 Employee Benefits Survey.

A list of their findings from the Executive Summary is below. The link providedabove takes you to the full report.  

Family-friendly benefits: With the exception of adoption assistance and elder care referral service, family-friendly benefits have remained relatively stable in recent years.

Flexible working benefits: After slight declines between 2008 and 2010, the percentage of organizations offering some form of telecommuting is once again trending upward.

Employee programs and services: Executive club memberships, organization-sponsored sports teams and travel planning services have experienced significant declines over the last five years.

Professional and career development benefits: After gradual declines over the last five years, certification/recertification fees, mentoring programs, professional license application or renewal fees, and professional memberships appear to be trending upward again.

Housing and relocation benefits: In the last five years, there were several decreases in the number of organizations offering many housing and relocation benefits. The following benefits experienced sharp declines: cost-of-living differential, location visit assistance, rental assistance, spouse relocation employment assistance and temporary relocation benefits.

Business travel benefits: Business travel benefits have remained relatively stable in recent years.

Percentage of payroll reflecting the employer costs of employee benefits: Organizations spent on average 19% of an employee’s annual salary on voluntary benefits, 18% on mandatory benefits and 10% on pay-for-time-not-worked benefits.

Strategies to Remain Competitive in Retaining and Attracting Top Talent

HR professionals in recent SHRM studies have indicated their organizations are having problems matching job seekers with the skill sets required for their open positions. More than one-half of organizations reported having difficulty finding skilled workers for specific job openings, with engineering, medical, technical, scientific and executive positions being especially hard to fill.1 Organizations that continue to have problems filling key jobs should examine their employee benefits offerings as a way to retain and recruit top talent.

Workplace Flexibility: A low-cost initiative with high returns

A recent report by the Families and Work Institute and SHRM revealed that workplace flexibility has a positive impact on employees’ work-life experiences. These low-cost initiatives can lead to increased employee job satisfaction, lower turnover and lower insurance costs.2 SHRM believes that the United States must have a 21st-century workplace flexibility policy that meets the needs of both employers and employees. As opposed to a one-size-fits-all mandate for all employers, we support a new approach that reflects diverse employee needs and preferences, as well as differences among work environments, representation, industries and organizational sizes. This workplace flexibility policy should support employees in balancing their work, family and personal obligations and, at the same time, provide certainty, predictability and stability to employers.