5 Of The Most Amazing Employee Benefits Ever

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There’s great news for job seekers: employers want to hire you! And in order to peak your interest about their company, many employers are starting to offer some creative and awesome benefit packages.

A 2016 Society of Human Resource Management survey found that between 2015 and 2016, 33 percent of companies increased the number of benefits they offered. And in many cases, those new benefits are more than the traditional health insurance and vacation policies

With so many great perks to choose from, it can be easy for a job seeker to get distracted. But it’s important to remember a job should offer you more than its benefits package. Avoid being mesmerized by the extras by knowing which ones will actually fit your needs or lifestyle.

Here are five trendy employee benefits and what they can tell you about the company offering them:

1. Wellness programs

As a result of the Affordable Care Act, many businesses have been creating or expanding the wellness programs they offer to employees. In fact, the aforementioned SHRM survey found that the percentage of companies with wellness programs increased from 54 percent in 1996 to 72 percent in 2016.

While any form of wellness program is a nice bonus for an employer to offer, there’s a wide variety of different programs to consider, so don’t assume it means there’s an in-office gym and smoothie bar. If fitness is something that’s important to you, be sure to ask what exactly the company’s program entails. That way, you can determine if it matches your wellness goals.

No matter what the program is, having one shows that the organization cares about employees’ health. They see workers as actual people, not faceless drones going about as they’re told. If you want a nurturing employer and a more human workplace, a wellness program is a good sign that you might find that.

2. Career development and coaching

It is in a company’s best interest to help employees learn new and better skills, but a surprising number of employers don’t focus on career development. A 2015 LinkedIn study found that when switching jobs, 45 percent of people do it because there was a lack of career advancement opportunities at their previous company.

Companies that have mentorship programs or that clearly outline possible career opportunities, are willing to invest in employees’ futures. They want hard workers to reach their professional goals and, more importantly, they want employees to do that at their organization.

If you’re sick of looking for a new job every few years, look for companies that offer career development. Those are the ones that want their employees to stick around for the long term and are willing to invest in that future.

3. Time off to volunteer

Believe it or not, there are now companies that offer paid days off for employees to volunteer. There are different criteria about the amount of time given and what types of organizations you can volunteer for, but employers who provide this benefit clearly value community service.

If giving back and social consciousness are priorities for you, a company that allows employees time to volunteer could be a great fit. Aside from having a passion for volunteering in common, it’s also likely that other organizational values will match yours.

4. Concierge services

Imagine going into the office and having someone else run your errands while you work. There’d be no more rushing around during your lunch break or missing time with your family to get your to-do list done. They are rare, but companies that offer these types of perks do exist.

The services are things like someone picking up and dropping off your dry-cleaning or going to the grocery store and bringing the food you need to your house. The best thing about these employee benefits is it shows how much the company cares about work/life balance. These employers know that your personal time is important. By taking care of essential, but time consuming tasks like running to the store, they’re freeing your schedule up to do what you really want outside of the office.

5. Student loan assistance

A 2015 survey from Clark University found 63 percent of college graduates have student loans. For nearly one in ten, the debt totals more than $50,000. In order to help employees tackle that financial burden, many organizations are now offering student loan assistance.

There are different ways and amounts employers contribute. For example, some companies have a matching program in which they contribute the same amount the employee does to help them pay down loans faster. Others will

just flat out pay your monthly minimum. Either way, the assistance gives young adults more financial stability.

When looking for a job, it’s important to look at the employee benefits that are offered. They can not only make your life easier, but also tell you a lot about the company and how it values employees.

What are some other awesome employee benefits? Share in the comments below!

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta is the vice president of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution that gives job seekers complete control over their job search. It's available for individual users, university and military career services centers, libraries, and corporations seeking to offer outplacement assistance to former employees. Connect with Val and CareerShift on LinkedIn.