The struggle to recruit and retain top talent has many employers at least considering upgrades to their employee benefits – including on-demand pay, flexible hours and resources for managing work-life balance – in order to avoid productivity loss, burnout and turnover.
On one hand, it’s hard to ignore that more than 47 million Americans quit their jobs last year. But a survey commissioned by software company Trusaic, and conducted by market research and data analytics firm YouGov, demonstrates there’s the potential for employee benefits expectations to get out of hand.
Crazy employee benefits, but can they improve performance?
A recent online poll of 1,230 adults about their fantasy job perks shows you could be hearing new or current hires asking for benefits like:
- “paid celebration recovery leave” – or, hangover leave, 23%
- a premium subscription to a sleep app, 21%
- time off to mourn the breakup of a romantic relationship, 17%
- free meditation/mindfulness sessions, 14%
- leave for hair coloring, tinting or dyeing (for employees 30 and older), 13%
- social media detox days, 12%
- heartbroken sports fan leave, 9% (After all, football season is starting.)
- doomscrolling detox days, 9%
- a premium subscription to a dating app of their choice, 6%, and
- houseplant bereavement leave, 5%. (Before you laugh, remember that many employers once had the same reaction to offering pet insurance.)”
Even if there’s a demand out there for hangover leave, companies do have to draw the line somewhere. While some employers could get desperate enough in the war for talent to implement these weird perks into their benefits package, a more practical approach might be to incorporate related resources into an existing employee assistance program since several of the entries are related to mental health.
You could also consider a variation on what the Australia-based company Linktree did with its benefits package – a flexible total rewards program that allowed staff to invest approximately $4,200 a year into whatever’s most important to them, whether it’s wellness, professional growth or lifestyle issues.
Core benefits of the program for all employees include access to the meditation app Headspace (see No. 4 on the list) and a weekly meal allowance through Uber Eats.