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The Five Benefits that Matter Most

In a year that was anything but ordinary, benefits trumped perks, according to a survey of 422,000 employees.

Before 2020, perks such as snacks, in-office coffee bars, and the like were extremely popular with employees and often cited as reasons why people chose to stay with a company. Enter COVID-19. According to Inc.'s annual Best Places to Work survey of 422,000 people across 3,000 companies, priorities have shifted and the most engaged employees are connected to their companies because their employers went back to the basics and took care of what mattered most during a crisis.

Here are five benefits trends the survey revealed about the best companies to work:

Prioritize Mental Health: 70% of the Best Places to Work offered access to counselors, mental health providers, and other employee assistance programs. As people grappled with the byproducts of working from home and socializing less, this benefit provided an additional layer of support.

Scrap the 9-5 Model: While flexible work arrangements were becoming more common pre-COVID-19, the pandemic accelerated a shift away from the strict 9-5 timeframe. In fact, 96% of the Best Places to Work offer their employees flexible work hours. This was the most frequently added benefit in 2021.

Enhance Pet Policies: Furry friends in the workplace were already a trend, but in 2021, many of the Best Places to Work actually enhanced policies for pets. One example? Wellness app Noom make Pet Obesity Awareness Day (October 14) a company holiday, while other companies now offer paid days off when an employee first bring homes an adopted pet.

Prioritize Retirement: To be labeled one of the Best Places to Work, a retirement plan is almost a given, with 97% of those selected offering some kind of qualified retirement program. Matching is also become more the norm, with 70% of those on the list matching, with one company based in Washington adding an additional annual contribution based on previous years' earnings, similar to a profit sharing plan.

Embrace Unlimited PTO: More than half of the Best Places to Work offer unlimited PTO, with several companies adding one day per month as a designated company holiday or mental health day.

Wondering if you're on trend?

If you're curious about how your benefits program stacks up, or you want to elevate your program to best-in-class, contact the Robin S. Weingast & Associates team. We'll evaluate your plan and recommend ways you can adjust your plan to attract the best talen.

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