Emerging Benefit Trends to Help You Compete – Boring Startup Stuff

Emerging Benefit Trends to Help You Compete

This week we are here to talk about benefits and compensation trends that can help your startup compete with the big boys for the best talent out there. If you like, share your referral link at the bottom of this email with your friends for some sweet swag!
Emerging benefit trends to keep you competitive

Hiring top talent is incredibly competitive. Most startups can't compete with FAANGs of the world in terms of cash comp. And because of this, most hiring managers and founders list hiring as the number 1 most challenging part of running a company. So how do you compete? Well here is a good look at some of the biggest trends and changes in the benefits and compensation space that get us pretty jazzed up:

Increased Work Flexibility

Companies are moving towards more flexible work offerings, unlimited PTO, and work-from-home solutions. This stems from the knowledge that the mental health of the employee directly effects their productivity, along with the current epidemic, working from home has been found to be a viable option for many companies.

  • According to Global Workspace Analytics [Source] they estimate that— "25-30% of the workforce will be working-from-home multiple days a week by the end of 2021."
  • Accord to an SHRM survey, 69% of those questioned would be more inclined to take a job if they offered unlimited PTO. [Source]
  • Even before the current epidemic, several repeated surveys by GPA, has shown that— "80% of employees want to work from home at least some of the time." [Source]
  • An estimate by Global Workspace Analytics also states that work-from-home policies will save "...U.S. employers over $30 Billion a day [Source] in what would have otherwise been lost productivity during office closures due to COVID-19."
  • Studies have shown that employers who offer an unlimited PTO policy actually have employees who take less time off, 13 days on average compared to 15, according to a Namely survey. [Source]
  • Calm (https://www.calm.com) , a startup that has quickly climbed the ranks of the App Store pushes a "Take what you need" PTO policy. [Source]
  • Cockroach Labs (Cockroach Labs) , a database focused startup, offers it's employees what they call "Flex Friday" , which allows their employees to choose how to spend that day, whether it's working or spending time at home with family, or whatever else they choose.
  • Cockroach Labs also offers a very generous paid parental leave which not only includes 12 weeks of paid . parental leave, after a 30 days of given time off, but also another 12 weeks of guaranteed 80% time, transition, and re-entry support, with an additional $500 in "baby bucks"
  • Envoy  provides all their employees with unlimited vacations in order for them to "relax and recharge."
  • Companies like Sendoso  are now offering a flexible work from home benefit [Source] to all their employees. This is in addition to their "Take-What-You-Need" PTO policy.



Travel Benefits & Perks

Some companies are going beyond just offering generous PTO policies and are even going as far as offering travel credits in excess of thousands of dollars to encourage their employees to take much needed time off.

  • According to Steve Cyboran, VP of Sibson Consulting and other research a good vacation policy can reduce healthcare costs & decrease turnover costs. [Source]
  • TourRadar gives their employees yearly travel credits of up to $1800 that can be utilized within their current trip offerings of over 40,000 locations.
  • Airbnb offers a benefit equivalent to $2000 of travel coupons to be used for any of the stay or experiences offered by Airbnb.
  • Tessitura Network (https://www.tessituranetwork.com) offers their employees a 7-week sabbatical after completing 7 years of employment.

Beyond Normal Healthcare

The epidemic that swept the world forced companies to become creative in how they conduct work, such as allowing employees to work from home, but this also introduced a harder mental environment for some employees. An environment that was disassociated from co-workers, lonely, or filled with distraction and anxiety. Companies have started to expand their health benefits to include more mental health resources to combat this.

  • According to the WHO  — "Depression and anxiety have a significant economic impact; the estimated cost to the global economy is US$ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity." [Source]
  • The World Health Organization also notes that— for every $1 put into scaled up treatment for common mental disorders, there is a return of $4 in improved health and productivity. [Source]
  • PwC recently introduced the concept of "Well-Being Coaches," [Source] to promote the mental health and productivity of employees.
  • SoFi has recently decided to offer their employees and select family the benefit of therapy sessions [Source] to help manage stress and work-life balance.
  • Starbucks , through their EAP programs will now offer employees and their family counseling sessions, of up to 20 per year. ([Source]

Pets at Work

Employers are continuing to find ways to increase employee productivity and one of the key factors is happiness. In order to reduce stress and create a more positive an uplifting work atmosphere, employers are creating dog-friendly work offices.

  •  According to a study by Emerald Insights, individuals who were allowed to bring their dog to work experienced decreased hormonal stress levels [Source] when compared directly to people who did not have their dog at work.
  • Marry Hope Kramer, an animal expert, in an article for The Hiring Advisor stated— "Employers are starting to realize that having a Millennial bring … a pet to work, you wind up getting a more focused employee, you get someone more comfortable at the office and a person willing to work longer hours.” [Source]
  • Being able to bring their pet to work also provides the employee with the additional benefit of reducing their pet ownership costs. [Source] Money that would usually go towards dog-daycares or dog-walkers, now stays in the employees pockets.
  • Sendoso encourages a very positive and social work environment and provides a "dog-friendly" office 

Continued Learning & Education

Companies have realized that employees are seeking to further their educating and promoting that allows them to retain employees. Education benefits has shown biggest year-over-year increase amongst trending benefits. (https://hrexecutive.com/employers-zero-in-on-education-benefits/)

  • Usage has surged to 26% from 10% [Source] in a course of just 1 year.
  • 80% of employees [Source] say education benefits would cause them to be more likely to recommend their employers, according to Bright Horizons.
  • Airtable offers a "Learning & Development" benefit of $2000 per year stipend to allow their employees to continue through personal career development.
  • Cockroach Labs provides their employees with an annual learning benefit of $2500, that can be used for workshops, conferences, and networking events.
  • Swiftly's  Educational Stipend provides their employees with $50 per month to be used for employee learning.

Commuting Benefits

Employees who still have no option but to commute to work everyday have been looking for ways to alleviate that burden, such as finding a job that is located closer to home, or utilizing public transportation options. Employers are increasingly offering commuting benefits to retain employees and to also align with their Corporate Environmental Responsibility  mission.

  • According to a survey by Robert Half, Twenty-three percent [Source] of workers in the U.S. have quit a job because of a tough commute, while 85 percent would be willing to take a pay cut [Source] in exchange for a shorter commute.
  • Robert Half also found that 60 percent of employees reported their company hasn't taken action to alleviate commute concerns. [Source]
  • Checkr offers to cover their employees commute through a public transportation reimbursement. 
  • Envoy, a Bay Area based startup provides not only a $265 a month transportation credit, but also a $100 monthly Lyft credit to allow employees to commute more efficiently.
  • Samsara  offers their employees a monthly commuter stipend (https://www.samsara.com/careers/benefits) , in their words— "We believe collaboration is essential to doing our best work. To make sure getting to the office is easy, we cover up to $200/month of your chosen transportation option and also offer pre-tax dollars towards the remaining cost of your commute."

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