Leadership Lab

The Top 5 Employee Benefits Your Workforce Wants in 2024

We all know that employee benefits are no longer really a “nice to have”. If you want to attract and retain the top talent in your industry – and you do – then you need to offer a competitive employee benefits package. 

As well as helping with recruitment while reducing churn, the right employee benefits can also boost staff morale and productivity. And through addressing the root causes of stress and anxiety, certain employee benefits can also help to reduce unplanned absences in the workplace.

But we all know this. Nobody needs convincing on why employee benefits matter. The question is: What makes for a good employee benefit in 2024? What do employees actually want from their benefits packages?

Here are our top five employee benefits your workforce will want in 2024. 

Employee Perks

Employee perks can be low-cost, or even free and can include things like:

  • Complimentary food and drink in the office.
  • Employee discount schemes. 
  • Wellness initiatives (such as subsidised gym memberships).

Perks can help to boost staff morale and productivity, and a flexible work scheme might be just the thing to make a potential employee decide to work for you, rather than one of your competitors. But perks should not act as a substitute to a genuinely competitive renumeration package that includes some truly valuable benefit schemes. 

A bowl of fresh fruit in the workplace, free coffee and a ping pong table in the staff room all have the potential to brighten an employee’s day, in a small way. But a good employee benefit scheme can make a fundamental difference to your employee’s lives both inside and outside the workplace.

Employee Healthcare Cover

Workplace healthcare schemes are among the most popular employee benefits for 2024.

  • In the 2023 SHRM 2023 Employee Benefits Survey, 89% of respondents rated healthcare benefits as “very important” or “extremely important.”
  • According to website Inc., 80% of jobseekers look for workplaces that offer some form of health benefits.
  • Health related benefits may be particularly important for attracting younger employees to the workplace. According to The HR Director, nearly 50% of Gen Zs and 40% of millennials report feeling stressed or anxious at work, and believe that employers could do more to support them.

When people across the world are facing long waiting times for even the most basic of healthcare treatments, it’s easy to see why employees might value healthcare benefits. Give your employees healthcare cover as part of their benefit package, and they can get fast-track access to doctors appointments, along with instant referrals to any treatment they might need.

And as the above research shows, extend your healthcare benefits to include mental health support and you could attract and retain the next generation of employees.

Dental Cover

Not all healthcare packages include dental cover as standard. Usually, you’ll have to offer it as a separate benefit. But doing so will certainly give your employees something to smile about.

Good dental care is expensive almost everywhere you go. And if it’s currently hard for people to access healthcare, it’s arguably even harder for many to access dental care. According to NHS Care, in the UK, approximately four million people live in “dental deserts” without reliable access to dental services.

For this reason, dental cover as an employee benefit can bring tremendous peace of mind to your workforce. They can get rapid access to regular private check-ups, so they can deal with any potential problems long before they cause discomfort. And if they ever need treatment, rather than suffer in silence they can jump right to the front of the queue and get the support they need as soon as they need it.

Personal Accident Insurance

Even the smallest injury can turn your life upside down. For example, if you don’t adopt the correct posture when lifting a box, you could be looking at months of back pain and severely limited mobility.

Personal accident insurance means your employees can get financial compensation if they ever suffer from a debilitating injury. This sort of benefit can also pay for an employee’s ongoing rehabilitation, giving them cover for physiotherapy or other counselling fees. 

It should be clear by now that good employee benefits offer essential peace of mind. If an injury ever puts an employee out of work, they might get statutory pay, but will this be enough to keep them going, and to help them recover? With personal accident insurance, you can help them get back on their feet while helping them meet all of their expenses during their downtime. 

Travel Insurance

In the SHRM 2023 Employee Benefits Survey, 81% of respondents rated leave benefits as either “very important” or “extremely important.”

What’s a “leave benefit”? It’s any benefit that encourages a good work/life balance through making it as easy as possible for employees to take their well-earned leave. Travel insurance as an employee benefit can do just this through reducing the risks associated with travel. It can provide cover for a number of unexpected expenses, from cancelled or delayed flights to lost luggage.

Most company travel insurance schemes will only cover for business travel. But you can also choose to cover employees for their personal travel. Essentially, this means that you, as an employer, will offer to cover all of the risks employees may face when taking family holidays outside of work. 

As a demonstration of how much you value your employees’ health, happiness, and overall wellbeing, it’s hard to imagine anything more effective.

Flexible Working

Finally, survey after survey reveals that the most popular employee benefit for 2024 will be some form of flexible working arrangement. 

The global lockdowns of 2020-2022 forced millions of employees to work from home. For many employees, this may have been their first taste of flexible working. And the majority of employees seemed to have found it to their liking.

A 2022 CIPD study found that over 4 million employees changed their careers due to a lack of flexible working opportunities. In 2024, you need to give your employees the freedom to choose how, when, and where they work. Otherwise, your year might be defined by struggles with employee satisfaction, morale, and retention.

About the Author:

Phil Denman is the CEO of Capacity Insights and an insurance expert with over 30 years of experience. Having held senior roles in underwriting, sales, and operations with several leading UK travel insurance companies, Phil founded Healix Insurance Services, a specialist intermediary business specializing in large, complex travel insurance schemes, in 2005. As CEO of new underwriting MGA Capacity Insights, Phil brings together his expertise in business development, health insurance, travel insurance, employee benefits design and sales management to create customer-centric bespoke insurance products for SMEs and corporates.