7 Employee Benefit Trends You Can’t Afford to Miss in 2024 (And Beyond)

May 10, 2024 | Employee Benefits

Josh Rust

Marketing Manager

Looking for the latest employee benefits trends so you can stay ahead of the curve? You’ve come to the right place.

Here at Abenity, we work with hundreds of employers looking to stay on the cutting edge of employee benefits. This unique industry positioning has given us incredible insights into the trends not only in the benefits market but the hiring market as a whole.

In this post, we’ll give you the top 5 employee benefits trends to watch for, based on what we’re hearing from the frontlines.

7 Employee Benefit Trends to Watch in 2024

1. The Rise in Importance of Employee Perks

Undoubtedly one of the biggest trends in the employee benefits market is the rise of employee perks. “Perks” are additional non-wage benefits that aren’t legally required but can drastically improve employees’ quality of life.

Think of things like:

  • Gym memberships
  • Equipment or technology stipends
  • Free meals
  • Discounts at retailers
  • Professional development
  • Relocation assistance
  • Student loan repayment

Employers are finding new ways to incorporate these untraditional perks into their compensation packages for a few reasons:

A. Any benefit your employees can actually feel, they will value more.

Think about this:

When a friend buys you a delicious dinner, how does that make you feel? Appreciated, valued, and happy are probably all words that come to mind.

Now imagine that same friend later asks you for a favor. How likely are you to say yes? We’d bet you’re more likely to help them out after that delicious, free dinner than you would have been before. 

Why? Because your friend has proven that they are invested in your relationship. They care, they see you, and as a result of their kindness, you felt happiness! In relationships, how we make the other party feel is no small thing. 

It’s important to remember that the connection between employee and employer is a relationship, and all relationships are a two-way street. Just like you feel good about your hiring decision when an employee does amazing work, employees feel good when you go out of your way to make them feel appreciated. 

And when your employees feel good because of a perk you’re giving them, they will connect that feeling back to you.

Interestingly enough, the price of the perk isn’t nearly as big of a factor as the emotion they feel as a result of that perk. Humans are driven more by emotion than by logic when it comes to relationships – and this, too, is a relationship. 

When you invest in your employees’ happiness, you are also investing in your business. Perks that make employees feel good, inspire loyalty, and loyalty saves you money! Simple as that. 

B. The hiring market is getting more competitive by the day.

2024 will continue to be a candidate’s market – meaning there are ample jobs and better opportunities available for top talent. In many cases, great people can find a new job with better pay and benefits within a month or two of beginning their search.

That means companies need to find ways to stand out with their compensation packages.

C. Employees are now expecting a wider array of perks and benefits.

As a secondary effect of the “candidates market” we’re in, top talent expects a better total compensation package. 

There are tons of compelling stats from recent studies that confirm this:

Traditional healthcare and retirement benefits often aren’t enough to stand out in today’s market. Top-tier talent expects you to invest more in them and their families. 

You can lean into this trend by finding a mix of unique employee perks to add to your compensation package. 

At Abenity, that’s our bread and butter. We help companies like yours offer powerful perks like discounts on subscriptions, memberships, insurance, travel, vacations, and even at big box stores.

You can click here to grab a time with one of our employee perks experts and see exactly how Abenity can skyrocket the value of your compensation package.

2. Childcare Help

Did you know that around one-third of the U.S. workforce, or an estimated 50 million workers, have kids under the age of 14? 

And get this: 30% of them have kids younger than six years old. It means many people out there need reliable child care if they want to keep working.

Quality, affordable childcare is more important than ever for working parents. The COVID-19 pandemic made it way harder for families to balance work and taking care of their kids. 

Even though schools and daycares have opened up again, many people still struggle to find and pay for childcare.

It’s clear that access to reliable, reasonably priced childcare is a make-or-break benefit for employees with families. 

Employers can help employees with families by offering affordable and reliable childcare benefits, such as discounts or subsidies, group rates with local daycare centers, emergency backup care, paid family leave, flexible scheduling options, and family-friendly spaces. 

These benefits can improve work-life balance, boost morale, and increase retention.

3. Education / Growth and Development

    Continuous learning and development opportunities have become a top priority for employees in recent years. 

    With rapidly changing technology and job requirements, employees recognize the need to constantly gain new skills and expand their knowledge to stay competitive and engaged. 

    When employees invest in their employees’ professional growth, it makes them feel important, engaged, and stimulated in their jobs. 

    This is why it’s important for companies to offer regular learning opportunities so that their workers can build new skills and improve their abilities. This leads to higher job satisfaction, engagement, and retention rates.

    According to Zavvy, 94% of employees would likely stick around at a company if it offered learning and development opportunities.

    In 2024, companies must commit to continuous learning to thrive. You can offer tuition reimbursement, create a learning culture, survey employees, leverage technology, set goals, arrange mentorships, and offer fun experiential learning. 

    Investing in continuous education leads to higher engagement, innovation, and agility to meet future needs.

    For example, Chipotle boosted its employee development plans by providing over 5,500 remote courses that cover everything from business to tech to wellness. We think you can pull off something like this too!

    4. Fitness

      Fitness and physical activity programs are consistently rising to the top of desired workplace benefits. 

      With healthcare costs going up and employees caring more about their employees’ health, it’s a smart move to invest in fitness incentives. 

      Giving fitness benefits shows that you care about your employees, not just their work. It also means that you appreciate health and wellness. 

      Fitness programs make people feel more energetic, productive, focused, and happier. They can also help you attract talent and reduce the number of days your employees call in sick.

      Offering creative fitness perks can help support active lifestyles, lower insurance costs, and increase job satisfaction and loyalty. 

      Consider on-site gyms, subsidized memberships, activity trackers, team fitness challenges, indoor cycling facilities, walking trails, and/or outdoor workout stations. 

      Collaborate with employees to identify the most exciting fitness incentives. Family-friendly options are a great addition, too. Invest in fitness to build an engaging work culture focused on holistic employee wellbeing.

      5. Unlimited PTO & Flexible Work

      In recent years, unlimited PTO and flexible work schedules have become almost required benefits if you want to attract top talent.

      Research from Glassdoor found that the number of employee reviews that talk about a company having unlimited PTO has grown by 75% since 2019. Of those reviews,  88% count unlimited PTO as a major pro for working at the respective company.

      If that wasn’t enough, a FlexJobs survey also found that 82% of millennials (the largest percentage of the workforce) see work flexibility (the option to work remotely or have more flexible schedules) as a major factor in where they choose to work. 

      Why are unlimited PTO and flexible work so important to the majority of the workforce?

      Because these benefits provide the work-life balance that younger generations now demand.

      And this employee benefits trend will only continue in 2024 based on what we’re seeing.

      Fortunately, you may find that offering unlimited PTO actually doesn’t cost you as much as you think. Many companies actually find that high-achieving employees still take about the same amount of time off — or even less.

      6. Personalized Benefits

      Personalized benefits are one of the biggest trends for 2024.

      Personalized benefits are just that – completely unique to the person you’re hiring. Because there could be such a wide range of benefits that interest top talent (gym memberships, wellness courses, specialized healthcare offerings, etc.), many companies choose to offer custom benefits through a stipend or lifestyle savings account (LSA). These accounts give employees the freedom to choose which benefits they want (and when) by giving them expense cards and reimbursements.

      We expect this trend to only grow in 2024 and beyond as Gen Z enters the workforce.

      And honestly, it just makes sense to give employees flexibility on their benefits. A blanket approach to employee benefits may be dead sooner than you think.

      7. Mental Health & Wellness Benefits

      A recent Gallup study found that 44% of employees feel high levels of stress at their jobs. While this peaked during the pandemic, stress levels are still at historic highs.

      Couple that with rising childcare costs, inflation, and the general stress of life, and all of a sudden offering mental health benefits becomes a competitive hiring advantage.

      Like family care benefits, benefits focused on improving mental health not only help employees cope with stress and improve their overall well-being but also help them become more productive at work.

      That’s why many companies are offering LSAs that employees can use for counseling, courses, and retreats for their mental health.

      Another option you have as an employer for offering more comprehensive mental health benefits is through employee assistance programs (EAPs). These essentially help connect employees to resources that can help them deal with problems they’re facing (like short-term counseling).

      This Is the Future of Employee Benefits

      It doesn’t take a market expert to notice these trends – they are real and they are here to stay. If you lean into these trends and find creative solutions to bolster your benefits packages, you’ll stay ahead in this competitive hiring market.

      And that’s our specialty at Abenity. Our fully customizable employee perks and discount programs can help you offer real savings to the people counting on you.

      Interested in seeing how we can help you take your benefits package to the next level?

      Click here to book a call with one of our employee perks experts.

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