SHRM’s 2018 employee benefits report is out and we’ve got the top 10 highlights on topics like healthcare, retirement, paid leave, and wellness programs.

Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)’s 2018 Employee Benefits report is here just in time for National Wellness Month!

Here are our quick 10 takeaways:

  1. Healthcare is Essential. An impressive 95 percent of companies with less than 50 full-time employees provide some form of healthcare coverage even though they aren’t obligated to.
  2. Keep it Casual. More than 60 percent of organizations offer casual dress benefits. The most popular benefit is one day per week when employees are welcome to  “dress down.”
  3. Referral Rewards. Employee referral bonuses increased by 10 percent (to 51%) since 2014. Low unemployment and tight competition makes it that much harder to find quality hires, so why not reward great employees for great referrals?
  4. Investment Retirement Advice. Over half of organizations offer either one-on-one or online investment retirement advice to their employees to help reduce stress concerning retirement readiness.
  5. Wellness Challenges Work. Companies hosting competitions and challenges grew 10 percent over the last year. Competitions and challenges can be effective tools to increase engagement with wellness benefits.
  6. Flexibility Bonus Benefits. Flexible work arrangements are a win-win. Employees experience a better work-life balance. Employers get a reduction of “real estate” costs and are better suited to match customer demands of a 24/7 culture.
  7. Tech Benefit Trends. More than half of organizations offer company-owned smartphones for business and personal use. Surprisingly, almost 20 percent of companies offer free computers for employees’ personal use.
  8. Smoking Costs. Nearly 20 percent of organizations charge a higher premium for healthcare coverage of employees who smoke because of the numerous health risks smoking poses.
  9. Unused Paid Leave. Employees fear falling behind, don’t believe anyone else will step in while they were away, or want to show how dedicated they are to their job. Encouraging employees to use vacation time may reduce turnover and its associated costs.
  10. Stress Management Matters. Stress can be detrimental to productivity, and there’s no shortage of things for Americans to stress about, so it makes sense that companies offering onsite stress management programs as a benefit tripled over the past 5 years. 

Effective wellness benefits lower stress, create a better work-life balance and give employees the chance to relax on their off time so they return with higher job satisfaction and improved productivity. Take advantage of National Wellness Month as an opportunity to review your current wellness plan and determine what the best benefits are for your employees.