Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Now, Creative Benefits Key Selling Point

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Now, Creative Benefits Key Selling Point

Article excerpt

Byline: Candace Moody

As the recession recovery continues, the competition for talent will heat up. One way employers compete is through their company benefit offerings.

The annual MetLife Study of Employee Benefit Trends finds that employee loyalty is often driven by dependence on their company's benefits. Since 2004, the study has noted the strong relationship between satisfaction with benefits and job satisfaction. Offering a great benefits package can drive employee attraction, retention and productivity.

The 2014 MetLife survey found that 50 percent of employees list benefits as an important reason they chose to stay with their employer and 60 percent were willing to bear more of the cost of benefits if they got more choices in offerings.

The survey also found that in 2013, for the first time in four years, the number of employers planning to add more benefits for workers declined. Companies are slowing hiring and reducing benefits as they try to forecast the future consequences of the Affordable Care Act. Current premium costs are also rising, which means that some companies are simply not able to afford to offer health-care coverage.

Larger companies that can afford to provide employee benefits are expanding the offerings to attract the millennial workforce. Chipotle Mexican Grill, which employs more than 45,000 workers in its 1,600 locations, is one of a growing number of companies offering pet insurance as an option. Companies are also helping their human workers get well. Online retailer Zappos offers on-site Weight Watchers programs, wellness and health monitoring programs, and an on-site fitness center open 24/7.

Large entertainment companies like MGM Resorts International offer free meals and on-site child care. Companies that operate 24/7 often subsidize or provide child care because it is a significant challenge for working parents to find and pay for round-the-clock child care. …

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