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The benefits American employers offer to their workers are becoming more numerous, and more diverse. According to a report released Monday by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), there were 60 known work-related benefits available to US employees in … Continue reading
How things have changed since the ’90s.
One of the most widely offered employee benefits offered back in 1996 was a credit union membership. In 2016, employees are far more likely to get wellness information or professional development perks.
Those are among some of the biggest changes in a new 20-year comparison of benefits trends released this week by the Alexandria-based Society for Human Resource Management. The report, compiled through surveys of companies across the U.S., was issued as part of its annual conference, which drew more than 15,000 human resources professionals to downtown Washington this week.
Among the biggest changes since 1996:
Getting around: A quarter of employers responding to SHRM’s 1996 benefits survey reported that they offered some sort of parking subsidy, but that figure dropped to 10 percent in 2016. Over the same time, telecommuting increased from a benefit offered by 20 percent of employers to 60 percent of employers, while compressed work weeks increased by 23 percent to 29 percent. One thing that’s stayed steady is transit benefits, which 13 percent of employers offered in 1996 and 2016.
Financial benefits. Sorry employees, but these have declined. Employee discounts on company services dropped from 43 percent in 1996 to 32 percent in 2016. Stock purchase plans have decreased from 28 percent in 1996 to 9 percent 2016. At the same time, assistance programs such as loans to employees for emergency disasters dropped from 27 percent to 13 percent, while matching employee charitable contributions dropped from 30 percent to 21 percent.
More drug coverage: When it comes to health plans, more employers say they offer prescription drug coverage bundled with medical insurance. The number of employers offering those benefits increased from 88 percent in 1996 to 94 percent in 2016. Employers are also more likely to offer employee assistance programs.
Wellness. The number of companies offering wellness resources and information increased from 54 percent in 1996 to 72 percent in 2016. Fewer, however, are offering smoking cessation programs with a decrease from 45 percent to 41 percent. Fewer are also offering onsite health screening programs, with a decline of 53 percent to 31 percent.
Professional development: More employers are throwing their funds toward professional growth opportunities. Professional memberships increased from 65 percent in 1996 to 88 percent in 2016. Professional development opportunities increased from 75 percent in 1996 to 86 percent in 2016.
By Tina Reed
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