NC trend: So perky
Unlimited vacation and sick leave. Investing in employees’ personal projects. On-site gyms and health clinics.
When the Society for Human Resource Management began surveying HR professionals about perks at work, it asked them about 60 employee benefits. Now in its 20th year, the annual survey tracks nearly 350 offerings — genetic testing coverage to vacation stipends. The biggest change: Employers are putting more money into benefits and “spot” bonuses rather than salaries as a way to attract younger workers who put a premium on flexibility without driving up fixed costs.
Telecommuting, for example, has seen a threefold increase over the last 20 years, from 20% in 1996 to 60% in 2016. That’s in line with a survey of N.C. companies, 64% of which reported the same benefit in the annual Best Employers in North Carolina survey, a ranking released by Best Companies Group and the state’s SHRM chapter earlier this year.
Waning in popularity are workplace wellness programs. Best Employers reports that 76% of participating N.C. companies have some type of wellness program, but the national survey found a drop in on-site health screenings from 53% in 1996 to 31% this year. Companies are putting more money into fringe benefits such as legal assistance and professional memberships. Not as flashy as Netflix’s yearlong leave for new parents or gourmet cafeterias at Google perhaps, but rooftop happy hours, Tesla leases and free surfing lessons can be found from Raleigh to Wilmington.
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