In today’s era of talent shortfalls, businesses must do what they can to retain their current workforce. When it comes to employee benefit offerings, these were some of the biggest changes from 2017 to 2018, according to a WorldatWork survey.

Benefits 2018 2017
Telemedicine services 81% 73%
Employee discount program 75% 69%
Elder-care resource and referral services 67% 62%
Paid parental leave 52% 47%
Women’s advancement initiatives 36% 29%
Identity theft insurance 34% 28%
Disaster relief fund 31% 26%
Cost-of-living adjustments 20% 16%
Unpaid sabbaticals 18% 14%

Experts recommend that companies closely review which benefits will make the largest impact on their workforce.
The study also found that some benefits that have increasingly been in the headlines are not being adopted quickly by organizations. Only 9% of respondents say they offer an unlimited paid time off (PTO) program, and only 6% of the respondents provide college debt repayment programs.

“While the possibilities for meeting employee needs through benefits programming are endless, it’s important to note that not all emerging programs will be a good fit for an organization,” said Alison Avalos, director of membership and total rewards strategy at WorldatWork. “Employer brand perception, organizational culture and workforce demographics are just a few of the factors that should be considered when determining whether an emerging program will be a worthwhile addition to an organization’s total rewards package.”

Tom Schuman is the senior vice president of communications & operations for the Indiana Chamber. He is also the editor of the Chamber’s award-winning BizVoice magazine and has been with the organization for 20 years.