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Rethinking Traditional Benefits

Rethinking Traditional Benefits

By Hayley Fisher

As the battle for top talent continues in the hiring space, it’s clear that money is no longer the only important motivator for jobseekers. As such, companies have begun offering unique benefits as a new incentive to keep their competitive edge.

Netflix, for example, does not enforce official work hours. The company measures employee productivity, not the amount of time spent in the office. Another tech giant, Google, has a great commitment to health, keeping physical and massage therapists and chiropractors on staff at its campuses. Facebook and other tech giants made headlines last year for giving female employees the option to freeze their eggs, which stirred up some controversy in the HR world. However, the list goes on for companies providing impressive and innovative benefits for their employees (and fortunately, it is getting longer every year).

Specifically, the trend of gearing benefits toward women is getting stronger.  One of the latest examples comes from the U.K., where the concept of shared parental leave is on tap  – the idea being that women have more opportunity to stay in their careers and men can become more involved at home. What is particularly interesting about this new benefits option is that it directly addresses an important social issue – giving women more opportunities to succeed in their careers.

This is probably felt the most in technology field. For example, close to 40 percent of women with engineering degrees either leave the profession or never enter the field based on the “old-boys club” environment of their workplaces, according to the American Psychological Association. Promoting benefits like parental leave, however, should help even the playing field, and foster the growth of women in the tech industry, rather than dissuade them.

In fact, according to a survey of 716 women who left the tech field never to return, two-thirds cited motherhood as a deciding factor. With the option to split time with their male counterparts, women can focus on their careers without feeling the stress to adhere to social norms, such as leaving the workforce to be a stay-at-home mom.

The future of employee benefits will only continue to become more untraditional to address the new and different needs of today’s workforce. Giving families the option to share parental leave is another step in the new, modern types of benefits and rewards offered today. Generous benefits that support the lifestyle desired by each individual employee are more commonly expected, and in providing these benefits, employers are clearly investing in the future of their workforce. In order to stay competitive, companies must tune in to the demands of employees on a more personal level.

Hayley Fisher is a seasoned Fractional Chief People Officer and People Director, specializing in partnering with scaling tech founders, CEOs, and their leadership teams. With substantial experience in various HR, People, and Culture roles, Hayley thrives in fast-paced, high-growth environments while fostering unique company cultures grounded in authentic values.

Her expertise includes driving employee engagement, organizational design and restructuring, talent attraction and retention, as well as learning, development, and succession planning. Hayley is also passionate about developing recognition and reward strategies and mentoring the next generation of People leaders, all while collaborating with ambitious companies that disrupt markets and prioritize having fun while doing it.