Free food, drop-off/pick-up laundry service, parking privileges, flexible time off. Welcome to the world of office perks.
Many businesses and organizations spend a lot of time, money, and creative brain power on developing extra benefits in the workplace aimed at retaining talent as well as recruitment.
Family-friendly benefits—maternity/paternity leave, flexible working schedules, onsite daycare—are additional workplace perks that are becoming more commonplace. We wanted to know which of these family-focused benefits are considered to be of the most value to working parents, specifically mothers.
Using SurveyMonkey Audience, we asked more than 500 working moms to tell us more about the benefits their organizations provide, the perks that they have actually used, and the ones they find the most helpful.
Here’s what we learned.
33% of all moms working full-time said affordable health insurance (including dental) was the most helpful family-friendly benefit that their organization provided. Flexible work schedules, paid sick leave and the ability to take leave for a sick child and paid vacation time followed as the top five benefits.
However, only 77% of organizations these parents work for at full-time offer health insurance, only 40% offer flexible work schedules, and 67% allow parents to take leave for a sick child.
Numbers make all the difference
Perhaps not surprisingly, age can have a deep impact. The age of their youngest child affected parents’ decisions in terms of identifying the most helpful benefit their workplace provides.
Parents with younger children (less than 11 years old) valued flexible working schedules and the ability to take leave for a sick child much more than parents with children 11 years or older. 25% of parents of older children (11 years or above) ranked these two benefits most helpful.
The number of children in the family also affected how valuable parents found family-friendly benefits like flexible working schedule to be. For example: 18% of all parents with one child found flexible working schedules to be the most helpful benefit their organization provides. However, for parents with two or more children this number climbed to 24%.
Although the makeup of the top five helpful benefits changed across different groups of moms, the least valuable benefit was the same across all employment status, number of children, and even the age of the youngest child. Across all organizations that provide leave of absence or sabbaticals as a benefit, parents ranked it as the least helpful benefit.
Align the needs of your organization with what people want
We also asked these parents what benefit they would advocate for most at their organization. The most frequent answer is not affordable health insurance or flexible work schedules. The overwhelming answer was related to daycare and childcare benefits.
Unfortunately, less than 5% of the responding moms work at organizations that provide daycare or childcare subsidies. This highlights a large gap between the benefits that parents want organizations to provide, and the benefits that are actually provided.
So, if you’re an employer offering a laundry list of benefits for parents—don’t. Instead, focus on the benefits that parents find the most valuable: affordable health insurance, flexible work schedules, and the ability to take leave to tend to a sick child. You could also scratch sabbaticals off the list and maybe replace them with more meaningful perks towards providing daycare or childcare subsidies.
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