Employee Benefits: What Trends to Expect in 2009

In the upcoming year, many employers will find it difficult to expand their employee benefits in a time when the company may be suffering as a result of the poor economy. Although there may not be a large shift in the benefits offered to employees in 2009, workers will need to be realistic in their expectations and understand that everyone from top to bottom is feeling the affects of the recession.

In a tight economy, employers will be hesitant to make drastic changes to their business to avoid alarming employees unnecessarily. It would send the wrong message to strip employees of benefits previously given to them, so employers will need to make cautious decisions in the upcoming year on what their company can afford.

In the next year, more employers will offer added benefits and incentives that do not necessarily cost the company much money. Many employers will become more creative with benefits that are inexpensive, yet are still appreciated by the employees (such as flex-time, company stocked kitchen, game room, summer hours, telecommuting, etc.)

However, don’t expect a 4-day work week to catch on and become mainstream in 2009. While some employers may consider a 4-day work week for certain roles within their company, most companies won’t want to miss out on a full work day and risk losing business opportunities that could make a profit for the company. (This also goes with the theme of not wanting to make drastic changes in the business.)

One of the best benefits that employers can offer to their employees in the upcoming year is the ability for employees to share in the success of the company through stock options or benefits. This allows the employees to be involved in the strategic direction of the company and helps to make sure everyone is focused on a similar goal of helping the business succeed. If they are part of the success of the company, they should also share in the success of the company.

In the upcoming year, many companies will find it necessary to go with the flow of the market and offer benefits that the company can afford. Employers should keep an eye on competition to ensure that the company is still competitive. By offering added incentives, companies can show employees that they care and avoid losing valuable employees to competition. During these difficult times, it is important to find a happy medium to keep employees happy while ensuring that the company is positioned for success despite the down economy.

Source: http://www.employmentmetrix.com/blog/2008/12/employee-benefits-what-trends-to-expect-in-2009.html

Thanks again to Rich Milgram!

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