Degreed CPO: ‘People are looking for perks and benefits that make their life easier’

Unlimited PTO and vacation days aren't enough to get employees to truly rest and recharge, argues Degreed's CPO

Degreed CPO: ‘People are looking for perks and benefits that make their life easier’

With all hands on deck during the COVID-19 pandemic, Degreed’s senior leadership team was mindful that employees were working through fear of being infected, concern for the safety of their loved ones and anxiety over the uncertainty of it all.

In response, the Pleasanton, CA-based workforce upskilling platform provider introduced a monthly wellness benefit ($75) that employees can spend on anything they need to support their wellbeing, such as Peloton, gym memberships, counseling or massages. The entire company also shuts down for one week in the summer and one week in the winter. That’s in addition to unlimited vacation days and paid time off (PTO), says Janice Robinson Burns, chief people officer at Degreed.

“We all know in this digital age, when you take vacation and the rest of the organization is working, you’re still engaged and checking emails,” Burns told HRD. “But with this mandatory time off, no one checks emails because no one is working. You really get to take time off to rest and regroup.”

Watch HRD TV: What are the most popular employee benefits and perks?

Wellness benefits have become all the rage during the Great Resignation, in which companies across the United States are experiencing historic turnover. More than 47 million American workers quit last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employees are seeking greener pastures, demanding higher compensation, better working conditions and more opportunities to advance their career.

Now that the scales have tipped in favor of workers, employers are having to increase their compensation and benefits packages beyond the traditional healthcare, dental, vision and 401(k) offers. “It’s no longer good enough to just pay someone a competitive salary or give them the traditional benefits,” Burns says. “People are looking for perks and benefits that make their life easier.”

Learn what the most popular employee benefits and perks are in 2022 in Burns’ exclusive interview with HRD TV.

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