As Rihanna famously sang, ”work, work, work, work, work” – but in 2023, companies recognize the importance of work-life balance. From parental leave policies to unlimited PTO, employers prioritize their employees’ mental and physical health.

Employees will always take more money if you offer it. But pay alone isn’t necessarily all it takes to attract and keep good employees. In a survey of employed workers and employers, Forbes Advisor found that 40% of employers say workers leave their job to find a role that offers better employee benefits.

The survey also found that 62% of businesses have changed their benefit offerings in the past year. If you’re considering doing the same, keep in mind these new statistics about the best employee benefits.

Most Important Benefits for Workers Employers were mostly in line with naming the top three benefits employees want, but employers’ understanding of employees’ preferred benefits dropped off after that. Notably, employers undervalue the need for mandatory paid time off and overvalue employee discounts. While 30% of employers believe the latter is important, it doesn’t seem to be a priority for employees.

Employer-covered healthcare: 67% of employees and 68% of employers believe this to be the most important benefit. Life insurance: 45% of employees and 43% of employers named this a top benefit.

Pension and retirement plans: 34% of employees and 34% of employers agree that planning for the future is vital.

Mandatory paid time off: Employees value mandatory paid time off more highly than employers are aware: 31% of employees named this a top benefit, but it didn’t reach the top five benefits among employers.

Mental health assistance: 33% of employers named this a top benefit, while only 23% of employees listed it.

Most Important Culture Benefits for Workers and Employers.

Employees and employers are aligned on the most important elements of company culture.

Work-life balance: This is the most valued element of company culture by a wide margin for both employees and employers: 51% of employees and 47% of employers named work-life balance as the top priority in company culture.

Building trust: Trust is definitely a twoway street; 20% of employees said it’s important to be trusted by their peers and superiors, and 27% of employers agreed building trust with employees is important.

Team camaraderie: Only 11% of employees and 8% of employers named camaraderie an important cultural benefit. Employers might need to explore avenues other than after-hours team-building to meet the goals of building trust and improving work-life balance for employees.

Benefits Employees Are Quitting Over Contrary to what you might believe, salary isn’t the most apparent deal-breaker for employees. It’s an essential element, but other forms of compensation rival pay in driving employees to move on to new opportunities.

Higher pay: 32% of employers named this a top reason they believe employees quit.

Better benefits: 26% of employers see this as a reason employees quit, likely a catalyst for the majority of companies that have adjusted their benefits packages recently.

Better advancement opportunities: 22% of employers imagine employees leave their current job because they could find more upward mobility elsewhere.

Flexible work-from-home options: 20% of employers acknowledge that employees quit over flexible working arrangements, though most employers still didn’t name these benefits among the most important.

The Majority of Workers Don’t Care About a Four-day Workweek Interest in a four-day workweek went up with age, but the majority of workers did not say they preferred a four-day workweek.

By age, those who wanted a fourday workweek include: 

18-25 (12%) 

26-41 (19%) 

42-57 (24%) 

58-76 (32%)

Interest in a four-day workweek was relatively low across the board. Still, workers 26 and older showed significantly more interest than younger workers, in some cases twice as much as workers 18 to 25. This might reflect a need for workers in later life stages to make room for caretaking work or possibly their greater confidence in their ability to do a job more efficiently. The youngest workers might also be more comfortable with a five-day workweek if work provides the bulk of their socializing and personal development opportunities.