Roughly two-fifths (37 per cent) of U.S. employers are increasing the quality of their existing benefits offerings to help with employee retention and attraction efforts, according to a survey by Principal Financial Services Inc.

The survey, which polled 500 employers and 200 employees, found the top three enhanced benefits are short- and long-term disability insurance, vacation time and mental-health and well-being programs. Employers are also prioritizing benefits such as caregiving support and pet insurance.

Nearly half (49 per cent) of employers said they’re offering flexible work schedules, while another 40 per cent have increased wages for the majority or all of their employees. And more than half of employees said they received a wage increase during the past year, with three per cent the most common increase.

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Employees who reported greater job satisfaction were more likely to have access to financial wellness, training and educational opportunities, as well as caregiving benefits. By comparison, employees who are the most interested in leaving their current job are less likely to have benefits such as retirement savings programs, vacation time, dental and vision coverage. And while 70 per cent of employers said they’re feeling more stressed than they were a year ago, just 28 per cent of employees agreed with this statement.

In addition, employers reported a 16 per cent decrease in their workforce in the past three months, with more than a quarter (27 per cent) of employees retiring. However, the survey noted employee losses due to retirement may not last, as workers face rising costs and potential losses in savings due to inflation and recent market volatility.

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