Nearly three quarters of survey respondents said retention was their primary reason for implementing the programs, while employee morale was ranked second.
Recruitment was a distant third in the Survey of Work/Life Initiatives 2000, jointly sponsored and conducted by Bright Horizons Family Solutions and William M. Mercer.
The most prevalent work/life benefits currently offered are:
- 90% – Casual dress (up from 84% in 1998)
- 90% – Tuition reimbursement (up from 85%)
- 86% – Unpaid leaves of absence unrelated to the Family and Medical Leave Act
- 85% – Health care spending accounts (up from 74%)
- 84% – Employee assistance programs (up from 77%)
- 82% – Dependent care spending accounts (unchanged).
Nearly 20% of the surveyed employers sponsor at least one on-site, near-site, or consortium childcare center, with back-up care to deal with emergency or holiday needs.
In addition, employers are considering adding additional benefits, including:
- 29% – long-term care insurance
- 23% – guidelines for flexible work arrangements
- 20% – job sharing
- 20% – legal insurance
- 19% – telecommuting
The study suggests that to be effective, work/life initiatives must be aligned with the organization’s business needs and strategies. Employers most commonly use the following approaches:
- 55% consider work/life as part of an overall employer-of-choice strategy
- 38% incorporate work/life into relocation efforts
- 35% include work/life in organizational climate assessments
The Survey of Work/Life Initiatives 2000 was distributed to a random sample of 5,000 companies on the Dun & Bradstreet roster. Over 450 organizations responded.