In the wake of the Covid pandemic, employee benefits have experienced a significant transformation. Increasingly, employers are focusing on benefits that enhance individual wellbeing and are easy to customize. Also, as budgets tighten, affordability is becoming a key factor. This is why pet perks continue to gain popularity.
How exactly are pet-friendly solutions adding value to employee benefits? Let’s take a closer look…
Why Pet Perks Are On The Rise
Employers invest in benefits because they want to attract top talent, foster a positive company culture, enhance employee engagement, increase inclusion, boost workforce wellbeing, and encourage retention. That’s a tall order for traditional benefits to fill.
So now, more employers are integrating innovative options like pet-friendly perks into their workforce benefits strategy. Compared with standard workplace benefits, pet perks may seem like a fringe concern. But they can be highly effective as part of a holistic approach that enriches the employee experience by recognizing individual needs, preferences, and values. Here’s why:
During the pandemic, pets became office mates for many people working from home. At the same time, interest in cat and dog adoption grew by 250%, with nearly 1 in 5 households adding a four-legged friend to their family.
People naturally want these companions to be happy and healthy — especially now, when many employees are returning to the office on a part-time or full-time basis. Pet-related benefits can provide financial and moral support that gives employees peace of mind and tells them you genuinely care about their quality of life.
How Pet Perks Work
One way to cover pet-related costs is through a specialty benefits account that each employee can personalize for their unique needs. This account can include a variety of options, such as:
- Pet insurance
- In-person and mobile veterinary services
- Obedience classes
- Dog walkers
- Grooming services
- Pet food (including prescription food)
- Pet sitters
How Pet Benefits Enhance the Employee Experience
Engaged employees are the key to a strong culture and a successful organization. When employees feel connected and cared for, they’re more committed, satisfied, and productive. One way to show you care for employees is by investing in what matters to them — including cherished pets.
Often, people think of their pets not just as animals, but as part of their family. Supporting employee pets with insurance, as well as pet-friendly policies and activities, demonstrates a genuine commitment to workforce wellbeing.
As a result, employees are likely to feel appreciated and valued as team members. Ultimately, this emotional connection can translate into improved job satisfaction, productivity, and willingness to go above and beyond in their work.
3 Ways Pet Perks Build Better Organizations
Pet-friendly policies, practices, and benefits help employers in a variety of ways. For example, this strategy can:
1. Attract and Retain Top Talent
Finding and keeping qualified talent can be challenging, especially in a tight labor market. Today’s job candidates are drawn to companies that actively support their growth, health, and overall quality of life. They’re also more inclined to choose an employer that appreciates and supports them as individuals.
Offering pet perks can help your organization stand out and tip the hiring scales. What better way to show applicants you care for your team than by actively supporting the health and welfare of their pets? And with a comprehensive pet-friendly strategy, you can appeal to a broader spectrum of candidates and strengthen your position as an empathetic employer.
A pet-friendly environment also can have a direct impact on retention. Research says employees are less likely to resign if they believe their boss values their pets and cares about their wellbeing. In fact, over half of dog owners say they would stay on board if they could bring their pets to work. This means pet-friendly policies and practices can lead to lower turnover and recruitment costs.
2. Foster a Positive, Diverse Company Culture
Collaboration, creativity, and innovation are hallmarks of thriving work cultures. One way to promote an atmosphere of camaraderie and belonging is through pet-friendly policies and practices.
For example, encouraging people to exchange pet-related stories and experiences can build common ground that brings team members closer together. What’s more, by welcoming pets to the workplace, you can foster an even stronger sense of companionship and community.
Inclusion is the secret to a rich company culture, so keep this in mind when developing pet benefit options. Ask everyone to participate in defining their interests and requirements. This encourages a sense of ownership and buy-in among the pet owners on your team.
3. Boost Wellbeing and Retention
Employee wellbeing is essential for job happiness, productivity, and longevity. A pet-friendly environment can improve physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing in multiple ways.
For instance, bringing pets to the office and participating in pet-related activities can create a more relaxed, fun work atmosphere. In fact, when one survey asked employees about the benefits of dogs at work:
- 58% said it boosts happiness
- 57% said it relieves anxiety or stress
- 55% said it encourages healthy breaks
- 52% said it increases social interaction
Other studies show that workplace pets help reduce stress and enhance mental health. This can lead to a more positive, productive environment.
In addition, by assisting with insurance and other pet-related services, you can make it possible for employees to give their pets the care they deserve without worrying about extraordinary costs. This financial security can reduce overall stress and improve emotional health.
Are You Ready to Run With Pet Perks?
For any company where staff wellbeing and cost efficiency are top priorities, pet benefits are a unique opportunity to put an “experience-first” benefits strategy in motion.
By embracing pets as a natural part of employee wellbeing, you can get a leg up in attracting talent in today’s competitive hiring market. Pet perks can distinguish your company as a progressive employer that cares about the unique needs of individual employees in a more holistic way. By welcoming pets, you can open the door to an environment that’s more fun and engaging for all.
What’s more, by financially supporting employee pets with personalized benefit options, you’re likely to boost retention, productivity, and performance. And getting started is easier than you might think.