Some U.S. employers are turning to quirky perks to appease workers frustrated by pay cuts, heavy work loads and high health insurance costs, company heads say.
"Companies are trying to have it feel like it's not one big take-away," says John Bremen, a managing director at employer consultancy Towers Watson. "They are trying to find ways to appeal to the workforce."
New perks for employees are coming in the form of pet insurance, at-your-desk meditation services, jewelry discounts and funeral planning, USA Today reported Thursday.
Many voluntary benefits, such as pet insurance and reduced-price computers, won't burden a corporate budget.
"On the employer side, there's a recognition that they can't always add to the benefits program in a way they have in the past," says Ronald Leopold, national medical director at MetLife. "But they want to offer employees different things and a broader set of [choices]."
S.C. Johnson, TD Bank and Travelocity all provide health coverage for their employees' pets through Petplan Pet Insurance, said USA Today.
Petplan "has seen tremendous growth in this area of voluntary benefits," said co-CEO Chris Ashton. "In this struggling economy, employers are increasingly looking for low-cost options to keep their employees happy."