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Sequoia’s Employee Experience Benchmarking Report Reveals Evolution of Employee Benefits as Workforce Needs Shift

Greater Emphasis on Holistic Wellness and Work-Life Integration

SAN FRANCISCO – June 21, 2021 – Sequoia, a pioneer in Total People Investment today announced the findings from its 2021 Employee Experience Benchmarking Report, which offers the most comprehensive benefits and employee experience insights from leading people-driven companies. With more than 1,000 data points on topics such as global healthcare benefits, people policies, diversity, equity and inclusion, and talent practices, the Employee Experience Benchmarking Report helps companies assess and compare their benefits and people strategies to unlock improved performance.

This year’s report illustrates a trend toward increased value in family-planning options, mental health solutions, additional paid holidays, and enhanced retirement benefits. While the report typically examines similar benefits and employee experience trends from the previous year, this year’s report includes an expanded section on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). The impact of the global pandemic and racial injustice awareness created new challenges and opportunities for employers to evolve their employee experience. Companies are investing resources in DEI programming at record levels to meet employee expectations as the most diverse generations in history (Millennials and Gen Z) quickly fill up the workforce.

“People-driven companies seek this data as a way to evaluate how they compare to their peers,” said Michele Floriani, Chief Marketing Officer at Sequoia. “Beyond providing the report, our Sequoia consultants work one-on-one with our clients to analyze the information that is most relevant to them and shape their benefit programs and HR policies to stay competitive for talent.”

Significant findings that demonstrate a changing workplace culture include:


Between the stressors of the global pandemic and a changing workforce, companies are investing more in mental health and family-friendly benefits.

  • There was a 50% growth in the number of companies strategically focused on employee emotional health in the past year
  • 44% of companies offer fertility benefits and 9% of companies plan to offer fertility coverage in the next 12 months
  • 64% of companies offer advanced fertility benefits like IVF and 22% of companies offer egg preservation/freezing — additionally, surrogacy and adoption benefits are emerging in popularity, with 9% of companies offering one or both benefits
  • 33% of companies have “forced vacations” and 20% have annual company shutdowns

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The inequitable effects of the pandemic and spotlight on racial justice brought a renewed focus on DEI. Companies are investing further in DEI recruitment and internal affinity groups.

  • 70% of companies have rolled out new DEI programming over the last year to create a more inclusive culture
  • 96% of companies plan to expand their talent outreach strategies to build a more equitable workplace
  • 40% of companies have Employee Resource Groups, which is a 9% increase from last year


Supplemental benefits are no longer considered nice perks. Retirement benefits are becoming more competitive, with additional companies offering 401(k) matching and automatic enrollment.

  • 56% of companies utilize automatic enrollment for 401(k) plans, trending up significantly from five years ago (33%)
  • Nearly half (45%) of companies offer 401(k) matching to employees, with 13% of companies planning to add or increase their match in the next 12 months
  • More than a third (37%) of companies have 401(k) plans that include ESG (environmental, social and governance) funds, of which 31% added the funds in the past year

“Each data point is interesting on its own, but a holistic examination of the trends tells a story that companies are being more mindful of how employee experience and flexibility can be successfully integrated into their policies and culture,” Floriani said. “Clients are telling us, as they come out of the most challenging year in a generation, that changes initially brought on by temporary necessity now make for good permanent solutions.”

The 2021 Employee Experience Benchmarking Report, now in its sixth edition, is available to participating companies with insightful Sneak Peeks available to the public. To download the Sneak Peeks and learn more about the Benchmarking Report, visit:

About Sequoia
Sequoia is the pioneer in Total People Investment. We help people-driven businesses design, deploy, and optimize people investment strategies that achieve engagement outcomes that matter. Through expert guidance and the Sequoia People Platform, our offerings in total rewards, benefits, wellbeing, HR & payroll, and business protection tie into a higher strategic role, enabling companies to manage their global people investments, with reduced administrative burdens and deeper employee care and support.

For more than 20 years, people-driven companies have turned to Sequoia to unlock the full potential of their business and global workforce. Visit or follow us on LinkedIn to learn more.

Media Contacts:

Netta Conyers-Haynes

Kyle McGuire
AMF Media Group