The cost of replacing an employee is nearly 75% of their annual salary. Because of this, employers continue to look for ways to keep current employees happy, as well as attracting new loyal team members. One way to do this is by providing sought-after benefits.
A 2018 study by Mercer¹ shows that employees want the following from their employers:
- Workplace flexibility
- Commitment to health and well-being
- Having a purpose
And employers are listening. New benefit trends reflect the desire to offer job satisfaction, workplace engagement, and work-life balance. Here are five significant employee benefits trends to consider:
1. Telehealth Benefits
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, only 4 percent of the population used telemedicine before the pandemic. But according to a study published by JAMA Network Open, by April 2020, telehealth grew by more than 4000 percent².
Although telehealth became more available due to the COVID pandemic, employees want to see this benefit continue.
In addition to fear of contagions (63 percent), employees prefer telemedicine for a variety of reasons, including³:
- More convenient (65 percent)
- Ability to speak with the provider of choice (49 percent)
- Easier to schedule an appointment (44 percent)
- Streamlined follow ups and communication (38 percent)
The Large Employers’ Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey4 shows that over half of employers plan to add this benefit due to employee demand. By year’s end, nine out of 10 businesses will offer some telehealth options to employees.
2. Home Care Benefits
According to the 2020 Future Workforce Pulse Report5, by 2025, 36.2 million Americans – approximately one-quarter of the workforce – will work remotely. This is an 87 percent increase from the end of 2019.
As more employees begin working from home, they will need services to help them maintain their work-life balance.
Benefits that help a remote employee manage their home could include such things as:
- Laundry services
- Household management resources
- Meal delivery
- Concierge services
- Errand-running services
These services help employees stay engaged in their work.
3. Childcare Benefits
As more and more workers transition to remote work, childcare issues change. Now, instead of taking a child to an on-site preschool or dropping them off at an independent daycare on their way to work, employees are more likely to seek childcare within the home.
Parents see one of the major benefits of working from home to be the ability to have more family time and to create work hours around family. Shipping kids off to a daycare facility negates that benefit.
Even before the pandemic, employers were dealing with the consequences of inadequate child care resources to the tune of $57 billion in potential earnings, productivity, and revenue6. However, few employers have offered solutions.
According to the SHRM Employee Benefits Survey7, only 4 percent offer non-subsidized, on-site childcare, 4 percent offer subsidized care, and 11 percent offer access to a referral service to help employees find providers.
Employees want to see employers implementing:
- Subsidized child care assistance
- Stronger family leave policies
- In-home child care assistance
- Online classes or virtual camps for children
4. Mental Health Benefits
In 2019, one in five American adults experienced some form of mental illness8. A majority of these issues center around depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, less than half (43.8 percent) received treatment.
A National Council for Behavioral Health survey? found that nearly the same percentage of people with mental health issues (42 percent) said cost and poor mental health insurance coverage kept them from seeking the help they needed.
Thankfully, the trend is to offer mental health benefits with better coverage. In 2021, 36 percent of large employees plan to expand mental health services access, and nine out of 10 will begin offering telemedicine counseling services¹°.
By providing mental health benefits, companies can help employees while decreasing absenteeism, presenteeism, healthcare costs, and turnover rates¹¹.
5. Financial Wellness Benefits
Employees are more financially stressed now than ever. A recent survey found that seven out of ten adults are worried about their current and future financial situation¹².
Their worries include:
- Paying for an unexpected emergency such as car problems or a medical issue
- Being able to retire on time
- Inability to pay current living expenses
- Having to live paycheck to paycheck
With these worries increasing, it makes sense that employee financial wellness became the most desired benefit of the last year.
When surveyed, 70 percent of employees wanted their employer’s help in becoming financially well, with 63 percent feeling that it was an employer’s obligation to do so¹³.
That’s why adding one of the many employee financial wellness variations is one of 2022's biggest benefits trends. According to a study by MassMutual¹4:
- 42 percent of employers offer some form of financial wellness benefit
- 19 percent plan to implement a program this year
- 19 percent plan to implement a program within the next three years
Financial wellness programs not only educate employees on topics like retirement and debt reduction but also provide the skills needed to make good financial decisions that help them to reduce stress.
1 - https://www.forbes.com/sites/alankohll/2018/07/10/what-employees-really-want-at-work/?sh=569c63d15ad3
2 - https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2021-01-05/health-care-after-covid-the-rise-of-telemedicine
3 - http://www.prweb.com/releases/updox_survey_reports_42_percent_of_americans_now_using_telehealth_convenience_51_and_speaking_with_provider_of_choice_49_are_top_consumer_demands_post_covid_19/prweb17139115.htm
4 - https://www.businessgrouphealth.org/resources/2021-large-employers-health-care-strategy-and-plan-design-survey
5 - https://www.upwork.com/i/future-workforce/
6 - https://www.strongnation.org/articles/780-want-to-grow-the-economy-fix-the-child-care-crisis
7 - https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/trends-and-forecasting/research-and-surveys/pages/benefits19.aspx
8 - https://www.nami.org/mhstats#:~:text=20.6%25%20of%20U.S.%20adults%20experienced,represents%201%20in%2020%20adults.
9 - https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/mental-health-in-the-workplace-the-coming-revolution#
10 - https://www.businessgrouphealth.org/resources/2021-large-employers-health-care-strategy-and-plan-design-survey
11 - https://www.springhealth.com/hidden-costs-of-mental-illness/
12 - https://www.integrity-data.com/blog/70-of-workers-are-financially-stressed-heres-how-to-help-them/
13 - https://www.ebri.org/docs/default-source/wbs/wws-2020/2020-workplace-wellness-short-report.pdf?sfvrsn=d60b3a2f_2
14 - https://retire.massmutual.com/retire/email/business/rs48427.pdf?_ga=2.229961308.1980263534.1614456028-1596421177.161343368