In the wake of the Great Reshuffle—the mass movement of workers to jobs that prioritize their needs—and macro trends like the tight labor market, attraction and retention are top of mind for employers. In fact, according to our 2022 Attraction and Retention Benchmarking Overview, over 75% of employers consider attraction and retention to be among the top-five challenges for their business. As a result, many employers are expanding and enhancing their benefits offerings to remain or become more desirable to employees as we continue to move towards 2023. In this article, we outline the top employee benefits that are integral to your attraction and retention efforts by supporting the health and wellness of your people:
Easy access to health care is critical to everyone. Throughout the last two years, many people turned to telemedicine for their health care needs, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Telemedicine is convenient for employees and can also help employers; for example, it cuts down on time employees may otherwise spend away from work commuting to physical doctors’ offices. Especially as health concerns surrounding COVID-19 linger, it’s essential that employers ensure employees can access health care services in ways that are convenient for them. Otherwise, workers are likely to seek out employers who will help them do so through a more hybrid employee benefits program.
Just like flexibility around scheduling, flexibility in terms of paid time off has also become a highly sought-after and important benefit. The fact is, not everyone celebrates the same holidays and not everyone will require the same number of sick days as everyone else.
That’s why flexible PTO can be a big win. It gives everyone a set number of days or hours or paid time off to spend as they choose. Employees can choose to be off on traditional holidays, their birthdays, or just take a mental health day when they need it. At the end of the day, who is better to decide what type of time off they need than the individual employees themselves?
Hybrid Work Arrangements
Alternative work models such as remote and hybrid work are also in high demand. Workers grew accustomed to the flexible work arrangements they had during the pandemic, and many want to keep them. Where possible, it’s beneficial to consider allowing remote or hybrid work to those who prefer it. Now that many roles have been successfully performed remotely, employees are more comfortable than ever working a fully hybrid or fully remote position long term.
With the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting in June that inflation is at 9.1% year over year, its highest level since 1981, the prices of daily essentials have greatly increased. As a result, many employees are looking for more competitive compensation packages to help them afford the increased cost of living. Based on our research, 83% of employers found competitive compensation to be a top priority during the hiring process, and one of the more sought-after elements of a great employee benefits plan. In response to this, employers who are able may want to consider increasing salaries to at least partially match the inflation rate proactively, or during their annual salary reviews. Alternatively, employers can offer stipends for essentials such as groceries and gas if salary increases are not in their budgets.
Career Development Opportunities
Employees are not just interested in securing a job they have the skill set for; they also want to develop new skills. 41% of employers consider addressing current and future skills gaps a top-three attraction and retention challenges. If employees feel they are unable to advance their professional development within their current roles, they are likely to seek out new ones. Thus, many employers are now offering different opportunities to their employees to help teach new skills and develop various existing skill sets. Employers may consider providing more career development opportunities to help retain workers who wish to expand their skills and career opportunities.
Mental Health Support
Consider offering simple perks like financial planning assistance (as financial stress often contributes to poor mental health), employee discount programs (where employees can receive gym memberships, stress-reducing massages, or acupuncture at a lower cost), and EAPs to support your employees. Reviewing the offerings that your organization provides is essential to creating a culture that supports employee mental health.
Student Loan Assistance
Student debt is a growing issue among newer members of the workforce, such as Generation Z, and these employees are looking for help mitigating it. Some employers are introducing repayment assistance; many companies that already offer the benefit are increasing contributions and expanding eligibility. Because student loan debt is such a significant issue for many employees, especially as inflation continues to drive up the cost of living, employees are prioritizing employers who help alleviate this added burden.
Various labor market trends are driving employees to demand better benefits packages. There are various benefits employers can offer to attract and retain workers, including those that provide significant value to themselves and their families and help lessen the effects of inflation through competitive compensation and student loan assistance. Employers should consider expanding benefits offerings such as these to improve their overall attraction and retention efforts and the happiness and engagement of their overall business.
To learn more about employee benefits, or to start planning for 2023, book a consultation today and one of our HR and Benefits solutions advisors will help you understand your needs and help build the perfect program for your organization.