Subsidized childcare, financial wellness and tuition assistance on the chopping block for many
OAKLAND, CA., November 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The design of benefit plans has evolved during the pandemic to accommodate changing cultures, emergency protocols and the desire for more flexibility. As we emerge from the uncertainty of the past two years, employers are considering further changes to benefit plans with cost, attraction and retention in mind. In an effort to understand the current benefits landscape, the Integrated Benefits Institute, a nonprofit health and productivity research organization, surveyed employers across the United States to understand the plan changes. benefits during the pandemic, and what is happening now with these changes.
According to IBI’s survey results, turnover rates have increased steadily since 2019 (15%), with the highest turnover in 2021 (19%). 2022 is expected to continue to see an increased rate. Companies place more emphasis on benefits that will attract and retain employees to mitigate these fallouts.
Since the start of the pandemic, 40% of employers surveyed have made changes to their benefit plans. Listening to employee wants and needs is important when considering changes to benefit plans, and 65% of companies consider employee preferences when designing benefit plans. ‘social advantages. Eighty percent of companies said they solicit employee feedback regarding their satisfaction with newly implemented products and programs.
In the IBI survey, employers said that cost mitigation, attraction and retention are the most influential factors in benefit design decision making. Benefits added during the pandemic include remote work options (42%), EAP/behavioral health (27%) and compassionate care leave (20%). Benefits most often cut during the pandemic include subsidized child care (52%), financial wellness programs (48%) and tuition assistance (47%).
Understanding your workforce demographics is key to benefiting from the design planning strategy. Tammy Fennessy, Director of Benefits at American Eagle Outfitters (AEO), shared the importance of caregiving and parental leave, especially given that 70% of their workforce is female. Tammy emphasized the importance of age ranges in the design of benefit plans. The average age of AEO employees is 24, so the company focuses heavily on their needs and wants, including student loan benefits and financial well-being. They also make extensive use of technology, such as apps, to inform their employees about their benefits plans.
Beyond the pandemic, employers plan to maintain mental health coverage, expand leave benefits, and offer remote or hybrid work options. However, employers are also looking to mitigate costs and reduce benefits such as paid parental leave, weight management/exercise programs and financial wellness support.
What does this mean for employers?
The pandemic has brought about significant changes in the way leaders and employees view benefits offerings. IBI interviewed a number of employers and discussed challenges, solutions and best practices. Going forward, employers should incorporate the following into the benefit plan design strategy:
- Understand your workforce demographics
- Embedding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I)
- Consider employee feedback; engage and listen to your employees
- Educate employees on the benefits offered and how to use them
- Proceed with caution when it comes to mitigating costs and show empathy when considering changes to your benefit plans
Institute of Integrated Benefits SOURCE
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