The new year ushered in challenges from inflation, mass restructuring, and the Great Resignation from 2022. Amid this employee crisis and rising inflation, employers are facing the challenge of offering employee benefits and soaring costs. All these factors inform the priorities of employers and suggest new employee benefits trends.
With employees experiencing the same economic challenges, their expectations, as well as their dependency on company-provided benefits, are increasing too.
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Top 2023 Benefit Trends
Benefits have a significant role in employee retention and the effectiveness of talent acquisition initiatives of a business. Explore the expected benefits below:
The higher costs of health care make it challenging for businesses to offer health benefits when many organizations have to negotiate limited budgets. With more businesses offering comprehensive health options relative to those who offer minimalistic plans, businesses must find a way to make health care both affordable and accessible.
Ease of access to preventative health care leads to lesser claims down the road resulting in reduced costs. Further, and more immediately, the extension of health care benefits indicates that an organization cares for its employees and their retention.
In addition to standard health benefits, some employers might also offer options for life and disability insurance, long-term care, or reproductive health care, including pregnancy care and family planning assistance. Employees should be encouraged to choose a health plan suitable to their needs. Developing and implementing layered options enable an organization to manage costs while offering employee benefits tailored to each associate’s needs.
Factors like inflation, work stress, and mental health issues take a toll on employees’ well-being. Many employers started with well-being programs during the pandemic for this reason. More are expected to join in on this trend in 2023.
Many organizations are planning to expand their employee assistance programs to aid with burnout, stress, and mental health concerns. Conducting training and sessions on well-being is expected to become a more common practice this year; in addition, some companies may offer more workplace flexibility and early-release Fridays to help employees achieve an equitable work-life balance.
Traditionally, organizations offer 401(k) retirement accounts and health insurance. The costs of voluntary benefits are often shared between employees and employers. Such structured benefits create a win-win situation for both parties. Further, many benefits are deducted from the employees’ pre-tax income, making them even more affordable.
Common examples of voluntary benefits include vision, dental, and life insurance, however, businesses are now rolling out supplemental benefits such as accident insurance, student loan repayment, critical illness insurance, gym coverage, and identity theft protection.
Employees are empowered to select the coverage according to their preferences. Adopting employee benefits trends around such coverage can keep your workforce motivated and help attract new talent. As such, it is highly advisable to expand an organization’s voluntary benefits.
Pay transparency is expected to become more normalized in 2023. The implementation of laws supporting pay transparency by multiple states supports this trend. Employees prefer transparency because it holds their employers accountable for offering similar compensations to counterparts working the same job role.
Employers benefit from pay transparency too. Publishing the pay range for a job role attracts more candidates and sets clear expectations. The time and cost invested in hiring is often more fruitful when transparency is established from the outset. For these reasons, more companies are expected to disclose the pay scales for various job roles within the organization.
WFH and Hybrid Arrangements
Work-life balance continues to be the top priority for employees. Many businesses have experienced a boost in the productivity of employees with work-from-home (WFH) arrangements. For this reason, many employers are amenable to flexible working arrangements and hybrid models.
Multiple surveys have shown that employees prefer WFH over a salary increase, and some are willing to accept permanent pay cuts to guarantee this privilege. Any employer’s concerns about productivity in a flexible setting can be alleviated by leveraging employee monitoring software. Conversely, businesses can save significantly on utilities, rent, and overheads by implementing hybrid working arrangements. Moreover, advocating liberal management styles in flexible settings can actually elevate levels of productivity when implemented properly. Businesses should carefully review laissez-faire leadership pros and cons when revamping their workplace attendance policies.
Offering benefits can be a tough proposition for employers given the ongoing issues in the larger professional marketplace. However, by intelligently prioritizing offerings and promoting a comprehensive overall policy, organizations can remain both competitive and attractive to potential candidates.
Enterprises of every size must take note of their employee benefits trends. The inclusion of more voluntary benefits and flexible working conditions can significantly help a business achieve higher employee satisfaction and retention without the burden of inflated costs.