Employer expectations have shifted in recent years, especially in how organizations take care of their employees through the benefits offered. This past year, emerging benefits trends have focused on mental health support, telemedicine access, and family-friendly benefits.
Mental Health Wellness & Holistic Approach to Benefits Offerings
How employees show up for work can be linked to their mental and holistic wellness, directly impacting their productivity levels. Over the years, we have seen a shift in how employers can support their employees' mental health needs by providing resources and highlighting wellness as a priority. According to SHRM’s 2023 Employee Benefits Survey, 91% of employers now offer mental health coverage. The prevalence of mental health resources in organizations speaks to the need for this benefit. Employers are starting to realize the importance of meeting their employees where they are in terms of their mental health journey and improving access to those services.
Employers can support employees' mental health by sharing information about the organization's mental health services, offering mental health days, reminding managers to share resources during one-on-one meetings, and offering stress management programs. Employers who can provide mental health resources or initiatives promote a positive workplace environment, which is a worthwhile investment for both the employee and employer.
An excellent service to emerge from COVID-19 is telemedicine. The simple act of receiving health services through video conferencing without even needing to leave your home increases employees’ access to healthcare. Telemedicine has given back employees comfort and convenience in their daily lives. According to the 2023 McGriff National Benefits Trends Survey, 78% of employers include virtual health/telemedicine, and 24% either increased benefits in this area in the last year or plan to do so in the future. Many virtual healthcare solutions are emerging in the market, contributing to a more accessible healthcare system. Telehealth can better engage people by providing easier and faster access to care. Telemedicine can be a valuable addition to benefits packages. Medical insurance carriers typically offer this service as part of their healthcare offerings.
The growing understanding of work-life balance, changing demographics, and workplace values have amplified the need for family-friendly benefits. Benefits have evolved beyond solely catering to individual needs to now incorporating benefits that support employees and their loved ones. According to SHRM’s 2023 Employee Benefits Survey, there has been a rise in the offering of paid leave benefits entirely, including maternity, paternity, adoption, and foster leave, which speaks to employees’ changes in needs and expectations. Based on the same report, one in five employers offers pet insurance, a 14% increase from 2022. The expectations are changing and employees seek more than healthcare. Leave options could be an aspect of a benefits package that sets employers apart. Family–friendly benefits can also vary from flexible hours, financial planning, or caregiving support. Other benefits range include employers offering perks to policies and programs that aim to help employees balance work and life.
As our workforce evolves, and new trends surface, employers must stay up to date and adapt their offerings. This will allow employers to remain competitive when attracting and retaining. An employer’s benefits offerings ultimately speak to their brand, culture, and commitment to values; impacting the wellbeing of their employees and as a result the communities they are part of and serve.
Contact Kiwi Partners' HR Services if you need assistance in planning your employee benefits package.