Employee priorities have changed because of the pandemic, which has led employers to examine their employee benefits offerings for 2022. Key concerns brought up by employees include physical wellbeing, peace of mind, and financial health—huge issues challenging employers to consider benefits they might have ignored in the past.
Here are six employee benefits trends to consider for 2022.
Paid Time Off (PTO)
The balance of work and personal life is an essential consideration for employees in today’s workplace. SHRM states that US workers rank Paid Time Off (PTO) as the second most important benefit after healthcare. Also, according to Project: Time Off, employees who work for companies that encourage PTO are happier with their jobs. If PTO is something you want to consider for your employees, decide what works best for them and your organization.
Flexible work hours and location
When a whopping 40% of workers would consider quitting if their jobs offered no flexible hours or the opportunity to work from home at least a few days a week, it shows how vital remote work has become. Remote work benefits, such as time saved commuting, more personal time, better sleep, and better overall health can be attractive options to employees. Employers who want to attract and retain the best talent might offer flexible hours and remote work locations as an employee benefit.
Financial stress skyrocketed during the pandemic, as 32% of people said the pandemic still affects their finances. Stressed employees are more distracted and less productive, making it a lose/lose situation for both employees and employers.
However, 80% of people who feel employers are committed to helping strengthen their financial resiliency are more likely to stay with their company. If, as an employer, you want to show your company is people-centered, a financial wellness benefit is something to think about.
Currently, 10% of employers with 50 employees or less offer family planning and fertility benefits, and more than 30% of employers with 500 or more employees provide these benefits. Considering millennials are the largest generation in the US workforce today, and many are at the age where family planning plays an important role in their lives, offering family-focused benefits could be a smart move for employers. Employers who create strategic benefits plans that meet the current needs of their workforce will have an easier time attracting and retaining talent.
Student loan repayment
The number of people in the United States who currently have an outstanding student loan debt is 44.7 million. A student loan repayment benefit aims to reduce the burden this debt has on employees and could attract millennial employees, as 28.9 million people in this age group are indebted borrowers.
Such a benefit would help with loyalty and retention, as 4 in 5 young people would commit to employers for 5 years if the employer helped pay their student loans.
Mental health and wellbeing
During the pandemic, mental health issues such as anxiety and depression rose when the United States first went into lockdown. This is not an issue to ignore, both for the sake of employees’ mental health and an employer’s bottom line—depression, for instance, costs employers about $17 million to $44 million in lost productivity. With this in mind, think about expanding your employee health and wellness benefits to go beyond offering employee assistance programs (EAPs). An EAP is a type of employee benefits program that helps employees with personal and/or work-related problems that may impact their job performance and overall physical/mental wellbeing. For example, Joey Price, CEO of JumpstartHR, explained how companies are investing in mindfulness apps “to help employees balance the tension of work from home and life from home.”
Let your employees be the driver of your decisions
Now, more than ever, benefits that help with overall wellbeing and wellness are key trends to consider in 2022. But the best way to know what benefits your employees want? Ask them.
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