August 25, 2022

The Modern Forecast of Benefits

In the past couple of years, we’ve dissected the difficulties of the new workforce. From sourcing the very best candidates to keeping your employees engaged, all HR teams are finding themselves learning every day. And with more companies hiring than ever, we discussed how to set your organization apart from the competition – and one of the biggest contenders. Benefits. While there’s never going “too far” when it comes to what you can offer your employees, there are categories that are most common – and some that aren’t – for companies to offer.

Healthcare benefits.

As one of the most obvious pluses out there, almost all employers offer some form of healthcare (and according to SHRM, 72% of organizations offer a fully-insured plan!). But there’s been changes across what types of insurance is provided to prospective employees. For example, there was a slight increase in short-term disability insurance, which likely came at the realization that COVID-19 was affecting individuals longer than a few days – and employers were forced to handle that head-on. And what’s new on the horizon? Employers being responsible for the expansion of healthcare as it comes to mental health coverage. The fact of the matter is that the pandemic gave light to how fragile health really is, and has wholeheartedly increased the public eye on employers to offer insurance that really aligns with what candidates both need and want.

Retirement and savings.

Healthcare and insurance may be popular across employers, but retirement and savings plans are also among the most favored: 94% of employers offer a traditional 401(k). One of the most drastic changes year-to-year by the SHRM survey actually falls in this category, with a 9% decrease in retirement advice offered online, to a group, or one on one. There could be several explanations for this, with one of them leaning towards the generational gap between millennials and baby boomers. With today’s financial forecast, many younger generations are choosing to focus on the now rather than on retirement that could be over thirty years away.  

Vacation and other leave.

Almost 100% of companies have standardly offered some sort of leave in the last few years of SHRM’s annual survey, and 2022 is no difference. What has changed, however, is a decrease in paid leave to care for immediate family – which may be attributed to the boost of sickness that has been in the horizon since many companies returned to office. Additionally, at least 14% of employers in the last year have begun to offer unpaid time off to vote beyond what is required by law. This is likely a direct response to the uprising of political arguments in the past couple of years, and something that the younger generation has come to both expect and take incredibly seriously.

Odds and ends.

Not everyone employer can offer everything, but there’s plenty of great ideas for benefits that not many organizations take into consideration. One of the more jarring statistics is the negative change across the line for housing and relocation by employers, including relocation lump sum payments and temporary relocation benefits. The obvious justification for this is that with the massive uptick with remote work in the past few years, many companies have placed it on the employees to figure out where they’re living and when they would prefer to relocate. In comparison, employers assisting their team members with loans for emergency and/or disaster assistance has gone up 6%, according to SHRM. This likely correlates with the very fact that COVID-19 served as a disruption to almost everyone and left employees especially vulnerable.

While there are plenty of benefits that are not often spoken of but are widely available, it’s important to take a look at what you have to offer to candidates and your current employees. There’s been a huge increase in both company-paid snacks and beverages, as well as an annual company outing, but sometimes that isn’t enough. As our workforce is transforming all over again, just as it had two years ago, keep in mind what might stand out to the new generation and beyond as it comes to what really benefits them.

Want to read more?

SHRM: Better Workplaces Through Benefits