The pandemic has changed working policies and priorities. Employees and employers are now emphasizing health and wellbeing over other workplace benefits and perks. And so, companies are redefining their employee benefits packages for 2022. Most 2021 workplace benefits trends were ignored for long in the past, and the impact was reflected since the pandemic. To make sure the negative effect does not get carried on for long, employers are bringing in many changes to their employee benefits and perks.
Most employers have considered physical, financial, and mental health as essential aspects of employee wellbeing. However, a few other aspects must be focused on in 2022 for workplace wellbeing.
Here are the six latest employee benefits trends that might redefine workplace culture and business growth for 2022 and further.
1. High Healthcare Costs
Studies show that healthcare costs are likely to increase by 6.5% in 2022, compared to a slightly higher 7% in 2021. One of the key reasons for this emerging trend is the greater utilization of healthcare facilities by individuals who deferred medical care during the pandemic. Also, the boom in virtual healthcare and digital health solutions has led to higher investments in wellness technology. As employees are prioritizing their health and wellbeing, the long-term healthcare expenses are also bound to reduce. Companies that sponsor employee healthcare expenses seem to be in a better position with lower medical claims, reflecting better profits and long-term benefits.
2. Voluntary Benefits
With companies facing multiple challenges in the past 2 years, employers are carefully treading to have a competitive advantage in the market while still being able to cut costs. And the onus for this is on benefits administration. Voluntary benefits are one of the best ways to efficiently balance the business economy and also have a competitive edge. According to a Society For Human Resources Management (SHRM) report, it is anticipated that employee pay-all benefits will play a major role in workplace benefits administration after the pandemic. Employers are customizing their voluntary benefits packages to attract and retain a skilled workforce.
3. Holistic Benefits
Zywave conducted a Voluntary Benefits Benchmarking Overview survey which revealed the different workplace offerings focusing on holistic health. The commonly offered voluntary benefits include –
- 33% – critical illness insurance
- 32% – cancer insurance
- 12% – financial counseling
Offering these benefits demonstrates the support and willingness of employers to invest in employee wellbeing benefits. A few other benefits and perks being explored by many employers include –
- 25% – Membership discounts
- 19% – pet insurance
- 15% – financial counseling
- 13% – critical illness
- 11% – student loan repayment assistance
Studies show that even employers who have not offered any holistic health benefits until now are also redefining their employee benefits packages for the future.
4. Scaling Up the Ante
Although employee wellbeing is being prioritized by companies of all sizes, the bigger businesses are readily investing their wellness dollars in different ways. Fidelity Investments, along with the Business Group on Health, surveyed more than 150 medium and large-sized MNC’s to understand the various employee wellness solutions offered across the organizations. The most common workplace benefits focused on – employee work-life balance, mental wellbeing, financial health, and caregiving facilities. Almost 64% offered childcare support, and 83% were either planning to or were offering debt management programs.
5. Financial Wellness Benefits
The pandemic has made most individuals understand the value of financial security. Many people are rethinking their spending and savings while prioritizing financial health. A recent Schwab Retirement Plan Service’s annual survey revealed that almost one in every two employees plans to save better for their financial future. Also, more than one-third of the respondents were planning on paying off their debts, making sensible investments, and increasing their 401 (k) contributions. Another Purchasing Power survey revealed that 75% of the workers were more likely to stick with their employers if they were offered financial wellbeing benefits. In line with such trends, employers have started exploring financial health options like – financial counseling, student loan repayment support, medical deductible funding, low-interest loans, and more.
6. Paid Leave Policies
Biden administration’s American Families Plan (AFP) allows a comprehensive family, parental, and medical leave program. Irrespective of whether this national program becomes a law or regulation, employers are starting to implement such guidelines for their workplace policies. Almost 75% of the US voters supported paid medical and family leave since the pandemic, and so, employers are reconsidering these elements. Furthermore, many employers are also looking to offer paid vacation leave and unlimited paid time-off (PTO).
Employee mindsets and priorities are changing, and so is the employment panorama. With plenty of choices available, the workers are choosing their employers by scrutinizing different elements, especially the employee benefits package in 2022. And so, to have a competitive edge in the corporate wellness market, employers must redefine their employee benefits packages and wellbeing program to redesign them according to the evolving trends.