2022 has seen a major shift in the world of employee benefits which has given workers the upper hand. The effects of the pandemic and the Great Resignation have placed workers in a position to expect better perks from employers who are struggling to fill job openings.
Outlined below are some of the top employee benefits companies should offer in 2022 to stay competitive.
The ability to work remotely is becoming increasingly preferred by employees. Its popularity was already rising in the years between 2005 and 2010, but it really took off on a much broader scale with the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic forced many employers to create remote work policies and opened up a whole new segment of workers to the benefits of this approach.
It is now becoming the norm for many employees to look for remote work to be included in their contracts. Businesses are also benefiting by having remote workplaces; by having fewer employees in the building they can reduce their overhead costs. Employers are also able to access a wider talent pool if they are not limited to hiring within their local area. By keeping employees happy and productive, employee retention improves as well.
Mental Health Support
Another positive effect of the pandemic is that people are having more open conversations about mental health. They are no longer hiding their personal issues and stress and now feel more comfortable talking about their struggles. At the same time, the need for mental health services has been higher than ever as people struggle with the fallout of the pandemic.
According to the World Health Organization, depression and anxiety cost the global economy $1 trillion a year in terms of lost productivity. At the same time, they report that for every dollar spent treating common mental health issues, a return of $4 is noted in improved productivity and health. In addition to increasing retention and productivity, companies can lower their healthcare and disability costs as the rates of cardiovascular and metabolic disease are significantly higher among adults who have serious mental illnesses that are not treated.
Therefore, many companies that want to be competitive are offering coverage for mental health services as part of their benefits plan in 2022. Some are offering health savings accounts to offset out-of-pocket costs, while others are establishing employee assistance programs that support workplace mental health.
Another benefit many employees are looking for is mental health days. Instead of using sick days, employees want the option to take days off to focus on their mental well-being so they can return to work invigorated and refreshed. Promoting well-being in other ways can also help, such as by offering mindfulness training, yoga classes and more flexible schedules.
Providing childcare support can make the difference between retaining top talent with children or letting them walk away to find jobs with more supportive employers. Companies that offer childcare support attract more applicants and note better retention.
In many cases, current employees are even more productive when the stress of securing care for their children during work hours has been eliminated. For some workers, childcare support is even more important than having the option to work remotely.
Flexible Working Schedules
For many modern businesses, not only are flexible working schedules feasible, but they are also highly effective. Flexible working can entail allowing employees to schedule their workday however they want, providing work-from-anywhere arrangements or offering compressed work weeks in which employees can choose to work their 40 hours across four days rather than five. There may be certain core hours that employees must work that overlap with other team members to facilitate meetings with each other or clients, but there is usually room for some degree of flexibility.
There are many reasons that an employee may not want to maintain a traditional 8-to-5 schedule. There may be conflicts for some workers between traditional working hours and their children’s school hours. For others, coming into work just one hour later can mean avoiding sitting in traffic, which means employees can start their day in the right frame of mind. Others may find that they simply do not perform their best early in the morning and are far more productive when they start their work day around midday. Allowing employees to have flexible working schedules that suit their needs benefits both employees and employers.
Another perk that many employees are seeking in 2022 is parental leave. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that roughly 93 percent of fathers and 72 percent of mothers make up the American workforce. Moreover, many employees who are not parents right now intend to be at some point; offering family-friendly benefits can appeal to a significant number of job seekers.
Although the United States does not have a formal parental leave plan in place that applies to all workers, some progress is being made in standardizing parental leave as a federal benefit. In the meantime, however, employers that want to stand out to family-oriented employees and candidates should implement a strong family leave plan.
Retirement Savings Plan Matching
Although being competitive in 2022 requires offering some novel benefits, there is one long-time benefit that remains popular: retirement savings plan matching. In 2022, this perk is even more desirable as the workforce starts to age. In fact, employers that are looking to bring in older and more experienced employees may find that this is one of the most sought-after benefits they can offer.
In addition to helping with recruiting, offering retirement savings matching can boost employee morale and retention. Businesses can also take advantage of certain tax benefits by offering this type of program to employees.
Contact the Experienced Benefits Consultants
In 2022, businesses need to offer more creative employee benefits to develop and retain top-performing teams. To find out more about how offering the right benefits package can drive your business to greater success, contact our experienced benefits consultants at Business Benefits Group (BBG) today.