As a new round of fresh college graduate prepare to enter the working world, have you, the employer, thought about refreshing your benefits package? Keeping up with the times and the demands of the workforce now may seem daunting or a low priority. But trust us, your benefits package might need an upgrade, especially considering the younger generation and their needs as an employee.
SHRM.org discussed the 6 benefit trends to watch for in 2020. Why is this important to note or to care about? Because businesses need to consider the "needs of today's diverse, multigenerational workforce and bring real value to their lives" (SHRM.org) and what better way to attract the best talent than by a benefits package that's too good for them to resist?!
Based off of SHRM's article, here are the top 6 benefit package trends you should be looking into or possibly consider offering to employees:
1) Personalizing a Benefits Package. Adding a variety of choices for employees to pick from is a great option because needs and interests vary from person to person. For instance, a younger employee might be more elevated towards a benefits plan with tuition or fitness reimbursement plan while an older generation employee values health and life insurance more. Basically, present them with a menu of options that they can choose from.
2) Add a student loan repayment aid benefit option. Let's face it, student debt has become a massive burden over the years. A great way to help get your employee closer to being student debt-free is by offering or matching 401(k) contributions that are tied to the employees' student loan payments. This could potentially help them pay off their debt faster while still being able to save for their future.
3) Consider health plan costs. The rising prices of healthcare plans can put a strain on the financial wellness of employees. Start looking into or thinking about reconstructing health care plans/costs by providing transparency tools for health plans, reintroducing co-pays, eliminating high deductibles, etc. This section would be very important for the HR professional to help look at all options and needs per employee and help develop a better healthcare plan for them.
4) Think about offering ICHRA or QSEHRAs. Maybe you should consider looking into or offering individual coverage health reimbursement arrangements (ICHRA) or even qualified small employer HRAs (QSEHRAs) to employees. ICHRAs can be funded by employers while the employee can use them to buy health coverage via a public exchange method. Meanwhile, a business with less than 50 full-time employees could consider QSEHRAs which would give employees tax-free money to purchase an individual healthcare policy. Healthcare coverage is a tricky situation for a lot of employers, but knowing your options and being able to offer them to employees is a great benefit!
5) Well-being and mental health Benefits. Consider expanding and covering plans that focus on mental health and well-being options. Find plans that offer telehealth, or virtual counseling options for employees. Employees are people, too. And offering them coverage or options to help them mentally and emotionally will go a long way in the long run.
6) Lastly, employee care-assistance plans. Not only does your employee do work for you, they sometimes might be caregiving for loved ones too. You'd be surprised at the amount of employees that are also caregivers in the U.S. What can you do to help them? Think about offering care-assistance subsidies/resources or maybe a more flexible work schedule. And think about your leave benefits - could they be better? Could they be revised to be more modern and up-to-date with family leave and caregiving options to employees?
A new decade means it's time to sit down and evaluate where your company is with its benefits package. If you were an employee, what would you want in a benefits plan? What wouldn't you want? Or, would you want to make it completely customizable? We're only heading into the future, not going back. So use this time and this information to really spruce up your offerings!