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Employee Benefits Trends to Have on Your Radar in 2018

Posted on the 06 March 2018 by Pacificprime @ThePacificPrime

One of the most essential aspects of operating a business is ensuring that employees are engaged, and providing them with enough incentive to enhance productivity. Health insurance continues to remain a large priority for employers, but with ever-rising premiums, HR teams are faced with the need to contain costs amid growing employee expectations. In addition to cost management, results from a 2017-2018 survey on employee benefits trends show that 75 percent of employers are considering reviewing their benefits packages to better influence employee behavior, which can itself be a cost driver.

With this in mind, we've seen a growing number of companies offering wellness benefits, mental health coverage, and other forms of employee benefits in the hopes of boosting productivity, employee health and wellbeing, as well as attracting and retaining top talent. Are you ready to get a head-start on offering the most optimal benefits for your employees? To help, we've pulled together the most prominent employee benefits trends to have on your radar when reviewing/revising plans in 2018.

Employee benefits trends to have on your radar in 2018

Workplace wellness

In the past, employee health benefits tended to be more reactionary, meaning that they were mostly useful after an insured member already had something wrong with their health. In recent years however, the pendulum is swinging towards workplace wellplace, with the desire to manage rising medical costs being a primary motivator.

A recent Society for Human Resources (SHRM) survey found that nearly one quarter of employers plan on increasing their workplace wellness benefits. The past few years have seen increased emphasis on healthy living and preventative care, with initiatives like smoking cessation, in-office meditation, wearable fitness trackers, and nutritionist consultations becoming increasingly featured in benefits plans. The number of standing workstations, according to the SHRM survey, also soared from 13 percent to 44 percent in 2017.

Employee assistance programs

As discussed in our recent article, employee assistance programs (EAPs) have become increasingly popular as more and more employers are recognizing the link between employee wellbeing and lost productivity.

In fact, lost productivity and absenteeism alone cost organizations almost USD 312 billion annually. The right EAP can mitigate this by providing workplace support to help employees resolve issues (e.g. stress, family issues, mental health problems) that are having a negative impact on their performance.

In the US, around 77 percent of employers offered EAPs in 2016, an employee benefits trend that is gradually being mirrored by employers in other regions across the globe. Some of the most common EAP initiatives include 24 hour crisis hotline, confidential counselling services, emergency intervention, stress management workshops, and care referral support.

Personalized employee benefits

When it comes to benefits packages, one size does not fit all. Starting with millennials and now with Gen Z, the makeup of today's workforce is shifting, thus creating a greater need for personalized offerings. As you see more fresh faces joining your workplace, it'll be imperative to design benefits that appeal to the needs of a diverse workforce, while communicating those options in the most effective ways.

Understanding the needs of various employee demographics in your organization plays an important role when structuring benefits. For example, millennials, who will make up over 50 percent of the workforce by 2020, want more flexible working hours, crave recognition, and instant gratification. Contract and part-time workers are also taking an increased share of the workforce, thus pushing demand for employee benefits that extend to non-permanent staff.

Flexible working arrangements

From flextime and telecommuting, to casual dress and job sharing, flexible working arrangements are a cost-effective method of helping employees balance work-life responsibilities. As one of the most prominent employee benefits trends, the aforementioned SHRM survey found that 2 out of 5 employers consider flexible arrangements to be a key tool in recruiting talent. In particular, the biggest change in flexible benefit offerings over the past five years was an increase in telecommuting, with 59 percent of employers allowing telecommuting on an ad-hoc basis, and 35 percent on a part-time basis.

Getting your employee benefits on track with Pacific Prime

Given that compensation offerings are more varied than ever before, keeping track of employee benefits trends, designing, structuring, implementing, and administering plans have become increasingly complex; leaving many companies unsure about where to even start. Luckily, there are veteran experts in the employee benefits industry, like Pacific Prime.

As a world leading broker, we're geared with the market intelligence necessary to deliver the most competitive, cost-effective solutions that meet the evolving needs of today's workforce. If this sounds like something that could benefit your company, be sure to contact our corporate consultants today.

Employee benefits trends to have on your radar in 2018

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