It’s 2018 and the lines between work-life and home-life are quickly blurring. As this happens, employees are beginning to look at their employers for support with their overall wellness needs, whether that be health care, financial wellness, mental health, or something else.
Rather than enforcing a rigid 9-5 work schedule where employees wear suits and ties to work, many organizations are embracing the ‘humanization’ of the workplace and are offering more flexible work schedules and more casual work environments. Flexible and unique benefits offerings are just a natural progression of the workforce evolution.
This year’s MetLife Employee Benefits survey uncovered several surprising gaps between what employers think their workforce wants and what employees actually want. It also suggested several ways in which organizations can continue to offer a more ‘human’ work experience.
Today’s workforce is anything but traditional. Life happens, and workplaces have evolved to better blend the work/life balance. Rigid benefits can actually work against employer efforts to embrace fluid schedules and an engaging company culture.
When it comes to benefits, employees want flexibility, customization and non-traditional options.
The good news? They are willing to pay for it.
When it comes to benefits, more employees want robust choices when selecting plan and coverage options. This might mean incorporating a variety of different health plans, including traditional PPO offerings and an HDHP offering with an HSA, or even offering a more diverse array of benefits to choose from.
People are now used to customizing everything from their coffee to their cars, so why not extend this concept into something as important as employee benefits? By offering a diverse array of voluntary benefit options, employees will have the freedom to build and customize an ideal benefits package that meets their specific needs.
Customization is particularly important for recruiting and retaining new talent, with 76% of millennials indicating that benefits customization is important for increasing their loyalty to their employers. Additionally, 74% of employees say that having customizable benefits is important when considering a new job.
Match programs are a great way to help employees customize their benefits. Does your company offer an HDHP? If so, consider adding an HSA or FSA employer match to help cover out-of-pocket costs. These plans also allow employees to contribute specified amounts directly from their paychecks. Unique voluntary programs, like pet insurance, student loan repayment assistance, and telehealth programs are other easy ways to help employees pick the best benefits for their unique situation.
If health care plans are the only benefit your company currently offers, you are way behind the coverage curve. 50% of companies agree that voluntary benefits are a significant part of their organization’s benefits strategy.
What do employees want? High-demand voluntary benefits include life insurance, critical illness insurance, disability insurance, accident insurance, identity theft protection, legal assistance, student loan repayment assistance, and pet insurance – to name a few.
While many employees expressed that they are currently ‘satisfied’ with their current benefits, there is always room for improvement.
Rethink employee benefits as not just a part of the compensation package but as a chance to honor employees with personal recognition and build trust by offering choice and security. Going beyond the financial aspect of benefits is an opportunity to strengthen loyalty with employees, taking a tangible step toward a more human workplace.
How can you work to humanize your workplace?