3 Ways To Stay Competitive: SHRM 2018 Benefits Survey Recap
June 22, 2018
Jill Garrison
Timer  Read Time: 4 minutes

Didn’t have the time to scour this year’s SHRM Employee Benefits Survey?

Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) rolled out this year’s report at their annual conference, which took place June 17th – 20th in Chicago. The annual study analyzes the prevalence of and trends related to over 300 different employee benefits offered across the nation.

This year’s key takeaways make one thing crystal clear – the days of getting by with just the basics are gone. A strong economy and record low unemployment rates have made recruiting and retention more competitive than ever.

Here are three actionable takeaways from this year’s survey.

Increase & Diversify Your Offerings

If you want to keep up with the recruiting Joneses, having stellar compensation packages is more important than ever. 35% of organizations increased their benefits offerings over the past 12 months, citing employee retention (72%) and recruiting (58%) as the most popular reasons. On the other end of the spectrum, only 5% of organizations decreased their benefits packages over the past year, with cost (75%) as the primary driver for the change.

Of course, you would give your employees everything they wanted, and more, if it were feasible. Health care spending has increased by 4.3% since 2015, which might not sound like much, but that actually represents a $445 increase per person per year. The average employee now costs over $10,000 annually to cover. Employers and employees are feeling the squeeze, so how can you increase your offerings while still keeping the finance department happy?

Health plan diversification is key to developing a balanced and affordable health plan portfolio.

PPO plans continue to be the most popular option (84%), while CDHPs (40%) have surpassed HMOs (35%) as the second most popular plan choice. CDHPs increased 73% since last year and, unsurprisingly, so did the use of benefits savings accounts like HSAs and FSAs.

Support New Parents

Though the United States doesn’t have a great track record of supporting new parents compared to the rest of the world, this trend is slowly but surely beginning to shift. The number of organizations offering paid maternity leave has increased 35% over the past two years while the number of companies offering paid paternity leave is up 29% over the same time period. Paid leave for fostering, adoption and surrogacy is also on the rise. Providing paid leave for new parents will not only help increase organizational commitment and employee engagement but also lower the risk of maternal depression and reduce health care costs long-term by supporting healthy infants at home. Learn more about the top employee benefits for parents!

Focus On Health & Wellness

44% of organizations have increased their wellness benefits, with perks ranging from employer-sponsored health and fitness competitions, CPR/first aid training and standing desks. Aside from keeping your employees happy and healthy, wellness programs have proven to be a successful indirect method of controlling the long-term cost of health care within organizations. Sick employees cost companies over $1,600 per employee per year due to lost productivity. In addition to reducing overall sick days, studies have shown that investing in wellness programs can also help reduce the likelihood of employees developing four of the ten most costly health conditions – angina pectoris (chest pains), diabetes, high blood pressure and heart attack. Learn more about this year’s most popular health and wellness programs.

Visit SHRM.com for more information on the study and this year’s key findings.

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