Posted October 27, 2021
Keeping top employees and attracting new talent is a primary concern for American businesses. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, employers struggle to know how best to compete for workers, especially in the turnover tsunami as employees leave their jobs. An effective strategy to keep and find great workers is to offer a competitive salary and meaningful work. But employees also are looking for benefits packages with an array of choices. Consider five better employee benefits strategies for 2022.
- Offer more voluntary plans – Business experts anticipate a 6.5% increase in health care expenses in 2022, along with higher medical insurance premiums. Many employers want to avoid increasing health insurance premiums. Instead, they are offering health insurance with affordable basic care options. They also plan to increase their number of different voluntary plan options so employees can create a benefits package that meets their needs.
- Enhance health benefits – In addition to medical insurance, employees expect to have dental and vision coverage. Workers value dental and vision benefits to help them care for their oral and vision health, and especially their dependents’ health. During the pandemic, many employees put off scheduling dental and vision checkups. But now, they’re noticing changes in their dental and vision health and trying to get caught up. At the dental visit and during the vision exam, the doctor may detect signs of other medical conditions. Spotting these health changes early is another reason regular dental and vision care is essential. The best way to keep dental and vision costs low is for employees to take care of their teeth and eyes daily. For healthy teeth, gently brush twice a day – for two minutes each time – and floss once daily. Limit consumption of sugary sweets and drink fresh, plain water. For better vision, workers should blink to lubricate their eyes while working on digital devices and look away from the device every 20 minutes. Wear safety glasses to protect eyes from chemicals and flying debris.
- Focus on holistic needs – Many businesses plan to offer voluntary benefits that support employee well-being, especially their mental, financial and physical needs. Popular choices include student loan debt repayment assistance, professional counseling for budgeting and saving, cancer insurance, retirement plan, help with unexpected caregiver needs, flexible work schedules, paid family medical leave, pet insurance, access to low-interest loans, and membership discounts for fitness activities.
- Support flexibility – If you’re like many companies, you may be switching to a hybrid work schedule, where employees balance their workdays between working remotely and the office. However, while making this change, keep employees’ flexibility needs in mind.Due to the work changes that occurred during the pandemic, employees were given a lot of flexibility. They want to continue to adjust work schedules to meet project deadlines while juggling family responsibilities. Employees also want more flexible paid time off so they can get away as needed vs. submitting vacation requests weeks or months in advance. The challenge for employers is to provide equitable work and time off options that fit their business needs and the needs of diverse employees working from different locations.
- Improve communication – One of the best ways to keep employees engaged is through regular communication. Share information about new business decisions, product changes, new sales tactics and customer preferences.Also, every month educate employees on their benefits, specifically explaining how they can use their coverage to maintain good health. Connect with employees through a mix of communication methods, such as email, video and online chat. Ask your broker and insurance carrier for tools and resources you can use to enhance employee communications.Companies invest a lot of resources into offering the best employee benefits. By developing a benefits communication strategy, employers can make sure employees take full advantage of their benefits. Review these tips for success.