Employee Benefit Trends in 2021 and Beyond

September 28, 2021
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Team CloudAdvisors

Employee Benefit Trends in 2021 and Beyond

September 28, 2021

As businesses transition back into a new normal and companies restart their operations, we can expect a surge in employment opportunities to meet a demand-supply gap. To find and retain the right talent, businesses need to design improved compensation packages. Including a competitive base salary, sustainable growth opportunities and a well-rounded benefits plan is a good place to start. Employers who look to growing employee benefit trends will find recruiting and retaining talent to be a much easier task.

Employee Benefit Trends To Improve Your ROI

It’s been proven time and again that an attractive benefits package has a substantial impact on company reputation. A company’s benefit plan says a lot about their culture, and how they value and treat employees. As an indicator of company reputation, it can also affect long or short-term recruiting goals. An attractive benefits plan also helps HR recruit and retain the right talent, and boost employee productivity. When employees feel valued in the workplace, they are more motivated to perform better and deliver results.

To avoid losing talent to competitors, employers today rely on competitive benefits benchmarking. Benchmarking reports can help employers understand how their benefits package compare to their competitors. Benchmarking ensures they remain an attractive employer for potential candidates. It also helps employers measure their ROI to avoid overspending on employee benefits. Benchmarking is a valuable tool for employers looking to design an affordable and competitive employee plan in their industry.

New Employee Benefit Trends to Look Out For

The increasing importance of equity and employee wellbeing has employers looking for ways to improve their positioning as a ‘great place to work’. As we transition back into in-person or hybrid working environments, here are our top three workplace benefits trends to keep an eye on:

1. Mental Health Coverage

One lesson we’ve learned since the pandemic hit is that the duration of our fight against COVID-19 is uncertain. With recurring waves, and our hope to return to normal, depression and anxiety are at an all-time high. Employee mental well-being is now not only an ethical priority, but also an economical one. Frequently, poor mental health is associated with high turnover, absenteeism, low productivity, and poor physical health. Together, these all lead to higher long-term organizational costs. Keeping this in mind, employers must provide their employees with a comprehensive benefits solution.

According to a survey, 59% of new programs and services offered post-pandemic aim to support employees’ mental health and wellbeing. While employers work to cater to employee mental health needs, room for improvement remains to ensure employees have proper access to the resources available.

2. Flexible Work Options

In 2021, 76% of employers offered flexible work options, with many also providing assistance with stipends to cover home office expenses. A remote/hybrid workplace option has become important for several reasons:

  • This flexibility allows employees to balance their work and family life. This is particularly true for working parents, especially now when they have children at home since most schools, daycare centers, and recreational centers have closed down.
  • The pandemic has proved the success of remote working practices. One study found employees were able to work at least as well, if not better, in a remote working environment.
  • Work-from-home environments or hybrid options are also cost-effective for employers. They have led to substantial time and cost savings in terms of travel time and reimbursements for daily commutes.

3. Employee Resource Groups

Growing protests as a result of movements including Black Lives Matter, the #MeToo movement, and Indigenous rights have brought addressing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to the forefront of our minds. The pandemic has further accelerated this process as we rethink how to accommodate accessibility in a remote work environment. In such a situation, it has become increasingly important to create an inclusive space for employees where they feel supported and heard. Ways to get started include setting up Employee Resource Groups or Affinity Groups, where workers can come together to discuss common pains.

As the world becomes more conscious of DEI issues, employers should be heavily investing in setting up Employee Resource Groups.

HSAs: A Step Further for Inclusivity

While these are a few of the employee benefit trends we can observe moving forward, this list is not exhaustive. Employee needs are complex and sometimes difficult to place in specific buckets. For this reason, many employers today are considering offering a Healthcare Spending Account option to meet the needs of a diverse workforce. Numerous HSA options can be found on the CloudAdvisors platform with a single search. An HSA is a benefit solution that can be provided as either standalone or by complementing an existing health benefit offering. It is a pool of money that is funded by an employer and is made available to employees to spend on a CRA-approved health care expense.

A prime benefit that this option offers to employers is the flexibility in choosing how much they are willing to allocate towards the HSA. It is also a highly customizable option, allowing employers to segment employees according to seniority, experience, job role, etc. Further, all unused HSA allowances return to the employer rather than being lost to an insurance provider. Lastly, this option also counts towards a 100% tax-deductible business expense while being tax-free for the employee, making it an attractive choice.

So, what steps is your company taking to stay on top of benefit trends?

Some of many Healthcare Spending Account Providers available on the Solution Marketplace.

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What is an employee benefits plan booklet?

It's a document provided by your employee benefits provider that details the coverage level, types of benefits, and cost of your plan. Ask your advisor or your provider to provide you with this document.

If you're still unsure, reach out to us at [email protected] and we can show you examples.

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