Mental Health And Well
Related to improving healthcare affordability is providing benefits that encourage improved mental health and well-being. Mental health in the workplace is an interconnected issue and is inextricably linked to physical health. According to the Centers for Disease Control , depression increases the risk for many physical health problems, especially chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The CDC also points out that the presence of chronic conditions can increase the risk of mental illness. It becomes an escalating feedback loop with dire consequences for those who are caught in it.
Even before the pandemic, employee mental health benefits trends were gaining traction. Since then, Paychex surveyed more than 1,000 workers to find out how the pandemic has affected their mental health at work. Around 51% of respondents said their mental health had worsened during the pandemic. Around one-third reported struggling to achieve their typical level of productivity due to their current state of mental health. As we move into the pandemic’s prolonged aftermath, recruitment, retention, and productivity success will likely favor those employers who provide mental health benefits.
It’s worth noting that mental health benefits are particularly important to Gen Z workers. A 2022 Paychex survey reveals that when asked to rank benefits , more Gen Z respondents cited mental health benefits as the top benefit that would make them stay at a company long-term.
Shrm: Benefits Added During The Pandemic Likely To Remain
As the COVID-19 pandemic upended workers lives, employers responded by providing flexible work arrangements, addressing caregiving needs and supporting workers emotional well-being. It now looks like many employers are planning to keep those offerings after the pandemic ends.
COVID-19 presented a unique opportunity for employers to examine their benefit offerings and overall culture and to make changes that they may not have made otherwise, said Julie Stich, CEBS, vice president of content at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans . It has accelerated trends that were already in motion, brought to the forefront new ideas and priorities, and given organizations an opportunity to evaluate what works best for their workforce.
New Benefits Offerings
IFEBPs recently released Employee Benefits in a COVID-19 WorldOne-Year Update, reports the results of a survey conducted the week of May 3, with responses from 293 U.S. employers. The following are benefits changes that organizations have made since March 2020.
INCREASED ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS.
During the pandemic, 23 percent of employers added virtual mental health therapy sessions as an employee benefit, and 9 percent are considering doing so. Of those that added virtual counseling, almost all have made it a permanent change or are considering making it permanent .
FLEXIBILITY FOR CAREGIVING.
CHANGES IN VACATION/PAID-TIME-OFF POLICIES.
Workers Expect Continued Flexibility
Press Release From Westcomm
Receive early access to key benefits communications takeaways and actionable improvements for your benefits communications program by completing this 15-minute survey by Monday, August 16.
PLUS, youll be entered in a drawing to win $500!
NOTE: All responses are anonymous.
How You’ll Benefit
*Survey administered by Audience Audit, Inc. and sponsored by Westcomm.
Companies Mentioned in this Press Release:
Directory searches provide access to a Network of highly qualified industry-specific suppliers. Eliminate irrelevant results from Internet queries through a targeted, effective search in SHRM Human Resource Vendor Directory – and find new suppliers today!
Recommended Reading: Social Security Survivors Benefits Calculator
Resources To Help Hr Meet The Changing Needs Of Organizations
Human resources professionals are continually challenged to do more with less. According to a survey of 2,000 organizations by the Society for Human Resources Management , the HR-to-employee ratio was 2.57 HR professionals per 100 employees in 2014.1 The report also revealed that the HR-to-employee ratio doesnt increase at the same rate as an organizations growth. In 2018, Bloomberg Law surveyed 700 employers and found that the HR-to-employee ratio was only 1.5 HR professionals per 100 employees.
Although SHRM hasnt yet conducted a post-COVID-19 survey on the HR-to-employee ratio, its clear that HR teams are continuing to shrink and being asked to do more with less when compared to other areas within organizations.
HR professionals have traditionally held a wide breadth of corporate responsibilities such as employee recruitment and retention, learning and development, payroll, compensation, benefits, labor relations, compliance, and health and safety.2 With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, HR professionals faced a new set of challenges. Whether implementing remote work procedures, interpreting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on creating safe work environments, planning return-to-work protocols or considering COVID-19 vaccination policies, responsibilities for HR professionals shifted monumentally.3
A Renewed Focus On Employee Health And Wellness
While nearly all employee benefits are gaining more attention, health and wellness benefits remain a top priority for many organizations. The continuing rise in health concerns since the pandemic has many employers viewing health care as the most important benefit that companies can offer.
Nearly all respondents of the 2022 SHRM survey reported that their organization offers some type of health care plan to employees. According to the survey, 72 percent of businesses offer a fully insured health plan in which they pay out a fixed premium to the insurer which then covers medical claims.
Approximately 26 percent reported that their health plan featured a self-insured insurance arrangement. With this type of plan, the company pays medical claims themselves, typically through a third-party administrator. Self-insured plans can result in significant savings for organizations.
Some of the most popular types of health-related spending accounts were revealed to be health savings accounts and medical flexible spending accounts . The survey also showed that 63 percent of organizations that offer an HSA make employer contributions to these accounts.
Also Check: How To Apply For Early Retirement Benefits
Here’s What You Need To Know:
- If your employees arent happy with their benefits, it increases the chances of them accepting a stronger offer from your competitor
- An employee benefits satisfaction survey can provide substantial insight into each employees benefits preferences, needs, and more
- Adhere to best practices for the survey, such as giving employees the option to remain anonymous, including open-ended questions, and more
- Examine industry employee benefits surveys to help ensure your survey questions reflect current trends
- You can conduct the surveys more frequently than once per year if needed
In January 2022, Glassdoor reported, Hiring is going to be difficult in 2022. Specifically, the labor shortages that caused hiring and retention challenges in 2021 will likely continue through 2022. This means employees will have more bargaining power in 2022, including when it comes to negotiating better benefits.
Bottom line: if your employees arent happy with their benefits, it increases the chances of them accepting a stronger offer from your competitor. You can prevent this by conducting employee benefits satisfaction surveys and making feasible adjustments based on the results.
Shrm 2022 Employee Benefits Survey: Evaluating The Trends
Quick Look: Adapting to trends while also focusing on what employees really want is essential to maintaining low turnover and an engaged work environment. SHRM has recently published its 2022 Employee Benefits Survey which shows the trends worth paying attention to as employers prepare for the upcoming benefits renewal season.
SHRM released its 2022 Employee Benefits Survey in June, revealing results collected between January 11 and February 28 of this year. The association sought out responses from SHRM members across various organizations to determine where the future of employee benefits is headed. The survey covers employee health benefits, retirement and savings, paid leave, and flexible work schedules as the top categories employers and their employees value most.
Read Also: Santa Clara County Retirement Benefits
Human Resources: Doing More With Less
Going forward, organizations will continue to ask HR teams to do more with fewer resources. A 2021 Gartner HR Budget and Staffing Survey reported that 34% of HR leaders plan to decrease their HR function budgets.5 As a result, HR professionals will likely lean more on their benefits brokers and technology vendors to help manage their workloads. Unfortunately, most brokers and technology vendors are not equipped to provide such dedicated support to organizations.
What Employers Should Know About The Shrm 2022 Employee Benefits Survey
September 5, 2022, by New City Insurance
Each year, the Society for Human Resource Management performs a survey to collect feedback from HR professionals across America. The SHRM Employee Benefits Survey represents the longest-running annual research report and is used to reveal trends in employee benefits among US organizations across several categories.
In 2022, the Employee Benefits Survey showed a partial return to normalcy after the chaos that ensued during the COVID-19 pandemic that affected many organizations. Since the pandemic, many businesses have made a recovery and are working towards adopting bigger and better benefits for their workforce.
The survey from the SHRM Research Institute, which was conducted from January 11-February 28, 2022, collected responses from 3,129 HR professionals across companies of all sizes. Employers can now use this survey information to gain a better understanding of benefit views and what their top priorities should be moving forward.
Read Also: Opportunity Zones Tax Benefits Explained
The Benefits Employers Viewed As Most Valuable
The 2022 Employee Benefits Survey revealed what benefits are viewed as most important to businesses. The following percentages represent respondents who saw these benefits as very or extremely important:
- Health-Related Benefits: 88 percent
- Retirement Savings and Planning Benefits: 82 percent
- Leave Benefits: 82 percent
- Family Care Benefits: 70 percent
- Flexible Work Benefits: 70 percent
- Professional and Career Development Benefits: 65 percent
- Wellness Benefits: 46 percent
There has also been a noticeable increase in telehealth and mental health care services since the pandemic. While many core benefits have returned to pre-pandemic levels, areas like telehealth and mental health have seen a lasting incline. The survey showed that 93 percent of organizations now offer employees access to telehealth as a benefit. This is an increase of 20 percentage points since it was last reported in 2019 by the SHRM.
Shrm Survey Reveals How The Pandemic Affected Employee Benefits
The pandemic has had a profound effect on all areas of employment, including benefits. Mental health coverage has emerged as one of the most popular covered benefits in 2022 with 91% of employers now offering coverage according to a recent SHRM Employee Benefits Survey.
According to the survey, employers ranked healthcare as the most important type of benefit that an organization can offer its workers followed by retirement and leave benefits, which ranked jointly at number two. Retirement benefits were at 55% in 2020/21, back up to 82% in 2022.
The pandemics impact on the world of work appears to have resulted in lasting changes of the views around specific benefits offerings.
- Flexible work benefits were at 49% in 2019, 83% during the pandemic when many workers were required to work remotely, and have now settled at 70% in 2022.
- 65% of employers thought that professional career development benefits were important now compared to 37% in 2020/2021 and 51% prior to the pandemic.
- Family care benefits were viewed by 70% of employers as being important to offer, down from 76% during the pandemic when they became increasingly important, but up from 52% prior to the pandemic.
Additional highlights from SHRMs 2022 Employee Benefits Report include:
Retirement and savings:
Other types of leave:
View the complete survey results here.
Whats Ahead For Human Resources In 2022
As we head toward the new year, HR professionals are expected to work with C-suite executives on strategic initiatives while maintaining responsibility for administrative corporate tasks. A joint survey of HR professionals by Future Workplace, Lyra Health and the Boston University Questrom School of Business Human Resources Policy Institute showed that the top 5 priorities for HR departments are:4
Observe Last Years Trends And Benefits Priorities As Well
The benefits landscape tends to shift from year to year, and these changes impact how employers approach benefits internally.
For example, the 2022 SHRM survey reveals that employers benefits priorities are shifting now that the COVID-19 pandemic is receding. At the beginning of the pandemic, employers felt retirement plans were not as important as health, leave, and flexible work benefits.
When preparing your survey questions, make sure you evaluate last years and the current years benefits trends.
Now that the pandemic is retreating, employers rank retirement plans as the 2nd most important benefit, just behind health benefits.
So, when preparing your survey questions, make sure you evaluate last years and the current years benefits trends. For insight into last years trends, check out the Zenefits 2021 Benefits Benchmark Report.
Keep in mind, too, that you can conduct the surveys more frequently than once per year. For instance, you can do them twice per year, or whenever you need employee answers to inform your benefits process.
Recommended Reading: Medicare Benefits Social Security Administration
Shrm: Employers Enhance Well
Employers are revising their employee well-being programs to address the after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and to focus more on the needs of diverse workforces, new research shows.
Benefits getting a second look include programs that support mental and emotional health, work/life balance and financial health, according to the 12th Annual Employer-Sponsored Health & Well-Being Survey from Fidelity Investments, a benefits provider, and the nonprofit Business Group on Health. The January 2021 survey received responses from 166 large and midsize U.S. national and multinational companies.
The events of the past year created opportunities for employers to address the unique challenges created by the pandemic, said Shams Talib, head of Fidelitys workplace consulting division. As we gradually return to a pre-pandemic work environment, he said, employers will continue to try new and different things to help employees resolve personal and family challenges.
Noted Ellen Kelsay, president and CEO of Business Group on Health, an association of large employers: As employers around the globe continue to ramp up their well-being offerings, we will see a healthier and more engaged workforce. She expects businesses to demonstrate flexibility and support employee needs through leave, hybrid work and other benefits.
Expanding Well-Being Offerings
For 2021, the survey found the following trends:
DE& I Issues
Small Businesses Get Onboard
The survey showed that:
Employer Health Benefits Survey
Note: The 2022 survey will be released on October 27, 2022.
This annual survey of employers provides a detailed look at trends in employer-sponsored health coverage, including premiums, employee contributions, cost-sharing provisions, offer rates, wellness programs, and employer practices. The 2021 survey included 1,686 interviews with non-federal public and private firms.
Annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage reached $22,221 this year, up 4% from last year, with workers on average paying $5,969 toward the cost of their coverage. The average deductible among covered workers in a plan with a general annual deductible is $1,669 for single coverage. Fifty-eight percent of small firms and 99% of large firms offer health benefits to at least some of their workers, with an overall offer rate of 59%. This years report also looks at changes employers made to their health benefits due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Survey results are released in several formats, including a full report with downloadable tables on a variety of topics, a summary of findings, and an article published in the journal Health Affairs.
- A news release announcing the publication of the 2021 Employer Health Benefits Survey is available.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
- The Summary of Findings provides an overview of the 2021 survey results and is available under the Summary of Findings tab.
Also Check: Taxes On Long Term Care Insurance Benefits
Questions To Consider Asking In Your Employee Benefits Satisfaction Survey
The specific questions you should ask depend on your unique business situation, including the benefits you offer and those youre considering. That said, below are 21 questions to consider putting in your employee benefits satisfaction survey for 2022.
Lasting Changes Of Views Surrounding Benefits Offerings
Financial security has become a lasting change of views surrounding benefits offerings since the pandemic. The survey showed that employers ranked savings and retirement benefits as some of the most important after losing their ranking for a short period during the pandemic.
In 2022, most organizations offered some type of retirement savings plan to employees. The survey reported that 94 percent of respondents offered a traditional 401 plan that is funded with pretax dollars and is taxable as income when funds are withdrawn during retirement.
The survey also revealed that 68 percent of respondents offer a Roth 401 to employees, which is funded with post-tax dollars, meaning funds can be withdrawn tax-free once an employee reaches retirement age. Of employees that contributed to Roth retirement accounts, 76 percent of plan sponsors offered a match.
Recommended Reading: Tax Benefit Of Donating To Charity