We are already halfway through the year, and companies and their HR professionals are planning benefit strategies for 2023.
As per an employer benefits strategies survey conducted by Mercer, 53% small business houses and 70% of large company owners stated that they are planning on employee benefits program enhancements for the next year.
Owing to the tight labor market and fluctuating economic conditions, 2023 can prove to be a balancing act between ensuring that benefits are financially sustainable and helping attract and retain talent.
With all this in context, let’s take a look at what your business should be doing regarding employee benefits for 2023.
Types of benefits that your business should offer
Illustrated below are the various benefits that your business must offer to the employees for next year:
- Childcare assistance
Childcare assistance helps support working parents who are facing increasing costs of living. On-site childcare services only make sense for bigger employers, but small and mid-sized organizations can help to subsidize the cost of childcare via pre-tax deductions or employer contributions – a way of showing commitment to working parents.
- HSA-qualified plans
These plans can be an ideal fit for some organizations as they are less expensive to employers in comparison to lower-deductible plans. Also, these are triple tax-advantaged for employees. HSAs enable employees to keep aside pre-tax income for health costs, and if they move to a different employer, the portable account follows them.
- Paid family leave
In the U.S., the law does not guarantee paid family leave. But as per a Mercer survey, more than two-thirds of employers provide this leave in some form.
A generous parental leave policy which considers both parents and accounts for fostering and adoption along with childbirth can show employees that you are concerned about supporting their home lives. Also, it can help retain and attract workers who are committed to healthy organizational culture.
- Virtual care
The virtual care benefit gained popularity during the quarantine period of COVID-19. It is still now an attractive benefit as it provides employees access to healthcare professionals who fit into their schedules and comes at a lower cost in comparison to in-person visits. Also, virtual care can make care more accessible to workers with disabilities, thereby helping to address benefit gaps.
- Medical travel reimbursement
Reimbursing medical travel costs can help benefit employees seeking other kinds of care, like visiting certain specialists or for cancer treatment which might not be available to them locally.
- Fertility assistance
Fertility assistance can be costly. But it can prove to be suitable for some organizations. It can cover support for IVF, infertility treatments, surrogacy, etc. and may promote a more inclusive and diverse workplace – that’s a win for both employees and employers.
- Work flexibility
Offering work flexibility proves to be an ideal way to care for employees and show trust in their capability to manage their own time. Even if hybrid or remote work options are inappropriate for your business, consider providing flexible start and stop times to the employees. For instance, you can offer unlimited PTO or a four-day work week which allows your employees to design their schedules conveniently.
- Mental health benefits
These benefits are in demand, given that public opinion keeps recognizing mental health as a vital part of the overall health.
Supporting mental healthcare of employees can help avoid burnout and enhance productivity in the long run. For instance, you can provide an employee assistance program (EAP) to support employees in crisis situations.
Employers are struggling when it comes to finding a balance between the challenges of the present economic environment and what they must do for talent attraction and retention in tight labor markets.
To ensure that you get a return on your investment, you as an employer should be thoughtful and specific about benefits enhancements. For that, you should have a proper understanding of the needs and values of your workforce.
As a whole, your benefits offerings for 2023 should reflect the values of your organization. Admittedly, it can be tempting for you to limit coverage to save money. But you need to keep in mind that your enterprise depends on keeping the workers productive, happy and healthy. Benefits that show respect for employees and promote a vibrant organizational culture are undoubtedly worth the investment.
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