In 2022, businesses are offering employee benefits designed to attract, retain, and support their workers
The COVID-19 pandemic changed how people worked, but the changes weren't just a temporary response to stay-at-home orders. Both employees and employers have identified many changes that they want to make permanent. Although the undesirable pandemic continues, it has helped to change some business practices for the positive.
In 2021, employees left their jobs in record numbers. In the wake of the economic uncertainty created by the pandemic, this “Great Resignation” was a shock to many people. People who follow employment trends, however, weren't surprised. They know that employees want more benefits and a better work-life balance and are willing to leave their jobs in search of better options.
Most employees who left their jobs said they wanted more flexibility and benefits customized to their needs. As 2022 kicks off, businesses have millions of openings, and to attract talent, as well as support existing workers, they're revamping their benefits packages. Let’s take a look at some of the most significant employee benefits being offered in 2022.
1. Mental health coverage
Mental health benefits are not a new option, but employers are ramping up their commitment to mental health and changing how they offer this benefit. By law, health plans have to offer the same level of coverage for mental health as they do for physical health. But in 2022, employers are making sure their plans go beyond basic requirements.
Employers are ensuring their health plans offer extensive mental health coverage. The importance of this move is underscored by the high number of people who have reported an increase in stress, anxiety, and depression in the midst of the continuing pandemic.
Additionally, some employers are offering more options such as paid time off for counseling, in-office mental health workshops, access to stress reduction apps, and similar programs. Ultimately, this shift in employee benefits recognizes employees as holistic people. If your employees are stressed or struggling with mental health concerns, they cannot focus or be productive at work.
2. Emergency savings accounts
Some employers are looking at their employees' key sources of stress and choosing benefits that alleviate them. In particular, many employees cite short-term financial emergencies as their most significant source of stress.
If employees are worried about costs related to unexpected car repairs, daycare closures, or broken appliances, they cannot focus on the job in front of them. They may even end up missing work.
An Emergency Savings Account (ESA) directly addresses these concerns. This employee benefit allows employees to save money directly from their paychecks and employers can also contribute. Employees can access the funds in these accounts at any time, which is much easier than trying to access money in retirement accounts. Plus, these accounts have built-in accountability, helping employees stick to their savings goals.
3. Pet insurance
This employee benefit isn't new, but it's trending for 2022. During the pandemic, many people used the time at home to adopt new cats and dogs. Pet insurance helps employees avoid unexpected pet care bills, and it helps reduce the stress employees may feel about their pet's health concerns.
It's also a relatively novel benefit that shows employees that their employers understand their unique needs. When employees look at the benefit options, they don't just want to see the standards. They crave new, interesting options.
4. Employer-covered healthcare
Healthcare is a very traditional employee benefit, and arguably, one of the most important. Employees often take or leave jobs based on their health care benefits. Traditionally, employees pick up some of the premiums, but in 2022, many employers are offering to pick up the whole tab. This lifts a financial burden off employees' shoulders.
Other employers are offering benefits such as Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). HSAs set aside money for health-related expenses on a pre-tax basis. They were created for people who get their insurance coverage through high-deductible plans. Their contributions can be used to pay for medical, dental, and vision care as well as prescription drugs.
Even small employers who do not offer traditional health coverage are looking into good options for their employees. To make coverage possible, these small businesses are utilizing programs such as small group health insurance, group coverage HRA, qualified small employer HRA, individual coverage HRA, and self-funded health insurance.
5. More paid-time-off
After healthcare, paid-time-off (PTO) is generally considered to be the most important employee benefit, and in the last few years, competitive employers took this benefit to a new level by rolling out expansive PTO or even unlimited PTO. Unlimited PTO doesn't necessarily mean that employees can just show up at will or not work at all during the year.
Typically, employers that offer unlimited PTO expect their employees to perform their tasks and work on projects as required. They may also expect their employees to submit time-off requests or notices in a timely fashion. But at the same time, they don't put any hard caps on the amount of time an employee can have off.
For 2022, a huge focus is on mental health and preserving PTO. To support their employees, an increasing number of employers are offering PTO for mental health days, and they're also increasing the number of PTO days employees can rollover. This ensures employees don't risk losing this valuable benefit.
Employees with this level of freedom tend to respect their employers more. While they are working, they are focused and more productive. Extra PTO doesn't mean that employees will slack. Instead, it typically means they will work harder and better because they will be able to strike a more comfortable balance between their work and personal lives.
The last two years have shown the business world that employees are resilient. They can roll with the punches, deal with fast changes, and juggle working from home with their personal lives. But this resilient workforce isn't afraid to jump ship if they don't like what's happening.
If you want to attract and keep talent, you need to offer the right mix of employee benefits. Are you meeting your employees' needs? Does your benefits package reduce their stress and even inject a bit of delight into their lives? If not, it's time to shake things up.
Contact SecureSave to talk about one of the best employee benefits
At SecureSave, we offer a new type of workplace savings program, designed to help employees build and maintain an ESA, and to support them during unexpected financial hardships. We provide a savings app to manage elective paycheck deferrals and matching employer contributions. Employees have instant access to their funds, can customize their own savings targets, and benefit from employer matching.
What happens when you reduce your employees' stress over short-term financial emergencies? You improve their focus and enhance the productivity of your entire organization. Ready to learn more? Then, contact us at SecureSave.