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2019 Trends in Employee Benefits

Employee benefits plans may not have quite the swing in trends as fashion does (remember the 80's?) but as the lifestyles of employees and the way we work continues to change, the demand for benefits is shifting to more than just dental and pharmaceuticals.

The benefits your employees are looking for

We all know the benefits of a good benefits plan. But if your employees no longer want the benefits you’re offering, then no one – including you – is getting value out of the deal. If you haven’t looked over your benefits plan or consulted with your employees lately, then you may be falling behind.

The first step to re-creating a benefits package that your employees will be happy about is doing your research and learning about the options out there. At Bayview Financial, we can not only help you keep up-to-date with the trends, but connect with your employees to help guide your decision on which benefits to offer.

So where are today’s benefits packages heading? Right along with the major trends of the day:

  • Flexibility
  • Wellness
  • Tech

Flex Benefits

A major trend in current culture is for a more personalized, flexible approach to just about everything. From the gig-economy to our cell phone-enabled, constantly-shifting plans, people are far less inclined towards a one-size-fits-all solution.

Sitting down with each of your employees to craft their very own, customized benefits package isn’t realistic, but offering some flex in your benefits is worth considering. Health Spending Accounts (HSA) are accounts you can add to your benefits plan that contain a pre-set amount of money which can be pulled from, allowing your employees to get more personalized benefits, like chiropractic, physiotherapy or other health and dental related expenses.

TIP: Full flex benefits packages can be a large undertaking, and in most cases are not worth it. Before trying to attack the confusing and complicated world of a full flex benefits package, talk to your benefits specialist to get the most out of your HSAs.

Wellness

It used to be you rarely used your benefits until something went wrong, whether that was an ongoing treatment like asthma medication, or a one-time event, like a tooth-filling. But simple, reactive solutions are no longer enough – the bar has been raised. More and more people are engaging in a healthier lifestyle in order to avoid spending time in recovery efforts. In short, people are becoming more active in maintaining their health, making holistic, proactive benefits that support employee’s mental, physical and emotional health more appealing. Employee and Family Assistance Plans and Lifestyle Spending Accounts (also known as Wellness accounts) are great tools to add holistic/preventative benefits to your employee package.

  • Family Assistance Plans offer counselling, coaching and support for your employee and their family.
  • Lifestyle Spending Accounts open up benefits to allow employees to take advantage of preventative treatments – like yoga, life-coaching or even gym memberships.

TIP: Adding either of these to your benefits package will help increase the physical well-being and the mental health of your employees. This has the added benefit of lowering absenteeism due to sickness and presenteeism – which is showing up to work despite sickness or injury that lessens the productivity of employees – thus making your employees more productive over the long haul.

Technology

The speed at which technology moves is constantly upsetting tried and true methods and that includes employee benefits. Not only is the way we interact with our benefits changing, but the delivery of medical treatment is changing. That double change is drastically impacting the way HR departments are interacting with employees and health benefits plans.

Online HR tools and toolkits, including online plan enrollment and management, offer employees the ability to interact with and educate themselves on their own benefits plan in a more natural way. Furthermore, new technologies are allowing people to use the internet to remotely connect with doctors or other healthcare professionals to help them resolve health problems on the spot. But these tools are for more than just the employee’s benefit. They provide support to employers, allowing them to proactively craft HR policies that often would only otherwise come into effect after problems have occurred.

TIP: By following technology, and by creating a benefits plan that works within your employees' lifestyle, you give your employees a more effective plan – and that means they will be healthier and happier with their employee benefits. That’s a true win-win situation!

Good benefits attract the best employees

It can be tiring trying to keep up with the various trends in the various areas in our lives – from clothing to entertainment to employee benefits packages. But, in the long run, keeping up with trends will help you craft a benefits plan that will stand out from your competitors, thus increasing its benefits to you. But standing out isn’t the only upside. By helping your employees live a healthier life, they will be happier, take less sick days – and even be more loyal, helping you to attract and keep the very best of the best working for you.

As always, talk to your employees before making changes to your company’s benefits plan. Some employee groups may be excited to see their benefits package changing to better suit their needs, but some may prefer tried-and-true methods. And when it comes to benefits, what you and your employees value will always trump the trends.

For more information on how to craft the best benefits plan for your employees, a plan that will reap rewards for your employees and your business, call Bayview Financial for a chat today!