2023 Group Benefits Trends Employers Should Watch
The pandemic has changed not only how we work, but also what employees are looking for from their careers and jobs. Looking forward to the coming year, we can see the direct result this has had on workers' desires for remuneration and benefits.
For employers trying to attract talent in this competitive job market, it’s critical to stay up to date on benefits trends. Dialling in your company’s benefits package helps attract and retain employees in a cost-effective manner – often adding desire to your offer without requiring a larger monetary investment.
To help you understand the features your benefits package needs in 2023, we’re going to cover four benefits that have seen sustained growth over the past couple of years.
Fastest growing trends in employee benefits for 2023
This has been an emerging issue for many years now, but the pandemic has brought it into sharp focus over the last two years.
This ongoing conversation about mental health that the lockdown amplified has raised awareness and decreased the stigma around this topic, pushing it into the mainstream. According to a recent RBC survey, more Canadians than ever regard mental illness as a disability, including depression and anxiety.
This means more people are willing to talk to their employers about mental health issues and they expect the company to have procedures in place to deal with any issues that come up.
In the past, benefits packages offered mental health coverage that didn’t meet best practices. For example, many packages only covered 3-4 sessions with a counsellor, despite industry guidelines stipulating it takes 10-12 sessions to see an impact. As this becomes more important, matching benefits to best practices brings more value for your employees.
Remote and digitized healthcare
Just like remote work, remote care has greatly increased in popularity since the lockdowns.
The ease, convenience and flexibility of virtual healthcare led to increased uptake of health apps, from a measly 3% before the pandemic to up to 60% today.
However, this is not just a pandemic-related issue. We’ve been talking about the increased presence technology has had in the benefits industry since the start of 2020. And, after years of growth, this has now become a crucial part of any competitive benefits package.
Looking forward, we expect this number to grow. That means employers need to talk to their benefits advisors to ensure they can satisfy remote care features for their workforce.
After years of rigid confinement and endless rules about what we can and can’t do, it’s no wonder that most people are looking for a bit more flexibility.
However, just like the previous point, this benefits trend isn’t entirely new either. This is another long-term trend we’ve been covering since 2019, and it’s exploded during the pandemic.
As today’s workforce diversifies, it’s important to maintain a benefits plan that is flexible enough to encompass everyone at your company.
So, you may have options that appeal to single people, families, or couples who never plan to have kids. This can help you attract talent at all stages in their career.
This flexibility to accommodate diverse wants and needs allows you to broaden the appeal of your benefits and attract more applications to your job listings – or better yet, retain employees as they move through different stages of life.
Health and lifestyle spending accounts are just one way benefits providers are creating options for companies to bake flexibility into their group benefits plans.
According to Canada.ca, about 44% of Canadians deal with a chronic health condition.
These conditions have direct consequences on employee health, which impacts workplace productivity. Preventative benefits, like health screenings and tests, help employees stay on top of difficulties so they remain healthy.
This is also behind the push for increased general wellness. This not only helps employees become more productive but also shows employees that their employer cares.
Online wellness resources and programs, education and assistance programs can help employees maintain their wellness, even in the face of ongoing health issues.
The benefits of up-to-date benefits
Sticking with an ineffective benefits package means your business is paying for services your employees don’t see value in. Whereas, an effective benefits package creates value, optimizing your ability to retain and attract talent.
If you haven’t revisited your benefits package in the last five years, it’s time to talk to your benefits provider and see how you can adjust it to maximize its value.