Unemployment is low and the economy is strong, even with recent volatility in the stock market. In this economic climate people can be selective when choosing where to work. In 2019, employers will need to offer more than a competitive salary, paid vacation and a 401(k) plan to recruit prospective job candidates and retain top employees. They’ll need to find new ways to give employees more of what they want, from wellness to work-life balance.
As you start creating attractive employee benefits offerings this year, here are some predictions to bear in mind.
Health Care Will Remain in Flux
As health care costs rise, most Americans will continue to rely on employers for health insurance. Employers, in turn, will seek innovative ways to offer comprehensive, cost-effective coverage that shifts costs away from themselves and employees as much as possible.
Consumer-directed health plans and high-deductible health plans paired with health savings accounts will continue to gain popularity. Employers will focus more on preventing chronic health issues and will invest more in employee wellness perks and programs. More employers also will offer benefits such as on-site health clinics and telemedicine options, or will forgo insurance vendors altogether by contracting directly with health care providers.
Benefits Offerings Will Go Beyond Health Care
Wellness is holistic, touching on both the personal and the professional. Employers will look beyond health care to invest in employees’ overall wellness. With most employees lagging behind on saving for retirement, new and improved financial wellness benefits will promote financial security through offerings such as savings incentives and student-loan repayment assistance programs. Protection of personal data will also be a growing priority, with more employers opting to invest in things like identity-theft protection.
The workforce is increasingly global and remote, and employees want more say in determining where, when and how they work. Employers will continue to strive to find new ways to promote flexibility and family-friendly benefits, such as child-care discounts, coverage for fertility treatments, longer paid parental leave and investments in programs that provide support and leave time for employees who are taking care of loved ones.
Employee Benefits Will Become More Personalized
When it comes to finding and choosing the best benefits for their individual needs, employees want more support from employers. And employers are in a better position than ever to provide this support thanks to advances in benefits technology. In 2019, more employers will invest in personalized benefits communications that keep employees informed year-round. They will give more employees the ability to personalize their benefits plans. And they’ll offer additional resources, such as health advocates and advisers, to help employees understand how to make the most of their benefits when they need them.