These days, human resources departments for companies of all shapes and sizes have even more on their plates than usual. The fact is that the novel coronavirus pandemic has created a host of issues, and drawn clear distinctions of where employer offerings may not be sufficient to meet workers' needs.
For instance, 92% of employees say they have largely been on autopilot when it comes to their benefits, signing up for the same options in open enrollment year after year without much consideration, spending an average of just 33 minutes reviewing their options, according to a new survey from Aflac. However, many now say the pandemic highlighted why that strategy isn't effective for them, and almost half say it was a wake-up call to be more diligent.
Moreover, 35% of workers polled said they think they would be more likely to stay with their current employers if their benefits are boosted, slightly behind the share who felt the same way about receiving higher salaries, the report said. Meanwhile, 29% of respondents said they left or turned down a job because they felt benefits were insufficient. Perhaps not surprisingly, the most popular benefit to receive from an employer was health insurance (cited by 79%), well ahead of second-ranked dental coverage (51%), and life insurance (42%, but up from 34% a year earlier).
Of course, health insurance and employee pay are increasingly impacting one another, as companies largely continue to shift coverage costs onto employees in recent years, according to a JP Griffin Group study. The long-term rule of thumb in business was that companies would split health care costs 70-30 with employees, but the latter number has been growing: In 2020, employees paid about 32% of their health insurance costs, down from almost 33% a year earlier, but still up from the 31.2% seen in 2018.
Obviously, every company's offerings here are different, but the average worker is now devoting five figures of their salary to their health costs, the report showed. For 2020, they paid an average of more than $10,700 for these expenses, up 2.4% on an annual basis. For workers at larger companies, those numbers tended to be even higher.
What about other benefits?
Beyond coverage options and worker pay, workers may be increasingly interested in getting more time off from their jobs, but there's reason to wonder whether companies are rising to that challenge, according to new data from the International Foundation of Employee Benefits. For instance, only 54% of companies surveyed say they offer employees paid time off for personal days. Meanwhile, paid maternity and paternity leave is hard to come by, offered by 37% and 34%, respectively, and just 27% of companies provide that kind of time off when employees adopt a child.
For all these reasons, you may need to connect with more professionals who can coordinate benefits offerings and ensure they are aligned with your employees' wants and needs going forward. To see some of the roles that we have already successfully placed, click here.
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