An intelligent benefits program could tip the scales in your favor to recruit top talent. Read our roundup of five crucial employee benefits trends to know how you can level up in 2020.
There’s no denying that the right benefits are a key ingredient of an effective people management strategy. As unemployment rates continue to dip and the demand for highly skilled professionals grows across industries, a compelling benefits package can help you in recruitment, retention and employee engagement.
So, what are the essential employee benefits trends that you need to consider in 2020? We took stock of the benefits market landscape as it stands today – an exercise that revealed quite a few telling insights – five to be exact!
Learn More: Employees Are Looking for More – How to Meet Heightened Benefits Expectations
5 Employee Benefits Trends that Should be Part of Your 2020 Strategy
Employee expectations have changed dramatically over the last decade. 9-to-5 working hours and fixed compensation won’t make the cut anymore – you need to stand out in a competitive hiring landscape. To do so you need to offer benefits that are unique, effective, and in-sync with the zeitgeist and employees’ personal goals.
We believe the following five employee benefits trends will take center stage in 2020.
1. Health benefits will need to take holistic wellbeing into account
Health insurance has been a benefits staple for years now, but 2019 marks an inflection point. Employee stress levels are on the rise, necessitating the inclusion of mental health benefits as well.
A survey by MetLife (US) found that 76% of employees surveyed agreed that employers are responsible for the health and wellbeing of employees, up from 68% in 2015. And this definition of wellbeing has many dimensions – bringing together life insurance, pension, financial wellness, student debt assistance, car insurance, and several other elements.
In 2020, companies will have to zoom out and capture a bird’s eye view of how their benefits fit into employees’ larger wellness targets.
2. Benefits will become central to the employee value proposition
In 2020, employee benefits and your company’s employee value proposition (EVP) will no longer operate independently of each other. Given that benefits are crucial to engage and retain employees, it makes sense for HR to incorporate the latest employee benefits trends in the EVP as well.
A survey by Aon (UK) found that nearly a quarter of the 200 companies surveyed already had an EVP in place; 51% planned on developing one very soon.
2020 will be the year when benefits and EVP come together: 75% of respondents in the report said that they were already benchmarking their benefits against competing employers to articulate a more compelling EVP.
Learn More: The Value of Comprehensive Benefits for Small Businesses
3. Gathering quantifiable data on the impacts of benefits will be the norm
Continually gathering data on how your benefits are perceived, accepted, and utilized by employees is central to the success of your benefits program.
But not every company is doing it. A report by Thomsons Online Benefits (global) found that only 54% of employers surveyed measure the impact of benefits on employee engagement. This is despite the clear advantages of a data-driven benefits program, such as higher engagement, and better alignment with your people-related objectives.
Thomson Online Benefits also found that 96% of companies who do collect data are better able to align their global benefits strategies with their people strategy. 43% also see an increase in their engagement scores, which is why we predict a rise in data-driven benefits administration in 2020.
4. 2020 will be about educating on – and not just providing – employee benefits
Having an expansive and comprehensive benefits catalog would be pointless if you didn’t have an effective communication platform to spread the word.
A report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (US) found that over a third of employees surveyed received no education on benefits. Further, 64%–76% of employees (depending on the benefits type) regularly struggled to find information about benefits coverage.
That’s why this is such an important employee benefits trend for 2020 – HR will need to implement digital platforms (intranets, L&D tools, benefits portals, etc.) to streamline benefits communications. In fact, Aon found that 42% of companies surveyed already have a benefits communication action plan in place for the next 12 months.
5. Flexible working will gain momentum with employee benefits trends like the four-day workday
Flexible working has been a popular demand among employees for a while now. It aids in maintaining work-life balance and offers employees the freedom to work anytime, from anywhere. The Society for Human Resource Management (US) reported an interesting employee benefits trend this year – from 56% in 2015, 69% of companies now offer remote work benefits to their employees on an ad-hoc basis.
Given that there are already 100% remote companies like Leadfeeder and Hubstaff, it’s easy to imagine that 2020 will be the year of the four-day workweek, which has been trialed so successfully around the world.
Learn More: 5 Tips to Communicate Benefits Enrollment with Employees
Reimagine Your Employee Benefits Program for 2020
If you look at these employee benefits trends, a clear theme emerges – employee centricity. Benefits aren’t just about ticking the right boxes or meeting compliance parameters. In a fierce hiring environment, where SMBs and globally reputed Enterprise employers are jostling for top talent, the benefits you provide could be game-changers. We recommend that you:
- Cast your net far and wide, when conducting research to gain a 360-degree understanding of the benefits market.
- Benchmark your company against industry peers as well as employers in your region, to create a competitive EVP profile.
- Select a benefits administration platform that incorporates communication and training capabilities.
Following these tips, you can increase adoption rates for your benefits – and ensure every employee is satisfied – even as workforce expectations keep evolving. This is vital as you look at maximizing your people resources and strengthening engagement in 2020.
Which employee benefits trend do you think will be most influential next year? Tell us your views on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. We’d love to learn from you!