Employers Council Benefits Planning 2020

Congratulations, you just put benefits open enrollment to bed for 2019. Now let’s look forward to benefits planning for 2020! Various surveys highlight emerging benefits and reveal a changing landscape of employee expectations and competitive practices. It is clear that employers cannot just rely on previous benefits practices. Possibly the single most important lesson is actually quite simple: ask.

Ask…

  • Leaders what their workforce priorities are and how willing they are to revise benefits to develop an EVP (Employee Value Proposition) to become an employer of choice and meet the challenges of evolving workforce expectations.
  • Employees what they value about current benefits options, and what is missing.
  • Applicants what they value in benefits programs, and what they are hearing from other employers to develop a broader awareness of competitors and marketplace micro-trends.
Emerging BenefitsRelevant DataPotential Impact
Student Loan RepaymentOutstanding student loan debt exceeds $1 trillion and is disproportionately held by women and minorities; 66% of debt is held by women.Attract and retain a more diverse workforce.

Improved retention of diverse employees during their careers, thereby diversifying the talent pool for succession planning
Eldercare services and assistance

Back up childcare/ eldercare
Women are the primary caregivers in their families.

Women often leave the workforce earlier than desired due to pressures of handling family care.
Expanded applicant pool by making it possible for more people to join the workforce.

Increased female applicants.

Improved retention of female employees during their careers, thereby diversifying the talent pool for succession planning.
Paid leave for:

Eldercare
Medical
• Personal
• Family
Parental
• Offered to mothers and fathers
• Not always related to medical conditions
Employees don’t take time off as they cannot afford to. Men do not take time off from work for family care needs as they are the primary wage earners to support their families.

Employers may be able to claim tax credits for paid family and medical leave (IRS code 45S).
Attract and retain a more diverse workforce.

Improved retention of female employees during their careers, thereby diversifying the talent pool for succession planning.

Improved gender salary equity by allowing employees to take time off for family care and not create financial hardship.
Identity theft protectionIdentity theft and other cyber-security threats are increasing, impacting ever more employees who are ill-equipped to understand and manage.Enhanced workplace cybersecurity by increasing employee awareness and understanding of cyber threats and best practices.
TelemedicineEmployees underutilize health benefits due to costs, fear of missing work and conflicting personal time responsibilities.Improved employee health and wellness.

Enhanced productivity by improved attendance and reduced presenteeism.

Flexibility
• Scheduling
• Work location
As they tend to be the primary care givers in their families, women highly value this benefit.

Many able-bodied workers are not in the workforce due to commitments such as care-giving and inflexible work arrangements.
Increased applicant pool by making it possible for more people to join the workforce.

Increased female applicants.

Leadership Diversity by improved retention of female employees during their careers, thereby diversifying the talent pool for succession planning.
Professional DevelopmentEarly career employees highly value learning opportunities to expand and enrich their skill sets and career path options.

Experienced employees desire learning opportunities to evolve along with quick changing workplace and maintain employability.
Attract applicants who are more engaged and retain them longer.

“Grow your own” leadership by creating an internal talent pool for succession planning; especially important in a competitive labor market.
Unpaid leaves 10and sabbaticalsExperienced, long-term employees sometimes seek extended time to pursue personal interests, but don’t want (or can’t afford) to fully retire.Retain employees longer; providing balance between personal and work life.

Engage older workers, and reduce brain drain by providing more time for knowledge transfer.

This matrix combines some emerging benefit patterns with additional research information that may provide a strategic vision of how benefits serve an organization’s longer-term objectives:

To discuss your employee benefits strategy to support your organization’s goals, contact Employers Council for assistance.