The new benefits year is rapidly approaching. What benefits and changes could your employees be expecting for the coming year? How can you boost engagement and enhance your employer’s reputation for recruitment purposes? If you’re still finalizing your plans for the coming benefits year, take a look at these key trends to make sure your company is meeting the demands of today’s workforce.

Paid Time Off – But Not Just Vacation

Employees need more time away from their jobs, but it’s not only because of burnout. While employers have been trying to find creative ways to push more employees to take their PTO for some much needed vacation, employees are also seeing more paid time off for other reasons. Last year, employers were likely to add medical leave, sick leave, family leave, and parental leave in addition to vacation time.

Along those same lines, employees need support from their employers to actually take this leave. If they feel like they can’t take time away from their job without repercussions from management or coworkers, all the paid leave in the world isn’t going to make a difference. A supportive workplace and backup systems which prevent one person from being irreplaceable are both important to the success of leave programs.

Moreover, adding a variety of paid leave levels to your payroll system could require upgrades to the way you administer your company’s compensation.

Benefits that Boost Health Care Coverage

The days of creating value in a workplace through employee game rooms and fully stocked pantries is probably at an end. These days, employees are looking for well-rounded benefits that support their life away from the workplace. And with added concerns about health care and the high costs of emergency medical care during a pandemic, employees are starting to select voluntary benefits that close gaps in their medical coverage. Critical illness, hospital insurance, accident insurance, and other benefits that pay cash to cover unexpected costs during an illness or injury are all on employee’s minds.

Protecting Mental Health in Employees

Employees report that mental health issues are wrecking their workplace productivity, whether through creating trouble focusing on work, causing anger issues, or creating missed days, meetings, and collaborations. It’s been said before, but it bears repeating: the best way to help employees engage with programs such as EAP are through frequent awareness campaigns and frank conversations from management. If you have mental health programs, are your employees using them? How can your company move the needle in the coming benefits year? Communication is key.

Better Education About Benefits

Employees can’t fully utilize benefits they don’t understand. With a majority of Americans admitting they’re confused by health care coverage, it’s imperative that your benefits strategy for the coming year includes better outreach and education. Digital access, training videos, and customer-friendly interfaces can all go a long way towards boosting benefit engagement.

As companies continue to depend on online strategies in a big way, look at what your website can, and can’t do, for your employees. Does it offer answers to frequently asked questions, decision support, or provider location? Items like these can support every phase of your employees’ benefits journey, from selecting the right plan to utilizing it before there’s an emergency.

If your benefits strategy falls short on any of these key points, talk to Web Benefits Design. From user-friendly benefits websites, to education and communication tools, to customer call centers your company can utilize during open enrollment or all year long, we can provide the tools you need to execute a winning benefits strategy for the coming year.

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