Creative Employee Benefits to Solve Today’s Problems


Posted by: Altura Benefits in Insurance Money

Creative Employee Beneifts

Employers are rethinking their benefits packages. They need to if they want to stay competitive in the tight labor market. Skilled workers have the upper hand right now, and they’re not satisfied with the benefits packages that employers are offering. It’s time to focus on creative employee benefits that help employees solve today’s problems.

Benefits Are Your Defense

People have been quitting their jobs at alarming rates. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that there were 4.5 million quits in November 2021 alone. That’s about 1 million more quits than occurred in November 2019.

Resume Builder warns that the Great Resignation is not over. A poll found that 23% of employed workers plan to find a new job in 2022, and about half of them are doing so because they want better pay and benefits.

Joblist agrees that the Great Resignation shows no signs of ending soon. Their 2022 U.S. Job Market Report found that three in four full-time workers plans to quit in the next 12 months. Benefits are a big issue: 80% of job seekers say employers need to re-evaluate their benefit offerings after the pandemic, 67% say benefits are more important to them now than before the pandemic and 54% say they would consider a lower-paying job that came with better benefits.

The message is loud and clear. Workers want better benefits. If you don’t provide them, you might lose your best workers to another company that does.

Mental Health Benefits

The pandemic has brought certain issues under the spotlight. Mental health has been one of those issues. A study from the American Psychological Association found that 84% of adults reported feeling at least one emotion associated with prolonged stress in the previous two weeks. For many Americans, stress, anxiety, depression and burnout have all been common problems.

According to the Third Annual Workforce Attitudes Toward Mental Health Report from Ginger, 96% of CEOs think they’re doing enough to support employee mental health, but only 69% of employees agree. That’s a pretty big disconnect.

McKinsey & Company also found a disconnect between how employers and employees view mental health support. The good news is that many employers have been adding or expanding mental health support, including Employee Assistance Programs and training on mental health topics.

Work-Life Balance and Parental Support

Work-life balance was another issue that the pandemic brought into the spotlight. Flexible hours and remote work arrangements have become highly sought-after perks, but these benefits may only be the beginning of providing true work-life balance support.

Pew Research Center found that women left the workforce at higher rates than men during the pandemic. Between February 2020 and February 2021, 2.4 million women left the workforce, compared to only 1.8 million men.

This may be because women are more likely to take on childcare duties. As daycares closed and schools switched to remote learning, working mothers were forced to make difficult decisions. Some ended up having to quit their jobs in order to take care of their families.

Better childcare benefits could help keep these working mothers in the workforce. According to CNBC, some companies have responded to the pandemic by offering new childcare benefits. Backup childcare benefits, which provide last-minute daycare center options if regular childcare falls through, have become popular.

Fertility Benefits

Employees with children have gotten a lot of attention, but what about employees trying to have children? Fertility treatments can be prohibitively expensive for many people, so employers that offer fertility benefits can be very attractive to workers who are trying to start a family.

According to Mercer, more employers have been adding fertility benefits as part of their DEI efforts. In 2015, 5% of companies with 500 or more employees offered egg freezing. By 2020, that figure jumped to 11%. Among employers with 20,000 or more employees, 6% offered egg freezing in 2015, and 19% offered egg freezing in 2020. Other fertility benefits also saw increased adoption during this period.

It’s a significant increase, but there are still many employers that don’t offer fertility benefits, especially among smaller employers. This gives employers that do offer these benefits a chance to stand out.

Pet Insurance

During the pandemic, many people took advantage of their work-from-home routines to adopt a pet. Pet ownership can be rewarding, but it can also be expensive. According to CareCredit, the average lifetime cost of owning a dog is between $7,565 and $19,060. Treatment for a broken bone runs $2,371 on average, treatment for a foreign object in the stomach costs $3,262, and treatment for cancer costs $4,137.

Many Americans don’t have that kind of cash on hand. It’s therefore not too surprising that pet insurance has become a popular employee benefit.

Student Loan Repayment

According to the Education Data Initiative, federal student loan borrowers have an average debt of $36,510. For private student loan borrowers, the average debt is $54,921. A total of 45.3 million people have student loan debt, and about half of borrowers will still owe $20,000 20 years after entering school.

For many Americans, student loan debt is a massive burden that can stand in the way of homeownership, retirement planning and financial stability. It’s also a significant source of stress that can distract workers from their jobs. Student loan repayment benefits have emerged as a way to help ease the burden. The 2021 Financial Wellbeing Employer Survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that 17% of employers currently offer student loan debt assistance, and 31% plan to offer it.

Creative Employee Benefits Ideas

As employers try to outdo each other to win the talent war, it might be easy to lose sight of what really matters. Before you get carried away coming up with creative benefits that could grab headlines, take a moment, take a step back and take stock of what really matters.

The most creative employee benefits are the ones that help employees solves their problems.

Think about it this way: Employee benefits should help your employees achieve better lives, both personally and professionally. Benefits are a solution to a problem. Find out what your employees’ problems are, and then find the benefits that solve those problems.

  • Are your employees suffering from stress and sleep deprivation? You should consider benefits that help them relax, like remote counseling and meditation apps.
  • Are your employees dealing with personal and professional issues? You should consider an Employee Assistance Program or other benefits that help them navigate their issues.
  • Are your employees concerned about identity theft and fraud? You should consider credit monitoring and other benefits that help them protect their financial data.
  • Are your employees worried about retirement and budgets? You should consider benefits that help them with financial wellness and retirement savings, like 401(k) matching and digital budgeting tools.
  • Are your employees struggling to care for their children while working? You should consider benefits that support working parents, like childcare benefits, remote work and flexible hours.
  • Are your employees worried about how a virus like COVID or another illness or injury could turn their lives upside down? You should consider benefits that help workers plan for the unexpected, like life insurance and disability insurance.
  • Are your workers struggling with student loan debt? You should consider benefits that help them pay it off, like student loan repayment contribution plans.
  • Are your workers worried about their health and the potential financial impact of health issues? You should consider health and wellness benefits that help them stay healthy, like strong health plan options, gym memberships and wellness programs.

Get Creative Employee Benefits That Help Your Workers

Do you need help finding the creative employee benefits solutions that meet your workers’ needs? Altura Benefits is here to help. Learn more about our smart solutions.