Lively, Inc., the top-rated benefit solutions provider known for creating the modern Health Savings Account (HSA), today released its inaugural Employee Benefits Pulse Check that captures HR leaders’ efforts to keep up with shifting marketplace and employee demands. The study, conducted by CITE Research on behalf of Lively, reveals that 84 percent of HR professionals are increasing benefits, over half (58 percent) of organizations have improved healthcare coverage, and almost all (94 percent) believe parental leave benefits are the most important to attract and retain employees.
The survey found that an increased base salary, flexible work arrangements, and better healthcare coverage are the most impactful actions employers can take to attract talent. High inflation has increased the importance of offering competitive financial benefits, and most HR leaders (80 percent) feel that offering competitive financial benefits is currently more important for attracting and retaining employees than it was a year ago.
“Today’s job market has rapidly evolved, leading employees to ask more questions than ever before about their pay and benefits,” says Shobin Uralil, co-founder and COO of Lively. “Human Resource professionals are constantly faced with the challenging task of employee retention and attraction, and our findings show how these decision-makers have been staying vigilant in keeping up with ever-increasing employee expectations.”
The report also includes key steps HR leaders and benefits brokers can take to ensure they are meeting their employees’ needs in the wake of a volatile economy and an ever-changing healthcare and legislative landscape. The data revealed the importance of family planning and reproductive health benefits has increased, along with the overall need for benefits education to keep up with today’s policy. Lively releases this report just in time for open enrollment in hopes that HR leaders can use it as a resource as they begin to assess and plan their benefits offerings for 2023.
Key Findings of Lively’s HR Employee Benefits Pulse Check Report Show:
#1 Employees have newfound power which has an effect on the benefits landscape.
- Employee turnover is at an average of 20 percent and employees are asking for higher salaries, better benefits, and increased flexibility as a condition for joining or staying at a company.
- In response to growing demand, 84 percent of companies increased benefits to attract and retain employees. A majority of companies have also increased base salaries (72 percent) and flexible work arrangements (72 percent).
#2 Healthcare coverage is critical to retaining employees
- Healthcare is one of the most important workplace benefits an employer can offer according to both employees and HR leaders. When it comes to attracting and retaining employees, 60 percent of HR leaders rated healthcare as a top 3 benefit they offer, along with base salary.
- More than half (58 percent) of organizations have improved healthcare coverage. A little over a third (36 percent) of HR decision makers reported that employees asked for better health coverage.
#3 Base salary and workplace flexibility have the highest impact on employee recruiting and retention.
- A majority of HR leaders took action to retain or attract employees by increasing base salaries in order to aid in attracting top talent. Some HR decision makers (20 percent) believe increasing base salary is the most impactful action they can take to retain or attract employees.
- Most HR leaders (63 percent) reported that employees ask for an increased base pay followed by 39 percent reporting that employees asked for bonuses.
- Most HR leaders (71 percent) improved their remote work or flexible work arrangements and some HR decision makers (26 percent) believe improving remote work or flexible work arrangements is the most impactful action they can take to retain or attract employees.
#4 Employees are financially stressed and looking to benefits to help
- As inflation remains high and organizations content with a looming recession, financial benefits are more important than ever when it comes to attracting and retaining employees.
- With 62 percent of HR decision makers reporting their employees’ financial stress levels have risen in the past year, 80 percent of HR leaders feel that offering competitive financial benefits, such as 401(k) matching, is more important for attracting and retaining employees than it was a year ago. Some HR decision makers (36 percent) report that employees ask for increased financial benefits.
#5 While employees are more routinely asking for benefits such as family leave, reproductive healthcare, and family planning, many HR leaders need to become better educated about what is covered by health insurance, HSAs and FSAs.
- Almost all (94 percent) say parental leave benefits are the most important to attract and retain employees.
- In the wake of the policies affecting women and LGBTQIA+ folks this year, 66 percent support coverage of hormone replacement therapy and 60 percent say funding and leave for abortion is important to their employees. 58 percent support travel for medical purposes if a procedure is not available in state.
- Despite the support of a majority of HR decision makers for reproductive and family health benefits, only about a quarter are aware that certain expenses, such as egg storage fees and baby formula, are covered by either FSAs or HSAs. Working with a benefits provider that makes it easy to understand what is covered can ensure employees are able to fully access and utilize important benefits.
“In the face of looming uncertainty, this report gives concrete information and steps for HR-leaders to take as they assess the current climate and prepare for the year ahead, even as budgets shrink and they try to anticipate the next economic storm. Benefits brokers and consultants are well positioned to take a proactive, consultative approach to their client relationships and offer benefits options that give their clients, and their employees, opportunities for greater flexibility and savings,” continued Uralil.
For strategies, action steps, and additional findings to help companies prepare for success, HR professionals can access the full Employee Benefits Pulse Check. Complete survey findings are available upon request.
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