A good benefits package is an essential component of a productive workplace and can help businesses attract and retain talent. When searching for a job, the benefits an organization offers can be just as important to candidates as the salary. A well-rounded benefits package also shows that a company cares about its employees, which can foster loyalty and motivate workers to perform at their best.
Why Companies Are Making A Push For Benefits
The pandemic highlighted the shortcomings of the United States’ healthcare infrastructure, particularly in the realm of mental health support. As people around the country shifted to working from home, it became clear just how negative the impact of demanding workplace cultures had been on Americans’ health and well-being.
As employees adjusted to new ways of working, such as hybrid work, and increased their caregiving responsibilities, it underscored the need for employers to invest in their employees and enhance their work-life balance.
Why Improving Your Benefits In 2022 Is A Good Idea
The Future of Benefits report from Care.com identified how employee benefits will evolve at American companies in the coming years. Interviews with 500 HR leaders and C-suite decision-makers pointed to a strong trend toward expanding benefits.
For example, 98 percent of those surveyed said they intend to expand or introduce at least one employee benefit, with an emphasis on those deemed most essential by employees, such as flexible working hours, expanded support for mental health, and child and senior care benefits.
The toll the pandemic has been taking on mental health and wellness could take many years to recede, and employers are enhancing their mental health benefits as part of their effort to reduce the effects of burnout on worker productivity.
At a time when U.S. employers are struggling to find and retain workers in the face of an historically tight labor market, businesses want to stand out from the pack by offering a competitive benefits package in 2022. The Bureau of Labor statistics has projected a significant number of open positions will exist through 2030, which means the market currently favors job seekers. Companies that boost their available benefits will have a better chance of attracting new workers and retaining current employees.
Companies That Boosted Their Benefits
Last year, the trend toward enhancing benefits was already in full swing, with major employers like Walmart and Goldman Sachs updating benefits to focus on meeting employees’ changing needs. Hewlett-Packard joined forces with virtual garden platform StartOrganic to offer employees a wellness program focused on healthy eating, while software company Podium introduced an on-site daycare benefit to give employees a safe and affordable care option for younger children at the company’s headquarters.
Outlined below are some of the companies that took major steps toward enhancing employee wellness in 2021.
With its comprehensive WorkingWell program, Amazon introduced new physical and mental health-related activities, support for healthy eating, and wellness exercises for its employees. The WorkingWell mobile app provides access to the onsite wellness, health, and safety offerings found in Amazon buildings.
The WorkingWell program was developed in collaboration with Amazon employees. Aspects of the program are being used by 859,000 employees across 350 North American and European sites. The program aims to reduce the rate of reportable incidents by half by the year 2025 and is part of a $300 million investment into safety projects supporting the company’s mission to be the safest place to work worldwide.
In its wellness zones, employees can enjoy stretching and muscle recovery activities to reduce the risk of injury. Around 40 percent of work-related injuries among Amazon employees are musculoskeletal disorders such as strains and sprains caused by repetitive motions. Newer employees are particularly vulnerable to these issues as their bodies adjust to the tasks required by their roles.
Amazon is also offering employees neighborhood health centers, where workers and their families can obtain affordable healthcare within 10 miles of their workplace. The company’s AmaZen interactive kiosks, meanwhile, guide employees through various mindfulness practices.
Bank Of America
Expanded workplace benefits at Bank of America include a new digital Personal Retirement Strategy advisory program that offers user-friendly retirement plans and investment strategies that are accessible via desktop or mobile app.
The program delivers employees personalized guidance and tools to help them develop a retirement income plan that meets their goals. It will consider their full financial picture, including their retirement age, anticipated savings and salary, along with the impact that taxes might have on the plan.
It accounts for every stage of life to ensure employees can enjoy a sustainable income throughout their retirement. They can also use features that help them explore the impact that various financial scenarios would have on their retirement outcomes.
The new program also contains an optional offering known as Merrill Managed, which will allow employees to delegate the management of their personal investment portfolios to Merrill’s professional investment team.
Pet health company Bond Vet has deepened its commitment to the well-being of its employees by offering 100% healthcare coverage to every employee as part of its standard benefits package. This means employees will not see any deductions taken from their paychecks for health insurance.
Giving employees access to mental health resources is a particularly useful offering for the veterinary industry, which is known for having high levels of burnout. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that female veterinarians are 3.5 times more likely to die by suicide, while male vets are 2.1 times more likely than the general population.
Employees can enjoy the fully paid coverage with one of Bond Vet’s healthcare plans, or the company will pay up to $7,000 toward another plan that an employee believes will better suit their needs.
Law Firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
The international law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has joined forces with WINFertility, a fertility benefits management company, to offer its American employees benefits that help with fertility treatments and family planning.
Among the benefits employees can enjoy are coverage for surrogacy and adoptions, as well as around-the-clock support from nurse care managers, who will serve as the employees’ clinical and behavioral advocates throughout their family-building experience. They can provide education on treatment options and referrals to reputable agencies for surrogacy and adoption. Employees will also be able to access WINFertility’s WIN for Him program for male fertility support.
The company also introduced a new policy that will allow employees as much as 12 weeks of paid parental leave at 100 percent of their base salary, a marked increase over the four weeks of leave that were previously available to business services employees. The move puts them on par with the amount of paid parental leave offered to the company’s lawyers and advisors.
This benefit applies to bonding with a newborn child or an infant who has been placed with the employee for adoption or foster care. Parents who give birth also receive eight weeks of disability leave, which means many employees will now have a total combined paid leave of 20 weeks.
Akin Gump has long been recognized for its holistic workplace policies and employs more than 900 lawyers around the world.
Global hospitality and entertainment firm MGM Resorts partnered with family health virtual platform Ovia Health to assist employees with high-risk pregnancies.
Employees who participate in the MGM Resorts Health Plan and enroll in the hypertension or preeclampsia programs from Ovia Health will be supplied with free blood pressure cuffs with wireless capabilities to facilitate daily blood pressure monitoring and tracking so that concerning data trends can be identified and addressed.
This provides expecting parents with greater insight into their pregnancy health between regular doctor appointments. Preeclampsia contributes to 12 percent of American maternal deaths and as much as 15 percent of preterm births, and monitoring this dangerous complication has the power to save lives.
Prudential Group Insurance partnered with the behavioral health platform NeuroFlow to expand mental health benefits for employees, particularly for those on disability leave who need support managing anxiety.
NeuroFlow offers access to crisis intervention and care coordination services, along with self-service tools to support relaxation, coping skills, and psychoeducation. The platform can deliver tools and content aimed at improving the disability experience and outcomes of at-risk claimants. It also provides employees with access to a personal care coordinator for further support.
A press release by the company notes that 1.6 billion workdays are lost per year due to America’s mental health crisis, and it is hoped that these mental health resources will facilitate employees’ return to work and reduce the company’s absence costs.
In another initiative, Prudential joined forces with Wellthy to help its employees navigate the many challenges of caring for ill and aging loved ones. With more than 15 percent of U.S. workers providing ongoing care to an elderly, disabled, or chronically ill loved one, services that relieve the caregiving burden impacting employees are in high demand.
Wellthy is a top caregiving provider, and their suite of digital and concierge caregiving services was incorporated into Prudential’s financial wellness program so employees can enjoy free access. Their tools include digital care plan creation, educational content, shared calendar access for tracking appointments, group caregiving discussion management, and the digital storage of caregiving documents such as medical records, wills, and prescriptions.
Boost Your Benefits With New City
For more information about expanding your business’s employee benefits effectively and affordably, contact the advisers at New City to request a consultation. With New City’s wellness plans, businesses can enjoy the many benefits associated with a workforce of healthy and happy employees.