Winning the Benefit Game Isn’t So Easy These Days – Here’s Why

Benefits are still an important tool for recruiting and retaining employees. But things are changing. It used to be that a solid health insurance plan, along with a pension or 401(k), would do the trick. But that was then. These days, crafting a benefits package capable of meeting every employee’s needs is no small feat. It goes without saying that winning the benefit game isn’t so easy any more.

Right now, the big thing in employee benefits is diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The concept makes for great online articles and interesting discussions around the board room table. But DEI is not so easy to put into practice. Why? Because the number of variables involved is nearly limitless.

The DEI concept steers employers away from settling for a generic package of benefits in favor of something that is more flexible and easily modified to meet the needs of certain groups of workers. Yet the old law of not being able to make everyone happy all the time still exists. It is impossible to create the perfect benefits package. Employers have to do the best they can and hope it works out.

Many More Choices

The changing benefit landscape requires employers to lean on their benefits brokers more than ever before. Likewise, according to Dallas-BenefitMall,  brokers now rely on their general agencies for access to more carriers and more insurance choices. A broker with an insufficient selection of choices has an extremely challenging time helping clients win the benefit game.

Having more choices goes way beyond carriers offering a larger selection of health insurance products. It goes beyond dental and vision coverage. Today’s workforce is a younger workforce with vastly different ideas compared to their parents and grandparents. They expect their benefits packages to reflect the new world they now live in.

Flexibility Is the Key

BenefitMall suggests that the key to crafting competitive benefits in 2022 is flexibility. Health insurance and retirement plans are still important. But so are flexible scheduling, remote work opportunities, flexible PTO, and so on. Many younger employees are also looking for help paying off student debt.

Flexibility is achieved by offering a menu of benefits employees can pick and choose from as needed. Flexible PTO is a good example. The old way of doing things dictates giving employees so many weeks of paid vacation along with a handful of personal and sick days. Any PTO not used during a given calendar year may or may not be rolled into the following year.

A more flexible way of handling PTO is to give employees a certain number of hours per month, quarter, or year. Those hours can be used in any way the employee sees fit. Some will still prefer to take a couple of weeks of vacation. Others might forgo the annual vacation in exchange for using PTO to reduce their normal work week to just four days.

Financial Well Being Benefits

Though there is a lot more to consider, the last concept for this post is financial wellbeing. Believe it or not, financial wellbeing is a big thing for the younger workforce. They have seen the financial struggles their parents went through when the housing bubble burst and the economy crashed. They do not want to experience anything similar.

Offering financial wellbeing benefits gives employees yet another opportunity to address what is most important to them. In the end, this is what winning the benefits game is about now. Employers have to meet their workers where they are with benefits that apply to their unique circumstances.

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