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Benefit Trends to Look For in 2022

Feb 9, 2022 10:06:45 AM

The end of 2021 led to the great resignation, meaning employers should expect to see new trends driving recruitment in 2022. Over the last year, the labour market saw the largest unemployment rates in a generation, with nearly 55% of small to medium sized businesses experiencing labour shortages. Pandemic-induced turnover presents both an opportunity and a challenge to recruiters, with HR departments today spending an average of 25% more time recruiting than in previous years. 

At the heart of the great resignation is stress, burnout, and general job dissatisfaction. Desire for better core benefits are among top complaints, with a lack of work-life balance and mental health support finishing second. To combat recruitment challenges, companies should look to their benefits plan to meet the growing needs of workers. With that in mind, here are the benefit trends for employers to look out for in 2022. 

1. Navigating Remote Work

2021 showed us work from home models work well for more organizational roles than previously thought. For those roles which can be performed effectively from home, reports show employees are three times more likely to stay with their current employer when flexible options are offered. Similarly, jobs sought after by recruits are increasingly those that offer remote options.Recruits are three times more likely to choose a job with flexible or hybrid work models, compared to those with traditional models. In other words, if you’re not offering flexible options, now is the time.

For employers and industries who are unable to offer work from home models, the rise in flexible work has led to decreased employee satisfaction and retention. Flexible options are sought after by more and more workers, resulting in higher turnover rates in industries that require employees on-site. To combat this, managers must employ other, more creative methods to adapt around this trend. Employers who fail to make up for this discrepancy in benefits may find it difficult to attract and retain the best talent in the coming year.

2. Work Life Balance

While flexible work may improve the overall happiness of office employees, it can just as easily reduce the balance between work and home life. More employees working from home have led to longer hours worked overall, with many reporting negative impacts to mental health. Reports show employees who feel distracted at home due to financial, emotional, or physical concerns tend to overcompensate with longer hours - resulting in higher stress levels, lower productivity, and burnout. 

To combat the blurring of work hours and time-off, employers should focus on benefits that improve wellness, which in turn impact productivity. Well-being itself is no longer considered a benefit, but an essential element of culture prioritized by employers to retain talent. From a tangible sense, employers can focus their efforts on financial benefits, including retirement plans, contribution matching, or educational resources. To support physical health, employees should be equipped with proper ergonomic equipment. At-home ergonomics reduce feelings of fatigue, prevent joint pain, reduce absenteeism, and increase employee focus. For a well-rounded approach to work life balance, employers should also explore robust mental health solutions to support employee emotional well-being.

3. Formal Mental Health Support

Mental well-being continues to sit at an all time low as exhausted employees struggle through the tailend of the pandemic. For employers, this should signal it’s well past time to implement a formal mental health solution within the workplace. In 2022, mental health support looks different than it used to, with a more diverse range of needs being covered. 

Employers should begin by adding an Employee Assistance Program to their benefits plan, a low cost, confidential counselling solution designed to support employees in various stressful aspects of their lives. Plans today typically cover up to ten counselling sessions, as opposed to past programs intended for short-term use. Employers should consider plans that support a wide range of needs, from smoking cessation, to marital support, to financial difficulty.

4. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

While not a traditional employer-sponsored solution, the conversation around DEI initiatives has jumped to the forefront of employee benefits to improve attraction and retention. Many employers are now including formal DEI programs as part of their recruitment strategy, and are seeking employer sponsored options for employees. In 2021, only 5% of organizations reported diversity, equity and inclusion was not a priority. 

DEI as a priority is taking many different forms within the workplace. For many organizations, this means updating elements of their wellness benefits with inclusive solutions, and promoting them internally. It also means reassessing benefit plans to ensure they benefit the diverse needs of your organization, and do not unintentionally leave out any marginalized groups. 

By implementing, updating, and improving these four trending benefits, organizations can propel themselves ahead in the world of recruiting. The needs of employees are constantly changing, and in 2022 employees continue to need more support than ever. To learn more about how you can improve your benefits plan, search the CloudAdvisors Solution Marketplace and review insights and recommendations tailored to your company’s unique needs today.

Find out which style of benefits plan is right for you with our 2-step decision tool

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