In our last blog post, we highlighted 5 HR trends to look out for in 2019. As the overall workplace environment is shifting, so are employee benefits. Employee benefit offerings are becoming more important than ever, with 80% of workers reporting that they would keep a job with benefits rather than take one that offered more pay and no benefits. 2019 will usher in some new trends and changes in how employers offer benefits and what types of benefits they offer. Here is what to expect in 2019:
A rise in onsite health care: 2018 saw a rise in employers offering health care at or near the worksite, and that trend will continue in 2019. There are many benefits to offering onsite health care, the most notable being increased access and convenience for employees and decreased costs. An analysis of one worksite center by Johns Hopkins noted that onsite clinics were found to be two to three times more cost-effective than off-site healthcare services.
An increase in behavioral health benefits: According to Mental Health America, untreated depression is as costly as heart disease or AIDS to the US economy, costing over $51 billion in absenteeism from work and lost productivity and $26 billion in direct treatment costs. In 2019, employers will really ramp up their efforts to include behavioral health benefits as part of a comprehensive benefits offering. For many employers, this may include setting up an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), offering access to a 24/7 nurse hotline, appointing a contact for mental health concerns and communications, arranging for mental health education and resources in the workplace, and more.
A rise in benefits technology: More and more employers are beginning to use HR portals, and this increase in HR technology will impact employee benefits offerings as well. These online platforms will likely incorporate tools that will help employees learn and make their own decisions about the healthcare plans that are best for them. Having these online platforms to help employees navigate the benefits process will save employers significant amounts of time- in fact, HR managers have reported that they lose 14 hours a week due to a lack of automation.
Increased customization of benefits offerings:Today’s workforce spans several generations, and those generations have different needs when it comes to benefits. In order to increase employee satisfaction and retention, employers will move to offer benefits packages that are more specifically tailored to each employee’s unique needs. A recent MetLife study found that 72% of employees agree that the ability to customize benefits increases loyalty with their employer. This will include an increase in benefits offerings that are particular to a certain demographic, such as student loan assistance and increased parental perks.
Finding ways to save on rising healthcare costs: The costs of benefits are continuing to rise, and may hit close to $15,000 per employee in 2019, according to the National Business Group on Health. This year, employers will be seeking ways to cut down on these rising costs, including some of the methods already mentioned, like benefits technology and onsite health care. In addition to these methods, employers should consider working with an outside expert like Navigate, who can help employers cut costs and offer comprehensive, Fortune-500 style benefits packages at a much smaller price tag.
The shifting environment of employee benefits can be hard for employers to manage, but luckily they do not have to face it alone. By partnering with Navigate, business owners can instead remain focused on the other day-to-day functions of the business that generate revenue and create growth while still offering attractive benefits packages.
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Tom DiSilva has been providing professional human resource services for over 30 years. As the CEO of Navigate PEO, he actively partners with organizations of all sizes in the Greater New England area and across the country to help their businesses grow. He has expertise in HR and Labor Management, offering guidance and support for key areas of business such as negotiations, operations management, employee coaching, and employee benefits design.