A record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November 2021 with the highest turnover in hospitality, health care and social assistance. Transportation, warehousing and facilities had the next highest departure rates.Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor, Job Openings and Labor Turnover, 2021.
When adding or expanding benefit offerings, employers should make sure they have a good understanding of their workers’ diverse needs and what motivates them, such as their basic demographics, life stages and cultural influences. Otherwise, you might be adding benefits that workers don’t really care about. It’s essential to talk to your employees to find out what they want and need, explained Michelle McLaughlin White, VP of Client Management at Colonial Life.
“Ask your employees, what are your challenges?” said McLaughlin White. “What keeps you up at night? And then provide benefits that meet those needs.”
More businesses are offering permanent flexible scheduling, remote work and hybrid approaches to their workers. Given that so many parents, particularly mothers, are struggling with childcare and family caregiving responsibilities, flexible scheduling options are overwhelmingly popular. While flexible scheduling isn’t a magic bullet, it can empower workers to deal with the logistics of taking care of their families.
For many workers, a remote or hybrid approach can be just as desirable as a pay raise because they save so much time from commuting. Remote options have also become normalized since the pandemic, so businesses that continue these options permanently will naturally seem more progressive in caring about their workers’ overall wellbeing.
Setting up a benefits bank with a fixed contribution amount for each employee they can use toward benefits of their choice is another popular option. The versatility of benefit banks empowers workers to make selections that best meet their life stages and motivations.
For example, an employer may set up a benefits bank for $1,000. An employee may choose to put $250 toward an accident policy to cover children and put another portion of the $1,000 toward their child’s college savings plan. Another employee who is interested in retirement and disability will use the $1,000 bank to pay premiums for disability coverage and toward the "401(k)" plan.
Offering a benefits bank sends a strong message that your business is serious about modernizing your benefits and cares about their wellbeing.
Telehealth and personal health advocate benefits are two more benefits that can help push back on mass numbers of employees quitting. For workers also juggling children and a job, telehealth can provide convenient 24/7 access to doctors through a secure phone app for common ailments for themselves and their families. For parents with school children, telehealth can be a huge help in saving time in trips to the pediatrician’s office or to Urgent Care or the ER after hours.
Navigating complicated health care problems and medical bills can be daunting, especially during these complex times. Having access to a personal health advocate benefit is like having a nurse in the family. They can provide their health care expertise to your workers to locate health care providers, review medical bills and answer questions they may have about their care. For many workers, a personal health advocate takes major financial and medical worries off their shoulders.
At some point most people stop and re-evaluate their lives and careers. Often this means trying new things and making life changing decisions in their career. That’s called being human, explained Mclaughlin White.
"The pandemic caused everyone to reassess and reevaluate their lives at the same time,” said McLaughlin White. “As employers, we know that some employees will decide they need a change in their life and will move on to a different job regardless of our retention efforts. But for the rest, it’s our responsibility to make sure they feel valued, heard and supported. And an essential part of that is staying competitive with modern, thoughtful benefits that meet their needs.”
For more survey findings and key HR insights, read the report, Benefits education in today’s workforce.
Join employee benefits experts Robin Schooling and Kaleb Unverfehrt explore new enrollment and benefits education data from both the employer and employee perspectives. Hear how busy HR teams can transform one-way communication tactics into an effective two-way strategy.