5 major trends that are coming to employee benefits in 2016
Employee benefits are always in flux, as employees’ preferences change over time and people begin to clamor for new ways of being appreciated by their employers. Perks that no one really considered a decade ago – such as the privilege of working remotely, via the Internet – are now in high demand. If your company isn’t able to adapt to the changing times, you might run the risk of being left behind.
So on that note – what’s happening in 2016 that your company needs to prepare for? According to the Society for Human Resource Management, there’s a lot. Stephen Miller, an online editor at SHRM, recently noted that one general trend he’s observing involves the gradual process of “taking consumerism up a notch.” In other words, people are becoming more active consumers, taking greater control of their own lives, and this manifests itself in such ways as employee-managed health insurance plans and financial wellness initiatives.
New York-based benefits expert Cara Calvin told SHRM that, for example, we may begin to see employees more actively “shop around” for health plans to find the best one for them.
“Researching or ‘shopping around’ for different facilities for procedures and services can result in lower costs to the employee, the insurance carrier and eventually the employer,” Calvin said.
This is just one example, though. The truth is that everywhere you look, there are countless ways that companies adapt in terms of what sorts of benefits they offer. The following are five more trends to monitor closely in 2016:
Greater transparency tools
Employees everywhere are interested in knowing more about their employers – everything from salaries and benefits to available opportunities for development and promotion. Better tools for transparency are in high demand.
Better health and wellness monitoring
If your company cares about health and wellness, why not make it easier for employees to keep tabs on theirs? Fitness monitoring devices and apps, for example, are really popular among younger employees. Offering them can make a big difference.
Strong telemedicine resources
People these days want health care to be quicker, more convenient and more accessible. Telemedicine is a great way to accommodate their desires. By offering employees access to remote wellness resources, you improve their daily lives.
More accessible analytics
Employees are also interested in having more hard data about the costs associated with their health care plans. If you can offer them a detailed look at how a new plan design could save them money, you are not only educating them but providing a more personalized experience.
Better communication and customization
Overall, what people want is to be able to customize their jobs, and their lives, as they see fit. Cloud solutions, mobile apps and other office tools are improving every year to allow for more customizable options on a daily basis. This is a large-scale trend that should only intensify across the business world in 2016.