'Tis the season for benefits.Between packing away the last of the Halloween decor and preparing for the last two months of the year, we often forget that it’s also open enrollment season.
Before open enrollment season officially kicks off on the first of November, it is important to consider what benefits to incorporate into the new year. If you feel behind, don't worry–we have seven benefits employees will be looking for from their employers.
1. Student loan repayment
In addition to every other expense, we have to worry about, nagging student loans have a way of creeping their way back to the forefront of our stress. Good news? You can keep these nagging loans at ease for your employees by incorporating them into your 2023 benefits package.
These days, employees have the power to decide where and how they choose to work. Continue to give employees control by offering them a way to utilize their earned PTO hours into something more beneficial for them. Because student loan repayment may not apply to everyone in the office, PTO Exchange allows employees to make this decision themselves.
2. Mental health benefits
The pandemic awakened all of us, aiding society in emphasizing the need for mental health awareness. According to a recent survey, workers under 35 cited their mental health as a top priority.
Mental health benefits can include counseling stipends or other therapy options; however, consider implementing mental health days to allow your employees to relax and recharge. Bottom line? If you’re not offering mental health benefits, you are behind, as 91 percent of companies already offer these benefits to their workforce.
3. Parental Leave
With all these new added benefits, you’d think that offering paid parental leave would be no question. However, from 2020 to 2022, the percentage of companies that offer maternity leave dropped from 53 percent to 35 percent.
Many companies have decided to cut paid parental leave programs simply because they were under-utilized by most of their workforce. However, the demand for parental leave is increasing, becoming the deciding factor for prospective employees.
4. Work-free PTO
Why do we still allow work calls, emails, and talk on our days off? Paid time off (PTO) has one purpose and one purpose only: to be work-free. Whether unlimited or limited, PTO results from employees’ hard work and should be respected. Thankfully, organizations are taking notice of this, increasing the amount of “floating days” to accommodate religious holidays.
Moreso a cultural benefit, employees want a company that takes PTO seriously. That means encouraging employees to take it and ensuring that they won't be bothered once they do.
5. Flexible benefits
From the moment it was introduced during the pandemic, the concept of remote work has taken off. While not all organizations can afford a fully remote or hybrid model, look at your office structure and assess whether you need every employee physically at work five days a week.
Another option to allow your employees more autonomy in their work is adopting the results-only working environment (ROWE). With this approach, employees can work towards a company goal–while also having the freedom to do the work when and where they want.
6. Financial guidance
In this time of recession, budgeting has been more difficult. Employees everywhere have been experiencing this financial burden, which undoubtedly has impacted their work in the office.
Financial security for your employees can be achieved by converting unused PTO hours towards financial training or 401(k) contributions. Employers can also help employees with other aspects of financial wellness, such as how to best invest their 401(k) and calculate how much to save for retirement.
7. Employee spending accounts
There are employee spending accounts for medical purposes, dependent care, or even health and wellness. Here are the most common ones you might encounter:
- Life Planning Account (LPA): Also known as a lifestyle spending account (LSA), LPAs support the health and wellness of employees. Their customizable feature allows employers to create unique programs for their workforce based on individualized needs.
- Health Spending Account (HSA): This employee spending account provides funds for medical expenses that employees may need, including medical, dental, and vision care.
- Flexible Spending Account (FSA): FSAs focus on specialized medical care, including physical therapy or hearing aids. Dependent care is also a component of FSAs.
- Health Reimbursement Account (HRA): Instead of an account, HRAs reimburse employees after an expense occurs. It primarily provides support for medical and dental expenses.
Give your employees the benefits they want
Before the chaos erupts right before the holiday season, consider what benefits your employees value the most. In this difficult time, stress is becoming a new epidemic. Give your employees something they can find support from just in time for the new year!
See how PTO Exchange’s flexible benefits program will give your company a competitive advantage just in time for this open enrollment season. Request a demo of our platform today.
Published on Oct 27, 2022 by Rob Whalen