Stats on top employer priorities for benefits plans in 2022

Whether you’re designing a new employee benefits plan or reviewing your existing benefits offering, there’s a lot to consider. Everything from attraction and retention goals and employee value proposition and fit to competitive benchmarks and plan flexibility can influence how you decide to structure your employee benefits plan. 

But in 2022, with the pandemic behind us and inflation on the rise, more employers are still focusing much of their attention on bottom-line costs. According to the 2022 Global Benefits Priorities Survey by MBWL International Ltd. and Normandin Beaudry, 74% of polled employers said cost is the most important factor to consider when designing and reviewing a benefits plan. 

Over 63% of employers also said that employee attraction and retention is a close second. This isn’t entirely surprising given that turnover across industries remains at an all-time high, and employers are finding it difficult to fill gaps in their workforce. 

What else did this survey have to say? We’ve summed the key highlights up for you below. 

What employers are thinking about when designing a benefits plan in 2022

  1. An increased focus on benefits governance

According to the survey, aligning corporate goals with the benefits strategy was the most important area to focus on when it came to the governance of benefits. In fact, 62% of organizations agreed with that statement. This ranked higher than ensuring compliance and measuring return on investment, which were both cited by 56% of respondents. Only half of respondents (50%) said their global benefits governance focuses on broader benefits and sustainability initiatives. 

  1. Top diversity, equity, and inclusion considerations

This has been a key topic for some time. And according to the survey, it’s still an important factor in a benefits plan strategy. Of all the considerations under this umbrella, two-thirds (67%) of respondents said equity across job levels and age/generational (66%) were the most significant to their organization. Gender and pay gaps fell closely behind, where 59% and 54% of employers respectively said those criteria are essential in their planning. 

  1. Most highly rated benefits for employees

Health and medical benefits are still seen as the most valued benefits to employees, said 74% of poll respondents. 62% of organizations also agreed that health and medical benefits are important for employee value proposition. That said, 49% of respondents said that these benefits required the most from their internal resources to manage, followed by retirement and pensions (46% of respondents). 

Finding the right balance in your benefits plan priorities

With all these key factors weighing on employers’ minds as they design and review their benefits plans, here’s the big question – How can employers keep costs down, while still ensuring their benefits plan fulfills their talent retention and acquisition goals and supports diversity, equity, and inclusion?

The simple answer: Add more flexibility to your offering. 

Firstly, instead of a traditional benefits plan, consider a flexible benefits plan. This empowers your employees to choose the level of coverage that best suits their lifestyle and personal needs while keeping your costs down. 

For example, a flex plan usually includes three tiers of coverage which might include 70%, 80%, or 100% level of drug coverage, and varying levels of medical and dental coverage with each option. 

Employers simply set a fixed budget and assign a specific amount per month to family plans and individual plans. If an employee wants more than what’s on offer, the extra costs can be deducted from their pay. If they don’t use up the monthly budget, the balance can be credited to their health spending account. They can then use those funds for massages, gym memberships, reiki sessions, or whatever other wellness-related perks they’re into. 

Secondly, consider presenting more flexible working arrangements for your team. If the pandemic taught us anything is that some employees really value the option of working from home. It gives those employees a better sense of work-life balance and encourages higher levels of productivity and job satisfaction too.

Want to learn more about flexible work arrangements? Read our blog titled Remote work: a key differentiator for employers post-pandemic
Interested in a flex plan? Check out this blog titled Reasons to Consider a Flexible Employee Benefits Plan

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