The Swing of the Health Benefits Pendulum
For decades, businesses have cut costs by reducing their health benefit plans, but the expansive job market in our growing economy is now threatening this flexibility. With bargaining power now in the hands of employees, our nation’s businesses are facing escalating turnover rates. The combination of these factors creates a conundrum for business owners and decision-makers. Because it’s no secret that the benefits pendulum is shifting, employees aren’t afraid of leaving their jobs in search of more attractive benefits. Over 65% of employers are concerned about the challenge of keeping skilled labor.1 So how can businesses combat this shift as the pendulum swings in favor of employees? They can get creative with the benefits they provide to keep costs reasonable while still attracting and retaining the talent they need for success.
Job Market Shifts + Millennial Talent Pool = Prioritization of Health/Wellness Benefits
While shifts in the job market have caused employers to re-examine their benefit packages, the priorities of the workforce are also in flux. The millennial generation is making up more and more of the talent pool (currently 33% but estimated to grow to 75% by 2025).2 Employers are quickly finding that they need to alter their recruitment strategies to acquire talent. This is because, somewhat surprisingly, millennials tend to put more emphasis on health care and other wellness benefits when making an employment decision. According to Forbes, 89% of millennials care more about benefits than pay, while 83% would switch jobs based on improvements in benefits.3
Does this mean employers need to follow the pendulum swing to the other extreme or is there a middle ground? Consider that there are many unique ways to entice potential employees without breaking the bank. For instance, offering opportunities for professional training and growth can sway a millennial candidate’s decision. Access to family benefits such as childcare, maternity and paternity policies and even fertility services also prove critical. Simple lifestyle support benefits like flexible hours, financial planning assistance and fitness programs are easy ways to add value to an offer.4 However, robust healthcare benefits has proven to be the top priority for our next generation of leaders.
A study discussed in the American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits found that more than 50% of millennial subjects would rather have better health benefits than a 10% increase in pay. Furthermore, the majority of participants ranked health insurance as the most important of 9 benefit options, which included retirement savings and additional vacation.5
ArmadaCare’s Insured Solutions
There are many ways employers can adjust to the changing hiring environment, and we can help. In a study interviewing over 1,500 workers, more than 40% stated that their loyalty to their company would rise should their benefit options be customized to the individual’s specific needs.6 By providing employers with the ability to tailor coverage to specific employee groups and needs, excess costs can be mitigated, while still improving employee satisfaction.
Utilizing supplemental tools as a part of benefits offerings will not only boost a company’s chances of retaining their best employees, it will also improve productivity.7 Be sure to check out ArmadaCare’s suite of insured products that can swing the benefits pendulum back to center.
2 https://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/EY-global-generations-a-global-study-on-work-life-challenges-across-generations/%24FILE/EY-global-generations-a-global-study-on-work-life- challenges-across-generations.pdf