In a recent webcast, a panel of experts guided benefits professionals through the complicated world of state and federal compliance. They also offered advice for building a benefits program that resonates with today's job seekers and employees. Here's a recap.
The ongoing competition for high-potential job candidates makes now a smart time to review, update, and possibly expand your benefits offerings. This can help improve the experience for your current employees and also help attract and engage those in the job market. At the same time, a winning benefits strategy should streamline administrative work and ensure compliance. With so many goals, reviewing your organization's benefit offerings and workflows might feel a bit overwhelming, but the exercise is worth it in the end.
Why benefits matter so much
Attracting new talent and supporting employee retention continues to be key in a tight talent market, and benefits play an important role.
"Workers are still in the driver's seat," said Maggie Novo-Chavarry, Sr. Principal, ADP Strategic Advisory Services. "So employers have had to get creative to attract talent—by evaluating pay, benefits and PTO policies—to remain competitive and retain employees. A recent study found one in three employees said the top reason for seeking a new job was for better compensation and benefits."
Benefits also help reflect the culture of an organization and can improve engagement and productivity, supporting the health of the business beyond personnel management.
Key benefits trends
The webcast presenters outlined three key trends that are shaping benefit policies for top employers:
- A holistic approach to employee wellbeing
- Providing inclusive and equitable benefit offerings
- A personalized employee experience
When combined, these three components can help you create a benefits plan that attracts new talent and helps current employees feel supported.
"Employers need to provide benefit offerings that are inclusive and equitable and an employee experience that is personalized," said Sarah Oliver, Vice President, Head of Enrollment at Guardian. "This is definitely a way to stand out in a competitive marketplace. A holistic approach means acknowledging the whole person. Employers need to consider the whole person and support employees in their lifestyles, on and off work." Flexibility in regard to work schedules and location plays a key role here.
Evolving benefits to meet changing regulations
Making benefits attractive to potential and current employees is essential—and staying in compliance with ever-changing regulatory standards is equally important. A challenge for employers has arisen in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, reverting determinations about the legality of abortion care to state leaders. This has created challenges for organizations with employees in multiple states, since healthcare policies that include abortion care may conflict with a particular state's laws. The impact of the Dobbs decision may also affect employer-sponsored healthcare coverage of in vitro fertilization, miscarriage, and emergency contraception.
"Employers should be thoughtful about employees' point of view," said Mitch Geiger, Senior Counsel at ADP. "There are a lot of different viewpoints so this means reviewing handbooks, policies, and procedures. Managers and employees should be retrained on company policies governing code of conduct, anti-discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Human resources professionals should refamiliarize themselves with practices regarding confidential health information including policies on dress codes and social media conduct."
At the federal level, it's important to be familiar with the requirements of the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), including the prohibition on gag provisions and the addition of other reporting requirements.
Hear the full discussion
Learn more about what it takes to create a winning benefits plan. Register then replay the 75-minute on-demand webcast anytime — Rethinking Benefits: A Focus on Employee Experience and Compliance
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