Top 2019 Benefits Trends Affect HR Decisions
Healthcare enrollment periods have begun and HR departments are looking ahead to 2019 benefit trends in order to retain and recruit top talent. Salaries alone aren't enough; employees want to feel that their employer is looking out for them through the company's benefits packages and support policies.
2019 HR Benefits Trends
While benefits do vary from industry to industry, state to state and size of the business, competitive industries are adopting some new benefits trends for 2019:
- Student loan assistance. Everybody knows that a large percentage of young people are burdened by student loan debt that is often not paid off for more than a decade. Offering to pay a portion of the monthly student loan repayment takes a piece of the financial burden off of employees.
- Flexibility. More and more employers recognize the benefits of offering employee's flexibility. Whether that means starting the day at a time that works for them, the opportunity to work from home part or all of the time or open-ended time off, employees are happier because they can more easily balance work/life needs and may be able to reduce the stress of dealing with traffic five days a week. Happier employees tend to be more loyal and productive.
- Whole health wellness programs. While many big businesses have had programs encouraging their employees to improve their physical health for years, the trend in 2019 will be to offer whole health wellness programs that focus on each employee's total well-being including mental health, physical health and nutrition, and financial health. Some companies are reimbursing employees for participating in health and wellness activities, challenges and initiatives and for reaching certain goals.
- Voluntary benefits. More and more businesses are offering voluntary benefits for various types of insurance including life, disability, critical illness and others. Employees usually pay for these benefits themselves but they are organized through the employer. Aflac is a popular program that falls under the category of voluntary benefits.
- Perks for parents. Many large employers are looking for ways to makes the lives of working parents easier by offering parental benefits. Examples include encouraging dads to take time off after a baby is born to support his partner and bond with baby, extended paid maternity leaves, fertility treatment coverage, adoption cost expenses, on-site daycare, flexible schedules and generous time-off policies that don't penalize parents for taking the day off for a sick child.
- Technology perks. High-tech workspaces, personal iPads and at-home workstations are becoming more commonplace as employer's use technology to keep employees engaged and interested in workplace communication.
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