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5 Employee Benefits Trends to Look Out for in 2024

Posted by John Barrett on Jan 23, 2024 3:40:04 PM

In 2023, we witnessed a big shift in how companies managed employee benefits post-Covid. Employees started expecting more from their workplaces, and organizations needed to reach these standards to retain new and existing talent. Heading into 2024, companies will have similar expectations, although the benefits we’ve previously seen dominate industries could witness a new shift. Experts are already talking about the trends we'll see in employee benefits this year, and understanding the most in-demand benefits can ensure your organization offers packages that are in line with professional standards.

A Focus on Mental Health

Mental health transparency has gained significance in the workplace since the pandemic, and companies now offer a variety of mental health services through their workplace as part of a comprehensive benefits package. In 2024, this demand is even greater. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime, and nearly one in five adults will experience mental illness in a given year.

Organizations can make a significant difference through their employee benefits packages by providing in-person and online resources for mental wellness. Some of the more popular mental health benefits include:

  • Insurance coverage for therapy and mental health visits
  • Mental health app subscriptions including Headspace, Talkspace, and Calm
  • Scheduled mental health webinars and trainings
  • Mental health PTO days
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Increased Salary and Pay Transparency

In 2024, employee benefits are expected to focus on pay increases and salary transparency. With inflation rates surpassing the standard 3% cost of living adjustment, companies are recognizing the need to ensure that employee salaries not only meet but potentially exceed inflation rates to maintain purchasing power and financial stability.

In addition, the demand for transparency in pay structures is gaining momentum, including not just current pay scales but also future earning potential. Some states have recently passed legislature requiring pay transparency, but the states that have not will still witness companies making present and future pay capabilities public. Employees are increasingly expecting bonuses or stock options to bridge any gaps between their salaries and the rising cost of living, which marks a shift towards comprehensive and open discussions about compensation within the workplace.

Retirement Options

Retirement plans will be a focus for 2024 benefits, with a particular emphasis on 401(k) options. A 401(k) has become a baseline necessity, and companies are expected to offer a minimum match percentage to meet professional standards and attract top talent. However, the landscape might witness a notable shift beyond traditional retirement options, as demonstrated by IBM's recent announcement. In a surprising move, IBM disclosed its decision to discontinue the 401(k) match in favor of reintroducing pension plans. Since IBM is such an influential business, this strategic shift could potentially signal a broader trend toward reinstating pensions as a standard offering. Pensions, with their structured benefits, have the potential to be an attractive alternative for employees seeking long-term savings. For employers, this could be a move to keep employees long-term in a job market characterized by increased job hopping.

Financial Health Offerings

Financial health is a key focus for most individuals in 2024. After dealing with a pandemic, severe inflation, and a tough job market, people are putting more attention on long-term financial stability and preparation. Employers can help employees through their benefits programs by ensuring there are tools and resources to help them maximize their benefits and get the most value out of the offerings.

Organizations can also hire third-party financial experts to help educate employees on financial wellness, planning, and saving. Finding unbiased and educational resources for employees can ensure they feel confident in their financial standing, thus creating more loyalty and satisfaction within your organization.

The Journal of Financial Literacy and Wellbeing found that a well-designed financial education program can remove at least one hour per week of financial distress for each employee. For example, if the minimum wage is $15 per hour at a company with thirty minimum-wage employees, a good program can recover at least $22,500 of value per year. Leveling up financial literacy through a variety of educational resources and tools can boost your benefits package and value, and help your employees thrive at your workplace.

Hybrid Working Model

In 2024, businesses are anticipated to embrace hybrid working models, allowing employees a blend of in-office and remote work. Although the era of exclusive work-from-home arrangements is slowly fading, the value of workplace flexibility remains significant for mental well-being, financial stability, and personal matters. To effectively attract and retain talent, companies should incorporate these hybrid work options. Not only can it contribute to employee satisfaction but also acknowledges the diverse needs of the workforce, fostering a more engaged and loyal team.

Employee Health Benefits with ECBM

ECBM Insurance has expertise in crafting comprehensive employee benefits coverage tailored to your organization's unique needs. Employee Benefits are crucial in making sure your employees are taken care of. They can also account for a large portion of your company’s budget. ECBM’s Benefits team specializes in eliminating unnecessary fees from your benefits budget while always prioritizing high-quality comprehensive employee health insurance plans.

As a trusted business insurance broker, ECBM has established relationships with all major medical and ancillary employee benefits providers. ECBM can ensure that your organization's coverage is comprehensive and inclusive of all employee's potential needs. Contact us today for more information on how we can help.