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Talent & CultureTrends & InsightsDelivering Effective Employee Benefits Trends Strategies in 2024

Delivering Effective Employee Benefits Trends Strategies in 2024

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Employee benefits are more important than ever for engaging talent, supporting retention, and attracting top recruits. However, with employee benefits trends constantly emerging around areas like health and wellness, family support, financial security, diversity, equity and inclusion, and more, it can take time for companies to implement new offerings successfully.

Simply rolling out trendy benefits without a sound strategy is unlikely to maximize their value and impact. To make the latest employee benefits trends and strategies work for your diverse workforce, thoughtful planning, promotion, and measurement are required.

This article will outline five key strategies human resources leaders and managers can use to answer how to deliver new employee benefits trends effectively in 2024 and beyond.

deliver employee benefits trends in canada effectively
Unlocking Employee Satisfaction: Are Your Employee Benefits Trends Strategies Aligned with Actual Employee Needs?

Conducting a thorough employee needs analysis is the first critical step in delivering relevant and impactful employee benefits trends. This provides insights into which offerings your employees genuinely need and value most.

Survey Employees to Gather Benefits Preferences

Employee benefits trends strategies surveys distributed to all staff are an easy and scalable way to gather input on the benefits they desire most.

The survey should ask employees to:

  • Rank a list of potential benefits by importance
  • Identify the benefits they currently lack that they want the most
  • Please share any other benefits they would like to see offered
  • Provide write-in feedback and suggestions

Once collected, thoroughly analyzing this survey data will reveal the critical benefits gaps and offerings that resonate most with employees.

Hold Focus Groups for Qualitative Perspectives

Assemble representative employee focus groups across locations, departments, job levels, demographics, and other variables. A small group discussion format allows employees to:

  • Explain in their own words which benefits are most essential for them.
  • Share stories to highlight how specific benefits offerings provide value or make an impact.
  • Voice opinions on benefits communication, challenges submitting claims, gaps in offerings, and other relevant topics in an interactive setting.

This qualitative focus group data brings employee perspectives to life, providing context beyond benefits satisfaction scores.

Enable Anonymous Benefits Feedback

Anonymous surveys and feedback platforms allow employees to share their uncensored, honest thoughts on the employee benefits trends strategies they want and need from their employer.

When feedback is provided anonymously, employees may be more likely to share constructive criticism and suggestions and reveal benefits needs they are reluctant to voice publicly or send to HR leaders directly.

The unfiltered insights gathered from anonymous channels can be highly informative for shaping your benefits strategy.

Analyze Workforce Demographics

Leverage analytics to analyze the demographics of your workforce across dimensions like:

  • Age ranges and generations
  • Gender
  • Family and relationship status
  • Office locations
  • Job levels and departments
  • Income brackets
  • Cultural backgrounds

With this analysis, you can identify benefits trends segments of your employee population may value based on factors like life stage, lifestyle, and circumstances.

For example, you may uncover needs for fertility support among millennial employees starting families, financial wellness resources for younger workers with student debt, or increased health benefits for aging employees.

Let Employees Know They Are Heard

Once you gather input through surveys, focus groups, and other listening strategies, clearly communicate to employees how the new benefits, trends, and offerings you’ll implement directly address the needs voiced during your analysis.

Show that you listened to feedback and took action on input to close the feedback loop. Employees will feel heard.

Continuously Measure Benefits Preferences

Keep a pulse on evolving benefits needs through regular employee surveys and engagement checks after new offerings launch. This allows you to monitor preferences and satisfaction levels as your benefits evolve.

Ongoing follow-up through employee benefits trends surveys is critical to meeting your employees’ needs.

deliver employee benefits trends in canada in 2024
Standing Out in Talent Acquisition: How to Tailor Your Employee Benefits Trends Strategies by Benchmarking Competitors?

Conducting competitive benchmarking ensures your overall employee benefits plan stands out in your industry and local talent market:

Research competitors: Review competitor job advertisements, employee testimonials, company sites, and employer review platforms to see the benefits they tout and any unique offerings. Take note of the widespread benefits competitors offer that your company currently lacks. Look for employee benefits trends competitors have embraced that your plan needs to catch up on.

Identify gaps: Use the benchmark data uncovered during your research when making job offers to candidates. Enhancing your company’s benefits package to match or exceed competitors’ offerings can make a difference in winning top talent. Highlight where your benefits excel compared to peers.

Avoid copycat benefits: Don’t just unthinkingly replicate competitor benefits offerings without ensuring they align with your company culture, values, and employee needs identified through surveys. Copycat benefits implemented as a knee-jerk reaction to competitors won’t necessarily benefit your workforce.

Consider unique benefits: Brainstorm creative benefits that your competitors don’t offer, tailored to what may better support your employees based on their input and preferences. Examples could include fertility support, career coaching, concierge services, contribution matching for continuing education, or even pet insurance. Differentiated benefits can make your company stand out.

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Promoting Inclusivity: Transforming Your Employee Benefits Trends Strategies with a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Focus

Benefits leaders must evaluate their benefits plans through a diversity, equity and inclusion lens. This highlights whether certain employee groups may be underserved and helps identify gaps to increase inclusion.

Audit Current Offerings for Diversity Gaps

Thoroughly analyze your current employee benefits trends strategies from the perspective of minority and historically excluded groups within your workforce. Look for potential gaps in how well your holistic employee benefits strategy support:

  • LGBTQ+ employees
  • Working parents and caregivers
  • Immigrants or expatriates
  • Employees with disabilities
  • Neurodiverse employees
  • Indigenous employees
  • Veterans
  • Employees facing mental health barriers
  • Employees across generations

Assess where enhancements may be needed to meet the needs of these groups better and ensure benefits are equitable across your diverse workforce.

Introduce Floating Holidays

Designate floating holidays that employees can use for religious, cultural or personal holidays and occasions, not just standard holidays enshrined by dominant cultures like Christmas and New Year’s Day.

This demonstrates respect for diverse religious affiliations, cultural heritage, and personal traditions. Floating holidays foster a more inclusive environment.

Cover Gender Affirmation Treatments

Verify your health insurance plans fully cover various gender affirmation procedures, hormone therapies, mental health support services, and other treatments to support transgender, non-binary, and gender-diverse employees holistically.

This emerging employee benefits trends helps leading employers to drive greater inclusion. Evaluate exclusions and limitations to determine if transgender employees’ needs are fully met.

Re-Assess Family Support Offerings

Re-evaluate your parental leave policies, adoption/surrogacy assistance programs, and other family-forming benefits through a diversity and inclusion lens.

Assess whether diverse family structures are fully enabled and all employees – including LGBTQ+ employees and non-traditional families – can equitably access fertility support, parental leave, childcare stipends and other family support benefits.

Enhance policies and offerings where needed to be more inclusive.

deliver employee benefits trends in canada thoroughly
Boosting Efficiency and Engagement: Transform Your Employee Benefits Trends Strategies with Technology Integration

Digitalizing benefits delivery through technology maximizes efficiency, drives self-service, and improves the experience for employees:

Offer a self-service portal: An online self-service portal that allows employees to access benefits information, providers, plans, claims status, and other resources anytime from any device makes utilizing benefits and staying informed easier.

Provide a mobile app: Employees can download a benefits app, allowing them to view benefits details, submit claims, access providers, and manage benefits from their phone. This facilitates mobile-first lifestyles.

Implement chatbots: AI-powered chatbots integrated into benefits portals and apps can instantly and accurately answer common employee questions about benefits, recommend relevant offerings, and point them to resources based on their inquiry and preferences. This boosts benefits literacy through on-demand support.

Automate reminders: Configurable automated reminder systems send emails or app notifications to prompt employees about open enrollment deadlines, required renewals, new offerings available, or documents needed to avoid lapsing coverage. This ensures employees have vital actions.

Integrate wellness tracking: Connect benefits systems with fitness devices, health apps, and wellness platforms so health-promoting actions like steps, workout classes, or meditation minutes can earn points towards incentives like gift cards or premium discounts. This builds engagement.

deliver employee benefits trends in canada sucessfully
Elevating Employee Engagement: Unleashing the Power of Clear and Comprehensive Communication for Your Employee Benefits Trends Strategies

For any benefits offerings – both new employee benefits trends strategies or existing programs – creative, multi-channel strategies are crucial to maximizing awareness and engagement:

Onboard new employees: Introduce all benefits offerings thoroughly during new hire onboarding through written materials and discussions, so employees understand all the options available right from their start date. This sets them up to maximize their coverage.

Communicate across channels: Promote benefits frequently through emails, intranet articles, postcards, benefits brochures, posters, team meeting talks, digital signage, and events to ensure the offerings remain top of mind for employees. Keep benefits information easy to find on all platforms.

Offer user-friendly resources: Centralized benefits portals with user-friendly explanations of offerings, policy documents, provider networks, FAQs, and contact information help employees learn about options at their own pace. Employee benefits trends resources should be accessible and straightforward.

Host interactive events: Benefits fairs offering on-site enrollment assistance, seminars explaining new offerings, meet-and-greets with providers, and dedicated benefits weeks focused on areas like mental health or heart health drive deeper engagement through human interaction.

Track awareness and satisfaction: Frequently survey employees to measure benefits awareness, understanding, satisfaction, and utilization. Collect feedback to gauge how successfully your benefits communication and promotion initiatives work and what needs improvement.

Implementing compelling employee benefits trends successfully requires careful planning, promotion, and ongoing measurement.

However, the investment pays dividends regarding recruitment, engagement, retention, and overall employee wellbeing.

With priorities constantly evolving based on remote work trends, diversity goals, rising healthcare costs, financial stresses, and more, agility and flexibility are key. Savvy employers continuously evaluate new employee benefits trends and pilot innovative employee benefits strategies to engage their people.

Organizations that listen to their employees and deliver personalized benefits and experiences that meet their needs will continue reaping rewards in performance, loyalty and talent retention as they navigate ongoing changes in the years ahead.

Navigating the changing landscape of employee benefits trends strategies takes expertise. For Canadian companies looking to enhance their benefits offerings, partnering with an experienced benefits advisor is critical.

To discuss the EBS employee benefits that matter most to your workforce, contact the experts at IDC Insurance Direct Canada today. Their solutions will help you successfully plan and execute employee benefits trends to boost recruiting, engagement, and retention.

Article Sources

Ebsource strives to furnish Canadians with comprehensive and truthful information to enable prudent choices regarding employee benefits. We derive insights from veteran financial professionals to guarantee advice aligns with industry best practices. Statistics cited originate from respected government and industry bodies like Statistics Canada and the CLHIA to certify accuracy.

Our suggestions stem from meticulous, unbiased research of major employee benefits suppliers in Canada. This permits recommendations tailored to individuals’ specific budgets and requirements. Ebsource upholds rigorous standards of objectivity, openness, and autonomy in all material. We pride ourselves on producing counsel readers can trust by referencing reputable sources and following editorial principles. As Canada’s most reliable source for employee benefits news, we devote ourselves to empowering Canadians’ benefits decisions.

  1. 2023 Canadian Benefits Trends Survey – https://www.wtwco.com/
  2. 2024 Employee Benefits Trends in Canada – https://www.asinta.com/
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