What employees want most from their employer in 2023
When looking at employee benefits, it's helpful to start with the macro trends happening in workforces of every size. According to a LinkedIn survey, the following factors have become bigger priorities for workers since the pandemic began:
- 50% want more flexibility in their hours and/or location
- 45% care more now about their work/life balance
- 41% are looking for more benefits such as mental health care and increased PTO
- 36% care more about their workplace culture than they did before
Workplace flexibility went from a nice-to-have to a must-have for employees
As employers continue to adapt to employees’ needs, it’s important to acknowledge that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. While work-life balance continues to be a top motivator for today’s employees, what an individual defines as work-life balance will vary. As more millennials and Gen Z enter the workplace, flexibility has grown to be a key component in employee satisfaction. This has been a significant shift in a post-pandemic workforce and even fluctuates between generations. For example, one survey found that 66% of respondents could effectively work remotely; among those respondents, Gen Z felt optimistic about their work effectiveness. However, baby boomers felt the opposite sentiment.
But more recent data shows that when employers can offer time and location flexibility, employees are 2.6 times more likely to report being happy and 2.1 times more likely to recommend working at a company.
What does that mean for today’s employers? While flexibility remains a key value proposition to recruit and retain talent, employers must find new ways to help employees feel connected to their coworkers and ensure they are treated equitably. For example, not all employees in manufacturing, retail, and healthcare have the option to work remotely. To level the playing field, some employers are offering these workers flex-time arrangements to address potential inequities.
Today’s employees are focused on mental and physical wellness
“Company culture is swiftly evolving, and to keep up, organizations must innovate and think progressively. We have this singular opportunity to create the culture and circumstances that will allow each employee to do their best work and to lead their best life,” said Chief People Officer at LinkedIn, Teuila Hanson. When thinking of employees leading their best lives post-pandemic, many remain focused on overall health and well-being. However, a 2021 survey found that 44% of people don’t know where to start or struggle with consistency when trying to improve their health. The survey also showed that:
- Setting goals and being inspired by others are important drivers of motivation
- More people prefer daily routines and small habits over ambitious goals
- People want to see and track results to stay motivated
So how do today’s employers ensure employees have access to their wellness offerings? They can start by embracing more virtual care options. For example, Virgin Pulse is a virtual offering that helps members create a personalized wellness plan with virtual tracking and encouragement. They prompt members with wellness challenges that help them eat better, become more active, improve sleep, quit smoking, and lose weight. In addition, the offering also helps users cope with grief and reduce alcohol or tobacco use, which makes sense because many of today’s employees want more access to mental health and substance abuse providers.
It’s time to expand your behavioral health offerings
A 2022 Employer Health Benefits Survey asked employers how important they felt telemedicine would be in providing employees access to certain types of services in the coming years. Regarding behavioral health, 36% say telemedicine will be “very important” in providing access to behavioral health services in the future, and another 31% say that telemedicine will be “important” in providing access to these services.
Another innovative solution for mental health care is Lyra Health, which partners with Mass General Brigham Health Plan to offer members a digital platform that enables them to seek clinically proven mental health services, find high-quality providers tailored to their needs, and book appointments quickly with a therapist or coach via video or in person securely and confidentially.” Offering these resources and making them easily accessible is essential to support today’s employees in a post-pandemic world. In fact, in Lyra Health’s latest annual survey, 84 percent of employees cited “robust mental health benefits” as a factor when considering a new job.
To take it a step further, you can also train managers to be more empathetic and turn employees into mental health advocates by offering peer-to-peer counseling. While these resources will support employees’ overall well-being, they’ll also help you as an employer. When employees feel cared about at work, they’re 3.2 times more likely to be happy at their job and 3.7 times more likely to recommend their company as a place to work.
With a better understanding of what wellness offerings would provide the most value to your employees, you'll likely move towards productivity and performance gains for your organization. To get started, download the ultimate guide to winning with workplace wellness.
For over 35 years, Mass General Brigham Health Plan has been committed to delivering an exceptional customer experience. As a member of Mass General Brigham, we are advancing innovative value-based care models that center on the health needs of our members and enable seamless and affordable care. Visit MassGeneralBrighamHealthPlan.org to learn more, including new Medicare Advantage plans.
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