Benefits 101: Reimagining the Employee Experience Alongside Market Changes

Just as we started to see the light at the end of the tunnel from navigating the abrupt changes brought on by the pandemic, new developments in the economy have reminded us that change is the only constant. The implications this has within the workforce has the potential to negatively impact your employees' engagement and productivity levels. To ease the tension and ensure your retention rates stay high, consider taking the time to reimagine the employee experience by revisiting your benefits policies. Appealing to the wide range of benefits your company has to offer could give your employees some much needed reassurance – while also giving them a better understanding of their total compensation.

The Market May be Changing, but Compensation Remains Competitive

Despite an economic slowdown, tech salaries have remained high – and companies are finding ways to administer additional perks to complement already high wages. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and CompTIA’s annual State of the Tech Workforce report, wages for tech workers have been on the rise. The median wage in tech increased 8% from $86,852 in 2019 to $94,058 in 2020, and companies in the US are planning to increase employee salaries by an additional 4.1% overall in 2023 due to rising inflation rates.

As inflation persists and the need to retain top talent is intensified, companies must maintain competitive compensation to reduce attrition rates and meet employee expectations in 2022 and beyond. How does your company plan to show up for employees when it matters most?

The Top Employee Benefits in 2022

When the pandemic began, organizations across the country had to adapt, and HR teams had to adjust benefits offerings alongside the new normal. Let’s take a look at some statistics from the SHRM Research Institute’s 2022 Employee Benefits Survey of over 3,000 responses from HR professionals at organizations across all sizes, industries, and sectors to see what the norm is for 2022. 

Fully Insured Healthcare Plans 

One of the pandemic’s most significant lasting effects is a major focus on health, whether it’s COVID-related or not. That being said, health benefits are top of mind for companies of all sizes, with 72% offering a fully insured health plan and only 26% featuring self-insured plans for employees.

Improved 401(k) Plans 

Employers have upped their 401(k) game in recent years with a variety of contribution and matching options, and employees have taken them up on their offer. For instance: 

  • 94% offer a traditional 401(k) plan, funded with pretax dollars that are taxable as income when withdrawn during retirement. 
  • When employees contribute to traditional 401(k) accounts, 83% of plan sponsors matched those contributions, capped on average at 6.8% of an employee's base pay.
  • 68% of companies also offer a Roth 401(k) funded with post-tax dollars that may be withdrawn tax-free after retirement. 
  • When employees contribute to Roth accounts, 76% of plan sponsors provided a match, capped on average at 6.7% of an employee's base pay.

Remote Work Stipends

As remote work continues to be a preference among employees, offering work-from-home reimbursements has become commonplace among many of today’s employers. According to SHRM, 62% of all organizations surveyed said they offer employees a reimbursement for their at-home office equipment. They also found that: 

  • On average, employers provided about $891 to employees to cover WFH-related costs. 
  • 95% of employers cover costs related to work technology, such as computer monitors, keyboards, or headsets.
  • Over half of employers (68%) cover costs related to general office supplies such as pens or notepads.
  • Roughly one quarter (24%) said they cover the cost of office chairs for employees working from home.

While the benefits above are considered the norm in 2022, it’s increasingly important for companies to think outside of the box as employee expectations evolve and grow over time. To learn more about the benefits your team could be overlooking, check out our in-depth post here.

Employee Benefits That Scaled Back in 2022

Conversations about improving the benefits available for working parents made waves in HR news in 2020. Despite this, SHRM’s survey found that leave for new parents (beyond what is required by law in each state) returned to pre-pandemic levels:

  • 53% of organizations offered paid maternity leave in 2020,  but this number dropped to 35% in 2022.
  • The number of organizations offering paid paternity leave dropped to 27% in 2022, a noticeable decrease from 44% in 2020.

Employee benefit offerings tend to change over time due to global events, market shifts, current HR trends, and more. At the end of the day, it’s up to your team and decision makers to decide how these benefits are doled out. What are your team’s current Total Rewards processes? 

How Are Companies Making Total Rewards Decisions?

Total Rewards policies and decisions can vary greatly based on company size, industry, market trends, and more. Making these decisions can be a complicated process, and if your team feels overwhelmed, you’re definitely not alone. 

According to a recent research survey from Gartner, 73% of organizations expect more enterprise changes in the next three years, yet nearly 90% of Total Rewards leaders do not feel they have the structure and skills to support their company through these changes. So what gives?

Today’s business leaders are looking to HR and Total Rewards teams on how to address changing talent needs, and fierce competition for talent puts an immense amount of pressure on teams to tackle these requests. When that’s coupled with a lack of resources and not enough time in the day, many of today’s HR teams are spread thin as they work through inefficient processes and workflows.

Did you know that: 

  • Only 34% of Total Rewards Leaders believe their structure helps staff prioritize work.
  • Only 33% believe they allocate time effectively across their portfolio of responsibilities.
  • Only 21% of TR leaders are satisfied with their ability to assess the impact of benefit, and even less (14%) are satisfied with the ability to assess the impact of compensation at their organization.

The numbers may be disheartening, but that's not to say that all hope is lost. 

Learn How to Upgrade Your Compensation Decisions With Welcome 

Fortunately, modern compensation management tools are positioned to help your team better communicate total compensation to candidates and employees so that everyone is on the same page.This also results in candidates and employees to have a better understanding of their growth potential as the company expands and encourages higher engagement overall. Furthermore, improved acceptance and retention rates allow better HR workflows which ultimately help you to meet and exceed your goals.

To learn more about how Welcome’s compensation management software can take your recruiting and retention to the next level, book a demo or sign up for our free real-time data

For more information on how today’s HR leaders are tackling compensation this year, download our free 2022 Compensation Report: Cutting-Edge Insights from 400+ HR Leaders Across the US.