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Employee Benefits in the 21st Century

Employee Benefits in the 21st Century

Employee benefit programs have historically been an important tool for retaining good workers, and they are expected to continue to become even more important in the future. As competition for the best employees becomes increasingly fierce, employers are going to have to look at expanding their benefits programs to go above and beyond the minimum levels that workers expect.

Today’s workers expect their employers to provide outstanding benefit packages that include health, vision and dental insurance, as well as life insurance programs. Employers who want to attract and retain the best workers have to look at beefing up their benefits packages with opportunities that go beyond the basics of what is expected.

Why Are Benefits So Important?

One of the reasons that benefits are such important tools for employee recruitment and retention is that the face of the modern workplace is changing. The majority of workers are finding themselves dealing with a wide variety of issues, such as taking care of their aging parents, staying in the workforce past the traditional retirement age, and more. It’s important for workers who are facing such challenging situations to have access to benefits programs that help make it possible to balance their responsibilities.

What’s New in Employee Benefits?

Wellness Benefit Programs. Health insurance has long been an integral component of employer sponsored benefits programs. As the cost of health insurance continues to climb and more and more employers find themselves turning to self-insurance, wellness programs are becoming more widespread among corporate benefits programs. These types of programs are designed with preventive healthcare in mind. The idea is that it’s much less costly, in terms of productivity and money, to provide benefits that help employees stay healthy rather than paying for treatment once they become ill.

Flexible Scheduling Options. Members of the modern workforce find flexible work schedule options to be very appealing. Many people are choosing to stay in the workforce past traditional retirement age, and enjoy having the option to work part time or seasonal hours. Others simply need to have some control over their work schedules to be able to effectively manage and balance their work, family, and personal obligations.

Elder Care Benefits. Members of the baby boomer population, the largest segment of the workforce, are finding themselves facing the responsibilities of caring for aging parents while simultaneously completing the process of raising their own children. Just as childcare options and benefits are important to many working adults, elder care benefits are becoming increasingly important to those who have to incorporate the need to care for elderly relatives into their schedules and budgets.

The need to provide traditional benefits isn’t going to diminish, but the importance of supplementing expected benefit packages with innovative programs that meet the needs of the workforce is likely to become even more pronounced in the years to come. When engaging in strategic planning, it’s necessary for the business leaders of today to consider the effect that the benefits offered to their workers will have on their ability to maintain the proper staffing levels necessary to accomplish future success.

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