Easing Employee Stress: The Impact of Customized Benefits Packages
September 20, 2023
SEB Marketing Team
Life post pandemic has created more awareness around employee well-being. This directly impacts how employees approach their benefits coverage. While traditional health and retirement benefits are crucial, certain employees have unique needs and expectations that may not necessarily be fulfilled by the benefits currently being offered. This creates stress which shows in various forms, from decreased productivity and engagement to higher turnover rates. Employees appreciate when their employers offer additional benefits that can fit their needs and help reduce their unique expenses. As employee needs evolve, the stress and associated consequences of limited or inadequate benefits are a growing concern that all employers must be aware of.
Some common stressors associated with limited benefits include:
Healthcare Gaps: Traditional health insurance may not cover all medical needs, leaving employees with unexpected medical expenses and anxiety about their well-being.
Financial Wellness: Employees often face financial challenges like student loans, credit card debt, or unexpected expenses that their benefits do not address and the stress associated with their financial issues can impact their productivity.
Work-Life Balance: The absence of flexible work arrangements or paid time off options can make it difficult for employees to juggle their personal and professional lives.
Life Events: Major life events such as having a child or adopting a pet can create significant financial burdens, which limited benefits do not alleviate.
Recognizing the profound effects of benefits-related stress, forward-thinking employers are re-evaluating their offerings. Conducting in-depth research is ideal to identify and implement benefits that go beyond the standard and address the specific needs of the workforce.
More importantly, the expanded benefits need not be one-size-fits-all. Employers can provide them as optional offerings, allowing employees the opportunity to tailor their benefits packages to their specific needs. This approach not only indicates the employer’s commitment to employee well-being but also empowers individuals to take control of their financial and emotional health. Examples of expanded benefits can include options such as:
Pet Insurance: Many employees consider their pets as family members, so offering pet insurance can relieve the financial stress of unexpected veterinary bills, strengthening the employee-employer bond.
Car Insurance Assistance: Even though remote work is more acceptable, many employees still have a long commute, and the costs of commuting can be significant. Providing car insurance discounts or subsidies can alleviate financial concerns.
Wellness Programs: Mental health has more awareness and less stigma than ever, prompting many more employees than before to seek assistance in stress reduction, thus increasing the demand for mental health support. Moreover, Wellness programs that encompass counseling services, meditation sessions, and fitness memberships can significantly improve overall well-being.
Personal Spending Accounts: have become more popular in recent years and satisfy the flexibility and choice that employees want. Employers set the dollar amount available to each employee and can also set what is covered and what is not. Coverage options under a Personal Spending Account are limitless and can be used for expenses that are not covered by traditional benefits such as personal training, gym fitness centre, annual memberships etc.
Of course, these options don’t necessarily need to be mandatory but having them as choices supports the individual needs of your workforce. It not only helps in reducing stress but also fosters loyalty, enhances productivity, and gives a competitive edge in retaining and recruiting top talent. The connection between comprehensive benefits and employee well-being is undeniable. By identifying and addressing the specific stressors faced by employees, companies can create a healthier, more engaged workforce that truly appreciates the value of their benefits package.
SEB is Canada’s leader in providing benefits administration solutions to over 400,000 plan members from Canadian companies. You can check out the full suite of SEB’s solutions including a customized personal spending account solution here.