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Ask a Resourceful Human: What employee benefits are organizations offering these days?

From mental health days to caregiver support, these are just some of the benefits HR leaders are considering for the year ahead.
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Francis Scialabba

· 3 min read

Welcome to our regular HR advice column, Ask a Resourceful Human. Here to answer all of your burning questions is Erin Grau, the co-founder and COO of Charter, a media and services company that aims to transform the workplace. Erin has over 15 years of experience at the intersection of talent and operations in global organizations and startups, including the New York Times and Away. You can sign up for the free Charter newsletter about the future of work here.

This week’s question comes from an HR Brew reader who’s wondering how best to support their employees. Got a question related to HR or work in general? Click here to let us know. Anonymity is assured.

Employee benefits—what are organizations offering these days?

There is no shortage of factors HR leaders consider when planning benefits, and for the year ahead, employee burnout, the childcare crisis, legislation pertaining to abortion access, and economic uncertainty will be just a few.

Whether or not you’re among the 61% of US employers that survey their employees about their benefits needs, here are a few worth considering:

Mental health and well-being. VC firm Kleiner Perkins’s 2022 People Report found that employers have increased their investment in employee mental health and well-being since the start of the pandemic. From company-wide mental health days (or weeks) to tools and resources beyond the employee assistance program (like BetterHelp or Headspace memberships), companies are supporting the overall health and well-being of their employees.

Caregiver support. Some companies are trying to help caregivers by offering flexible work arrangements (including parental leave), support for those caring for aging parents, and access to affordable, reliable childcare.

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When it comes to childcare, benefits often focus on subsidies and backup care, but with 100,000 fewer childcare workers than before the pandemic, companies have been searching for more creative, equitable solutions. Platforms such as Vivvi and Joon, for example, allow employers to provide care reimbursements to the 75% of employees who identify as caregivers.

And yet, a soon-to-be-published survey of 507 CHROs, CEOs, CFOs, and their deputies about benefits by my colleagues at Charter found that more employers offer employees gym memberships (14%) than sponsored or subsidized childcare (11%) or backup childcare (8%). More caregiving assistance for working parents is badly needed.

Healthcare costs. Some companies are trying to lessen soaring healthcare costs by decreasing deductibles or offering at least one medical plan without employee premiums.

Reproductive care. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has shifted pressure to businesses. Many companies have taken steps to ensure their employees’ abortion access, including offering financial aid for abortion-related costs. Others have also invested in fertility and gender-affirming care benefits as a result of the ruling.

Other considerations. Tami Simon, SVP and global corporate business leader at benefits and HR consultancy The Segal Group, suggests looking at benefits through the lens of your DE&I strategy. She encourages HR pros to seek out diverse providers that represent their employee population.

Not sure where to start? Perk-management platforms like Compt and Bonusly can help you personalize perks for your people.—EG

Got a burning HR question? Click here to let us know. Anonymity is assured.

HR is challenging. HR news doesn’t have to be.

HR Brew keeps you effective in the fast-changing business environment.