You’ve likely heard about the surge in family friendly benefits over the past year as employers strive to support a diverse workforce. A Willis Tower Watson report confirms, “While nearly six in 10 employers (59%) say that family friendly benefits have been important to their talent strategy over the past three years, […] this number is expected to grow to 77% in the next three years.”
But does your company recognize the importance of offering these comprehensive benefits packages? Or how fertility and family building benefits attract a diverse talent pool, supporting not just women but all genders and their families?
It’s essential not just to offer robust benefits but ensure they’re accessible, digestible, and relevant to your employees (both current and prospective). Workers are holding employers to a new standard—and it’s the digital-savvy, comprehensive benefit packages that will have the edge over competitors.
Benefits for a Diverse Workforce
Like other HR/benefits leaders, you focus on attracting and retaining top talent, but getting top talent in the door is only half the battle. In a Zenefits survey of over 600 businesses, 63.3% of respondents shared that keeping their employees was much more difficult than finding them. Combine that with a consistent third of all current employees searching for new work, and businesses collectively spending $2.9 million per day looking for position replacements.
One of the top five reasons people leave their jobs is for better benefits with another company. That same Willis Tower Watson report found that 72% of employers cite “competitive pressure to attract and retain talent” as their reason for focusing on fertility and family planning benefits.
Moreover, fertility isn’t just an issue that impacts women. The modern family is diverse and aren’t looking for one size fits all health benefits. Just look at the below graph highlighting various reasons why employees may need fertility treatment or care.
Image Source: Kaiser Family Foundation
Focusing on the Long-Term Value of Fertility and Family Planning Benefits
When you create a comprehensive health support plan—spanning from family planning to post-pregnancy support—you impact your employees’ ability to succeed long-term, too. The modern worker is detailed and plan-oriented. They want to know that their benefits will cover needed fertility and family planning, and post-birth needs. As HealthMarkets explains, “Providing healthcare for your newborn baby can be expensive. […] infants frequently receive examinations, checkups, immunizations, and special medications.”
Becoming a parent, especially for the first time, can be a scary process. HR teams should provide additional support by highlighting the long-term coverage their benefits package offers. Help your team understand the entire process from fertility clinics to infant care up through the teenage years.
As an employer, you’ll receive a long-term return on this investment. Inclusive support that provides benefits before, during, or after pregnancy, coupled with an effective maternity/paternity leave plan, helps protect your employees from excessive debt, health complications, or inability to reintegrate back into the workforce after childbirth.
Dealing With the Benefits Confusion
As a writer, I research for a living. It’s my job to find the facts and data to support them, then break it down into easy-to-understand content. So, when my partner and I started our family planning journey, I assumed it would be easy to wrap my head around the benefits his company offers related to family planning and fertility (should we need it). I’ve worked with healthcare and benefits companies—it would be a cinch, right? Not so much.
You likely know that healthcare benefits are challenging to navigate. As an employer, offering benefits is half the challenge, while delivery and usage is another issue entirely. A Harvard Business Review survey supports this notion, with 77% of organizations considering delivering health benefits to be a key factor in competitiveness. Benefits options are also on the rise (57% of companies agree). The report confirms, “a big part of the underutilization problem is the inherent complexity of health benefits programs and policies.”
Look at it from your employee’s point of view; between knowing whether or not your specialist is covered by your plan, what the cost of having a child might be, or navigating the complex system of fertility treatments, it’s overwhelming. (The HBR report also found only 24% of workers fully comprehend their benefits, while 63% don’t know how to leverage company-provided benefits, and 58% don’t know what they’re entitled to).
As an employer, you can help mitigate this stress by using digital resources or creating guides to help maneuver complex situations. The modern employee is short on time—and when you help ease the stress of taking everything on and researching all the pieces to a puzzle, they’ll notice the effort.
Planning Your Next Step
To create a benefits package and company strategy that supports family planning, you must start with the basics: listen. Collaborate with your employees who’ve already interacted with your benefits packages and ask about their experience, specifically how you can better support them and future recruits. Remember that present-day families are multifaceted, and your benefits packages should represent that. Further, while you may offer extensive benefit options, delivery, understanding, and usage should all be a top priority as well.
When your employees are content and supported through their family planning journey (the entire journey), that will shine through in retention, feedback on platforms like Glassdoor, and your organization’s overall culture. All these factors will then attract dynamic new talent looking to grow with a company as they grow their family.
Authored by Tracy Ring. She is a long-time remote worker, freelance writer, and content marketer. She loves to write about the intersection of mental health and workplace trends. Tracy brings a real-life perspective to her writing from 10+ years of diverse experience. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.