Is Your Healthcare Organization’s Benefits Strategy One Size Fits All?
Any broker can walk into your healthcare organization and tell you they have the solution to your benefits woes. After all, they’ve helped countless other clients with their benefits, right?
Your healthcare organization needs a customized benefits strategy, one that takes your employee population’s largest challenges into account and offers solutions through employee benefits.
A generalist broker won’t be able to bring innovative options to the table, but a broker who specializes in the healthcare space can recommend benefits that go beyond the traditional and help your organization win the war for talent.
What benefits do healthcare employees want?
Healthcare professionals are unlike any other type of employees – and your benefits should reflect that.
Let’s face it – your industry has undertaken immense challenges for years, and the war for talent is hitting your workforce particularly hard. It’s understandable that employees are leaning on their employers now more than ever to provide them with resources and benefits beyond traditional compensation. And, if employers don’t step up, employees are looking for the next opportunity.
So, what’s a healthcare employer to do in order to engage and retain their employees with their benefits?
The first step is understanding the challenges and obstacles your employees are facing in their day-to-day lives. This can even change across your industry due to geographic factors, socioeconomic factors, etc., so it’s imperative that you spend time getting to know your employee population’s desires and needs from their benefits package.
A few employee challenges that we’ve come across while working within your industry include:
- Pandemic fatigue
- Childcare costs
- Stressors associated with being a caregiver
- Financial security
- Holistic wellness
- Lack of engagement
All of these challenges affect your employees in their daily lives, and the extrapolated effects of these trials result in loss of productivity and retention in your workplace. If your employees feel that they aren’t able to thrive because of any of the obstacles we’ve listed, they won’t be able to bring their full selves to work.
You have the opportunity to solve these challenges for your employees. Forward-thinking healthcare employers are seeking out opportunities to provide creative benefits to their staff in order to solve challenges, engage employees, and become an employer of choice.
Creative benefit examples for healthcare
Evaluating your employees’ specific needs is the key to developing a benefit strategy that can help your organization achieve its talent attraction and retention goals. Below, we’ve listed a few ideas customized to the healthcare employee population that have come out of discussions with our healthcare clients, as well as our partners within the industry.
Flexibility and/or adjusted leave policies
Healthcare employees are in demand, and they’re looking for new opportunities that best fit their lifestyle and meet their challenges. Increased flexibility or innovative leave options can be a good solution for provider systems who want to attract top healthcare talent while solving for their specific concerns.
We’ve seen healthcare organizations offer more flexible scheduling to their employees to accommodate childcare needs, as well as time to recover from the demands of their role during the pandemic. While this perk isn’t brought up in conversations about traditional benefits, flexibility is an increasingly prominent part of the conversation for healthcare professionals and should be explored by industry leaders.
Many of your employees are not only caregivers in the workplace, but at home as well. Whether they are caring for a child or an elderly parent, you as an employer have an opportunity to take some of that weight off of their shoulders.
We’ve worked with healthcare organizations to implement benefits that provide personalized support for employees to manage the logistical and administrative tasks associated with caregiving. When that to-do list is no longer weighing on their mind, and they feel that there is a solution out there to help them with the stressors of caregiving, employees can better engage and be productive in the workplace.
Expanded mental health and wellness
The hardships and mental strain that your employees have undergone over the past two years are no joke. While employers in other industries may be able to rely solely on an EAP program for their employees’ mental health, healthcare organizations are considering expanded options such as free access to mental wellness apps, waiving cost-sharing for mental health services, or subsidizing telehealth mental health counseling for their employees.
Financial wellness options
Healthcare workers of every level within your organization want to know that you are invested in their financial stability. Beyond general compensation, employees are seeking out financial wellness education from their employers: younger employees are looking for healthcare organizations to offer student loan repayment programs, while robust 401(k) or financial planning services could influence the retention rates of more tenured or executive-level professionals.
This type of benefit can also be a boon for the contingent workforce, or “gig workers” as they are colloquially called. As Cindy Van Asten, M3’s director of healthcare, said, “Employees are working for different reasons now.” These gig workers are not interested in being a part of a permanent workforce, but offering financial wellness opportunities like student loan repayment to these earnings-focused workers may be an untapped talent attraction strategy.
The American College of Healthcare Executives survey on CEO turnover showed CEO turnover hovering at around 18% in your industry. The idea of losing your top executives should cause concern for nearly every provider system.
While traditional benefits should surely be offered to these skilled employees, retention may require more than a great healthcare plan. Executives are looking for additional benefits like key person life insurance, supplemental disability, non-qualified retirement planning, executive bonus arrangements, even stock options and concierge medical services.
While benefits can be sold as a prepackaged solution, a one-size-fits-all approach won’t lead to a workforce that values their benefits or your organization as an employer.
Organizations who want to engage their workforce with voluntary benefits should work with a broker who can provide a comprehensive, customized strategy that aligns with your overall benefits philosophy.
Reach out to your M3 account executive today to discuss your creative benefits strategy, and how it could be customized to better attract and retain your employees.