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Trends in Employee Benefits to Watch in 2024

The Cariloop Team | February 8, 2024

To learn more about the trends mentioned in this blog, sign up for our webinar, The Future of Employee Benefits: Beyond the Basics — happening Thursday, February 15 at 12 p.m. CST.

With the end-of-year rush and 2023 now well behind, benefits and HR leaders are setting their sights on planning for the rest of 2024 and the upcoming benefits season.

In 2023, some of the year’s top trends included debate around return-to-office (RTO) mandates, a renewed focus on employee mental health and a focus on DEI initiatives among HR and C-suite leaders.

Some of these trends were holdovers from previous years when the COVID-19 pandemic forced employers around the world to quickly pivot not only how their workforces would continue to work, but also where they would work. 

In fact, the debate around RTO mandates and employer flexibility became a significant source of contention, leaving employers—and in some cases, employees—at an impasse. 

For context, a 2023 study from Korn Ferry found that 27% of American workers are fully remote. However, 50% of leaders wanted employees back full-time, whereas only 12% of employees wanted to work in the office full-time.

There was—and still is—a concern among employers that mandating a return to work could trigger mass resignations, leading to additional worries over employee retention in an already unstable economic environment.

So, what are HR and benefits leaders predicting will be top trends in 2024?

Here are a few predictions. 

Transformation and Evolution

According to a new report on the survey by Cornell University’s School of Industrial Labor Relations Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies, “transformation and evolution” was identified as the top HR priority for 2024 by more than two-thirds (or 67%) of HR leaders surveyed. 

Specifically, the Cornell survey found that HR leaders are specifically focused on transformation within HR, such as keeping their companies agile and increasing efficiency and operational excellence. 

The other top concerns identified were talent management, technology, employee experience and leadership and succession planning.

Caregiver Support Benefits and Leave 

Providing support specifically catered to caregiving employees will be another big trend to watch in 2024. 

Although increasingly popular during and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are continuing to adapt and evolve their comprehensive employee benefits plans to include offerings that meet the unique, multi-generational needs of their workforce.

For example, new research published in January 2024 from WTW titled “2023 Leave, Disability and Time-Off Trends Survey,” found that as many as 73% of employers surveyed have or plan to upgrade their leave programs in the next two years.

Specific leave changes that employers would like to improve include caregiver leave.

In fact, paid caregiver leave stands to experience some of the most substantial increases. Although 25% of employers report having a paid caregiver leave policy in place today, another 22% of employers are planning or considering it over the next two years.

Financial Well-Being and Healthcare Affordability 

This will likely come as little surprise, but healthcare remains one of the largest expenses for U.S. households, with one report citing that the cost of healthcare averages out to be $12,900 per person a year. 

However, rising healthcare costs and inflation have employees nationwide concerned about affordability and how escalating prices could affect their quality of life. As such, more employees are turning toward employer-provided benefits for relief. 

Related to rising anxiety surrounding healthcare costs is the growing number of Americans citing that they feel unprepared to retire. 

Tune Into Our Upcoming Webinar to Learn More

As organizations grapple with evolving challenges and emerging industry trends, HR leaders and benefits leaders must stay flexible and offer benefits that resonate with employees’ unique needs.

Interested in learning more? Join us for our first live webinar event of the year – The Future of Employee Benefits: Beyond the Basics

During the webinar, we’ll be joined by two industry experts: Casie Heringer, a Consultant Relationship Manager at Quantum Health, and Carol Colley, a Senior Consultant of Physical and Emotional Wellbeing Consulting at Gallagher. 

Attendees can expect thoughtful conversations around the childcare crisis, guidance on how to counter rising healthcare costs nationwide and strategies to stay ahead of the game this year.

Eager to tune into the live event? Save your seat today by registering here.

Can’t make the live event? Not to worry! Go ahead and register anyway, and we’ll send a recording of the live event shortly after the webinar concludes.

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