For most employers, HR is both the backbone and the umbrella. You provide a foundation to support the day-to-day, while also taking action to stormproof the business for any unexpected rainy days.
We can’t predict the future, but we do know that storms will happen. And when clouds appear, you’ve got to be ready to adapt quickly.
Based on predictions and insights from our Nava Benefits Advisory Board and team of benefits industry veterans, here are five tell-tale signs that your HR team is ready for 2023 and whatever it may bring.
1. You’ve mastered the art of making a business case for your benefits edits.
After all the changes we’ve seen in the past couple years — from our healthcare system, to the economy, to the way we manage our work/life balance — it’s safe to say that employees’ priorities have changed.
Here’s the ugly truth: If your benefits look the same as at the start of 2020, it’s time to make some changes.
And that starts with getting buy-in from your leadership team. Still, that may prove to be more complicated than it should be, especially during this economic downturn.
As the Director of Benefits at Red Bull (and Nava Advisor) Sara Richards put it, “Investing in benefits is about more than just the bottom line of medical plan costs, and it’s crucial that senior leadership understands that.”
2. You have a renewed focus on employee engagement — and it’s reflected in your benefits and budget.
The Great Resignation may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean your employees are necessarily happy where they are. Burnout levels are sky-high, and we anticipate that this next year may not help the situation. In fact, burnout has become so commonplace that 40% of workers believe it’s an “inevitable part of success.”
Let’s be clear: Burnout is absolutely not inevitable — and it shouldn’t be normalized in any workplace.
Now’s the time to take care of your people. Support them both at work and in life. Build out a benefits offering that meets their needs. Create a work environment that respects (and values) their mental health.
Invest in your culture and your employees — because right now, you can’t afford not to.
3. Your relationship with your benefits broker is stronger than ever.
Your broker should be your partner in all things benefits — and not just during renewal season. (Read that again. And again. Read it until it sinks in.)
If benefits work takes up the lion’s share of your day-to-day, then that’s a failing on your broker’s part. And that will only become more apparent in this coming year.
Working with a great broker makes your job much easier. A great broker is always prepared to take benefits work off your plate. A great broker isn’t afraid to ask where they can be of service. A great broker checks in regularly with industry expertise and actionable guidance to help you build the best benefits offering. A great broker is always willing to help your employees use their benefits without confusion.
Most of all, a great broker provides a level of service that’s tailored to your specific needs. Because in this era of always-on HR, one-size-fits-all service isn’t going to cut it.
4. You’re keeping a pulse on industry trends and key economic data.
The most common HR myth? Your work exists in a vacuum.
In fact, it’s the opposite — HR is constantly at the mercy of economic and social changes. And when a change is brewing, they have to act fast.
For instance, the diesel gas shortage may impact your benefits budget. How?
Well, a diesel shortage means fewer jobs for truck drivers. Less truck drivers means less equipment delivered to hospitals. Less equipment in hospitals means higher healthcare costs. And higher healthcare costs means less wiggle room in your benefits budget.
The sooner you realize that everything is connected, the sooner you can future-proof your strategies.
So subscribe to that benefits trends email. Join an HR community to hear what others are dealing with. Ask your broker for regular updates on industry insights.
Above all, equip yourself with the knowledge you need to navigate a year marked by change.
5. You’ve future-proofed your benefits to support your employees (and your bottom line) through any future economic turmoil.
As the economy flashes warning signs, employers across industries are preparing for the possibility of a recession.
At the same time, your employees are probably already feeling the downturn hit home. About 2/3 of employees are worse off financially now than they were a year ago, and 47% could not handle an unexpected $500 expense without worry.
But while 53% of employers expect a recession, only 31% of HR leaders are actively preparing for it.
If you’re among that 69% who haven’t started storm-proofing, consider this your wake-up call. It’s time to take a hard look at your budget, figure out how to make those dollars stretch.
One cost-saving strategy that’s proven to be effective? Offering benefits to support employees’ physical, mental, and financial wellness. The numbers speak for themselves:
- 86% of employees report improved work performance after accessing mental health care for depression.
- Employers who offered a financial wellness program from 2018-2020 saw an 18.8% increase in employee retention.
- 94% of employees want benefits that meaningfully impact their quality of life.
- 66% of employees agree that a strong benefits package is the largest determining factor when considering job offers.
Learn more about how 2023 will impact you — and how you can prepare now.
The pandemic taught us all how essential HR is in a crisis. And we’re definitely not manifesting any future crises now (*knocks on wood*), but the only constant in life is change.
We’ve compiled all the insights, predictions, and tips you need to prepare for the year ahead on our 2023 HR & Benefits Trends Predictions microsite.
Inside you’ll find:
- Predictions for the hottest benefits to offer in 2023
- Step-by-step guidance on how to prepare for the year ahead
- Tips from the Fortune 500 HR experts on the Nava Benefits Advisory Board
- A downloadable e-book to guide you through every step of the year