Employers Prioritize Wellness Over The Cost Of Benefits, New Study Finds

Organizations are shifting their benefits priorities as a competitive marketplace and low unemployment make it more challenging to attract and retain top talent.

A new study by TransUnion, an American consumer credit reporting agency, found that the price of benefits is dropping in importance for employers. In the previous three years, price per employee was the top benefit consideration for employers, however this year it dropped by 22%, landing in third place.

Dennis Connor, Vice President of Voluntary Benefits at Tompkins Insurance Agencies, said that the findings are a wake-up call and “an indicator of the immense pressure employers feel to win talent through relevancy. Benefits are only compelling when they are compatible with an employee’s personal goals.”

The study also found that employer interest in holistic wellness is growing, especially around mental health. Ninety-one percent of survey respondents listed mental health among the top five benefits requested by their employer clients. Telemedicine and counseling were the second most requested benefit, selected by 67% of professionals — nearly doubling from 2022.

In addition to mental health and counseling, the third most requested benefits were wellness programs and wellness stipends — cited by 59% of professionals.

Beyond physical and mental wellness, many respondents said that financial and digital wellness were important too. Financial wellness, coaching and advice were selected by 52% of professionals — making it the fourth most requested benefit. Additionally, 80% of respondents said their clients ask for recommendations on how to protect themselves against identity theft — up 15% from 2021 and 3% from 2022.

The increase in fears of identity theft were reflected in a recent TransUnion study which found that 74% of Americans fear having their personal identities stolen.

Connor said, “As life and work continue to merge, the smartest employers are addressing that fusion with offerings that meet the needs of the whole employee.”


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