In a labor market where employee health benefits have become a vital way to lure top talent, companies may have underestimated just what today’s workforce really needs.
According to Maven’s 2022 State of Family Health Benefits report, workers today have prioritized a host of family-building benefits, including:
- Adoption or surrogacy
- Preconception and family planning care
- Caregiver leave
- Virtual family care
Maven Clinic surveyed 300+ HR benefit decision-makers, as well as over 1,000 full-time employees who are starting or raising families, on the family benefits offered by their companies.
Unfortunately, as we’ll discuss below, when asked whether their current companies offer the benefits they seek, many employees seemed underwhelmed. Even more disconcerting: employers’ tended to give their family health benefits high marks, while employees often had less flattering assessments of their employers’ offerings. The survey also noted that those discrepancies could have important implications when it comes to employers’ ability to retain talent.
Below, we’ll take a look at the top three most noteworthy insights from the survey.
Inadequate family benefits may be costing you top talent
The disconnect between employees and their employers about the quality of their family health benefits certainly raises eyebrows. Companies say they take pride in their benefits. Employees? Not so much. According to the survey, 84% of HR leads think their family-building benefits support their employees well or extremely well. Unfortunately, 60% of employees have left or considered leaving a job because of inadequate family benefits. More specifically, 17% left their jobs because they wanted to find a better fit on their path to and through parenthood.
“Comprehensive family benefits:” not comprehensive enough?
The survey also highlighted important differences in how employers and employees define the term “comprehensive” or “all-inclusive” when it comes to family benefits. Employees in the survey said they need support during three critical phases s of their of family-building journeys:
- when starting a family or adding new family members (44% said they want help with starting a family)
- coming home with a new baby (41% said they want help after giving birth or bringing their child home)
- returning to work after leave and balancing work with parenthood (53% said they want help balancing parenthood with the demands of their jobs)
According to the survey, 72% of large companies rated their benefits as comprehensive. Employees, on the other hand, saw it differently. Despite employees prioritizing help starting a family, for example, only 29% of large employers offer fertility benefits. And only 27% offer preconception benefits. In addition, only 26% of employers offered return-to-work coaching to help employees feel more equipped after giving birth.
All-inclusive family benefits also means supporting every employee’s path to parenthood. LGBTQIA+ employees, for example, voiced concerns about the limits of their family-building benefits. Specifically, 36% of LGBTQIA+ employees said they wished their companies offered reimbursement for fertility expenses.
A lack of benefits is holding employees back from starting families
Inadequate family benefits don’t just have negative consequences for employers who end up losing talent because of it. The survey also found that a lack of benefits has had a strong impact on family planning overall for employees.
Survey respondents said they hope to grow their families, with 57% saying they’re expanding or planning to expand them. In addition, 67% of LGBTQIA+ employees are expanding or planning to expand their families. Unfortunately, many say the lack of adequate family-building benefits has held them back from pursuing those plans. Close to one in six employees report they have delayed starting a family because their family benefits don’t offer enough support, and only a quarter of employees at non-supportive companies say they felt equipped to take care of their children.
Improving family health benefits with Maven Clinic
From preconception to parenthood, employees need more help than what they’re getting through the healthcare system and the traditional approach to family benefits alone. While there are point solutions on the market for specific needs across the different stages of starting and raising a family, companies risk creating a complicated benefits ecosystem that people may not engage with, and might still not fill in all the gaps.
Instead, leading companies are offering a comprehensive benefits ecosystem that spans the entire journey. With an integrated solution, employees receive the care and education they need in their path to and through parenthood, so they can thrive at home and at work. Maven Clinic is the complete digital family health platform for leaders seeking to provide more inclusive, cost-effective care for their employees as they start, grow, and care for their families. By offering employees individual care navigation, personalized care teams, and evidence-based care management programs, Maven delivers employees the right care when they need it, from preconception and fertility to pregnancy, postpartum, and parenting.
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