In recent years, it has become increasingly apparent that individuals are no longer solely focused on securing a high-paying job. Instead, they're actively looking for employers offering a compensation package that includes benefits for employees beyond basic health insurance and paid time off.

Maven’s recent report found that 57% of employees have taken, or might take, a new job because it offered better reproductive and family health benefits. This sentiment is bolstered by data that indicates one in ten workers would accept a lower-paying job for an improved employee benefits package.

As an employer, providing customized employee benefits can help the business too. Not only can innovative employee benefits help attract top talent, but they also make a tangible difference across the entire organization. For example, employers that prioritize comprehensive women’s and family health care see increased engagement, stronger loyalty, reduced administrative burden, lower healthcare costs, and higher ROI.

There are so many additional perks that you can offer as an employer, from paid vacation time and gym memberships to flexible hours and work-from-home options. But what are the top benefits that make the most difference to workers? 

Understanding employee benefits: a comprehensive guide

Employee benefits extend beyond compensation above an employee's salary. They encompass a range of offerings designed to increase overall job satisfaction, improve company culture, and support employees in various aspects of their lives.

Maternity and parenting support: beyond paid leave

43% of new mothers never return to work after leave. Those that do report they need more support, 53% of working parents requesting help balancing parenthood with the demands of their job. 

These findings illustrate why comprehensive maternity and parenting support plays a crucial role in employee retention. Doing so demonstrates your commitment to supporting employees through significant life transitions.

Examples of effective support programs

There are many resources and employee perks that specifically target new parents such as childcare vouchers, return-to-work programs, baby-related gifts, and peer support groups. However, support which goes beyond those initial few months is becoming an increasingly sought-after and popular benefit.

Maternity and newborn care

Maternity and newborn care benefits help employees to navigate pregnancy, birth and the new realm of parenting which can often leave many feeling isolated. Through our program, Maven members receive around-the-clock online access to OB-GYNS, doulas, lactation consultants, midwives, sleep coaches, and more, allowing them to can get support when they need it most. 35% of member appointments take place outside of standard doctor's office hours.

Maven also offers a wealth of return-to-work resources including expert content, coaching and childcare resources, as well as 1:1 emotional support that supports those postpartum mental health conditions, depression, and anxiety.

Maven Milk

Returning to work presents challenges for breastfeeding and 60% of parents do not breastfeed for as long as they intend to. Maven Milk is a simple and reliable breast milk shipping service that makes it possible for new parents to continue breastfeeding when they reenter the workforce, improving breastfeeding longevity, return-to-work rates, and productivity.

Members also have on-demand access to lactation consultants via video and messaging channels, so that they can get support with any breastfeeding questions they have or hurdles they face.

Parenting and pediatrics

Juggling a career and the needs of the family is difficult. Nearly 25% of working parents are experiencing burnout at work and of those who have recently quit a role, half point to childcare issues as the cause. Maven's care providers ensure better behavioral and clinical outcomes for parents and children.

Our Parenting and Pediatrics plan gives employees the timely, personalized support they need from parenting experts, pediatricians, behavioral coaches, developmental psychologists, and special education advocates.

Maven champions the importance of continuous support beyond maternity leave. That's why we offer a range of employee benefit programs that support them in achieving a work-life balance where their careers and their families can thrive. 90% of Maven members return to work, compared to the national average of 57%.

The importance of mental health support

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness. Poor mental health can have a devastating impact on the individuals who are affected but also has a significant effect on the economy. Globally, an estimated 12 billion working days are lost annually to depression and anxiety, costing $1 trillion per year in lost productivity.

Findings from Maven’s recent report  demonstrate that mental health support is an important benefit for employees. 62% of companies currently offer mental health support, but there is still much more that can be done.

Workplace stress remains high, with studies showing that 77% of workers reported experiencing work-related stress in the prior month. Additionally, 57% indicated experiencing negative impacts as a result of their stress including:

  • Emotional exhaustion (31%)
  • Didn’t feel motivated to do their very best (26%)
  • A desire to keep to themselves (25%)
  • A desire to quit (23%)
  • Lower productivity (20%)
  • Irritability or anger with coworkers and customers (19%)
  • Feelings of being ineffective (18%)

Benefits of offering mental health support

Comprehensive mental health coverage is paramount in reducing stigma, encouraging open conversation, and individual employees feeling supported at work. Further, according to the mental health charity Mind, even inexpensive measures to support employee mental health and wellbeing can:

  • Increase productivity, efficiency and innovation
  • Reduce sickness, presenteeism and absenteeism
  • Improve morale
  • Increase profits
  • Lower business costs
  • Reduce staff turnover
  • Enhance your reputation as an employer

The mental health benefits that you choose should align with the unique needs of your workforce. For example, an on-site gym where employees can exercise to help reduce anxiety and depression may be an appealing perk, however, it wouldn't be beneficial for remote workers. Mental health benefits for employees may include:

  • An Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Unlimited access to online counseling services
  • Paid time off for mental health days
  • Flexible work schedules
  • Mental health awareness and training
  • App subscriptions
  • Team bonding activities that promote social connection
  • Health Savings Accounts (HSA) that provides tax-free withdraws to help with out-of-pocket mental health care costs

Maven’s State of Women’s and Family Health Benefits 2024

How fertility, maternal health, and Gen Z are transforming benefits decisions.

Download report
Maven’s State of Women’s and Family Health Benefits 2024

Childcare and eldercare support: essential for work-life balance

There are a growing number of people in the workforce who are balancing raising children with looking after older relatives. Known as the sandwich generation, more than half of Americans in their 40s and around a quarter of U.S adults have a parent over the age of 65 in addition to at least one child younger than 18, or an adult child they provide financial support to.

For this sandwich generation, burnout is a real and much-experienced consequence of their circumstances. 61% are concerned about the future and half worry about being able to continue to juggle supporting their parents and their children. The financial impact of being caught in the middle is also staggering. 35% of the sandwich generation spend 13% to 16% of their household income on supporting their parents and 24% worry about having to continually support their adult children financially.

Despite an estimated 67.8 million people in the U.S. belonging to the sandwich generation, only 39% of employers offer childcare support and just 31% of organizations offer support for caring for elderly, disabled, or ill family members.

Impact on employee engagement and loyalty

Balancing the demands of work with caregiving responsibilities can lead to increased stress levels for employees. This stress can negatively impact their engagement at work, as they may find it challenging to focus or remain motivated when dealing with caregiving duties on top of their professional responsibilities.

Members of the sandwich generation also face time management challenges trying to juggle personal and working life. This can result in feelings of being overwhelmed and stretched thin, leading to decreased engagement and productivity in the workplace.

Furthermore, employees may find it difficult to excel at work due to the distractions and emotional strain associated with caregiving responsibilities. This can result in lower performance levels.

How to support employees caring for children and parents

Without adequate support from their employers, the sandwich generation may struggle to maintain a sense of balance which can be detrimental to their work, their home life, and their mental and physical health.

One of the simplest ways employers can support sandwich generation is by being empathetic of their situation. Foster a workplace where they feel comfortable talking about their life and feel able to come to you for support, whether that's to ask for paid time off, request access to services, or discuss accommodations.

To further support these individuals, employers should consider allowing employees to adopt flexible work arrangements such as telecommuting, flexible hours, or compressed workweeks. These accommodations can help employees better manage their caregiving responsibilities while still fulfilling their job duties, leading to increased engagement and loyalty.

Clinical, emotional, and financial support is also vital, building a better work-life balance for employees, and improving inclusivity and diversity throughout the organization. Childcare and eldercare support can include:

  • An on-site daycare
  • Subsidized daycare
  • Extended parental leave
  • Family coverage health insurance
  • In-home care services

Navigating menopause: a workplace issue

Menopause is an often-overlooked workplace wellness issue, despite it affecting 20% of today's workforce. 40% of those going through menopause report that it interferes with their work on a weekly basis.

According to a Bank of America-Ipsos poll, 64% of American women aged 40–65 say they want their employer to offer menopause benefits, including health coverage for hormone replacement therapy, access to menopause healthcare providers, menopause awareness sessions, and cooling rooms. However, employers fall drastically short, with only 24% reporting that they offer some form of menopause support. 

How companies can offer support

Employers can offer support through education and awareness programs, flexible accommodations, and specialized support services, contributing to a more inclusive and supportive work environment that reduces the stigma that still surrounds menopause.

Maven's Menopause and Ongoing Care plan gives your employees 24/7/365 virtual access to specialists who can give them advice and guidance related to their symptoms and unique experience of menopause, providing access to prescriptions like HRT as well as holistic lifestyle support. In addition, it empowers members with reliable resources including educational articles and live classes.

Preparing for a family: fertility and preconception support

75% of employers say that reproductive and family benefits are important for retaining employees. Employees echo this viewpoint, with 46% of Gen Z and 35% of millennials reporting that reproductive and family health benefits influence their decision to stay at their job or take a new one.

Employers are taking note of employee needs, as 48% of employers plan to increase their family health benefits in the next two to three years. However, there are still gaps in care that can be filled by implementing better employee benefits.

For example, offering support for fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF), is a step in the right direction, especially for the one in six individuals who experience infertility, LGBTQ+ individuals, and employees from marginalized groups who face additional barriers to family planning and fertility support. This type of benefit, however, overlooks those who aren't ready or don't want to pursue assisted reproductive technology treatments and instead, are seeking holistic guidance on such things as tracking ovulation, improving egg or sperm quality, adoption, and surrogacy.

Fertility benefits from Maven

25% of Maven Fertility and Family Building members achieve pregnancy without assisted reproductive technology and 40% report finding the emotional support they need as they undertake their family-forming journey.

Our benefits ensure that your employees receive the right care when they need it from specialists including fertility awareness educators, reproductive endocrinologists, adoption & surrogacy coaches, urologists, and mental health specialists. Maven members can also access our network of vetted, quality fertility clinics, with easy expense management directly in the platform. This model empowers employees to make informed choices about their reproductive health. It also reduces the administrative workload for organizations, improves equity and inclusivity within the workforce, and increases job satisfaction and engagement.

Benefits packages that make a difference

Benefits are no longer a nice-to-have.. They are now an expectation, and the package that an employer offers is a reflection of their company culture and dedication to employee wellbeing.

Time-honored perks such as retirement benefits, health insurance, and professional development opportunities will always be appreciated. However, in today's competitive climate, where attracting top talent is the key to success, employers must be proactive in meeting the needs of the evolving workforce.

Benefits that support employees and their families set a new standard of care and are pivotal if you want better outcomes and lower costs for everyone. Maven helps employers be at the forefront of positive change with our global virtual clinic. Book a demo today to learn more about our holistic, personalized, and pioneering approach to employee care.

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