Survey Reveals Employers Prioritize Holistic Wellness Over Price When Selecting Employee Benefits

New IdentityForce research finds financial, physical, mental and digital health are now the top concerns for employers when making decisions about employee benefits

CHICAGO, March 06, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Low unemployment, shifting employee priorities and the work-from-anywhere marketplace pose new staffing challenges for employers, according to a recent national survey of employee benefits brokers and advisors. Conducted by IdentityForce, a TransUnion brand, the annual survey — now in its sixth year — revealed employers are most concerned with:

  • Rising healthcare costs
  • Physical and mental health of employees
  • Talent shortage

Concerns about the digital safety of employees also stood out as key concern, cited by more than half of the surveyed benefits advisors. It was the only concern that earned more than double the responses from the previous year.

“We’re seeing the confluence of several market realities in these findings,” said Lindsey Downing, Senior Vice President, TransUnion Consumer Interactive. “The competitive employee marketplace is elevating the need for differentiation to attract and retain the kind of talent who can help the organization compete and succeed. This survey reveals that benefits programs that promote four factors of holistic wellness — financial, physical, mental and digital — are perceived as high value to modern employees, while delivering value to today’s employers.”

Employer interest in holistic wellness grows

Across the four facets of holistic wellness, mental health support was the most requested benefit cited by survey participants. A full 91% of respondents listed it among the top five benefits requested by their employer clients. Telemedicine/counseling was the second most requested benefit, cited by 67% of respondents and nearly doubling in demand from 2022. More than half (59%) of all respondents selected wellness programs/wellness stipends, making that category the third most requested benefit.

Rounding out the four facets of holistic wellness, financial and digital wellness benefits also secured spots in the most-requested benefits list. Financial wellness coaching/financial advice was the fourth most requested benefit with 52% of brokers and advisors placing it in the top five. An overwhelming majority (80%) of respondents said their clients now ask for recommendations on identity theft protection vendors to support employee digital wellness. That result is up 15% from 2021 and 3% from 2022.

Employer interest in financial and digital wellness benefits coincides with two significant U.S. consumer research findings around the fears of Americans. Six in ten Americans reported to PwC that they feel stressed about their finances; another 74% of Americans told TransUnion they fear having their personal identities stolen.

“Employers are beginning to see how social media scams, e-commerce risks and digital identity vulnerabilities extend beyond an employee’s personal life to affect their work life,” said Dennis Connor, Vice President of Voluntary Benefits at Tompkins Insurance Agencies. “As life and work continue to merge, the smartest employers are addressing that fusion with offerings that meet the needs of the whole employee.”

Employers seek relevance over affordability

Notably, the price of employee benefits seems to be dropping in importance for employers, at least as compared to overall value. During the previous three years, price per employee was the top benefit consideration for employers. This year, however, price per employee fell 22%, landing in third place. Value to employees, on the other hand, climbed 8% to claim the top spot.

“This finding is a wake-up call for HR stakeholders,” said Connor. “It’s 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. Top talent no longer settles for one-size-fits-all compensation. They want to feel seen, heard and appreciated for their distinctive contributions and their whole selves. Progressive, personalized benefits are a strategic way to deliver on that demand.”

Anyone interested in reviewing this year’s findings can get a copy of IdentityForce’s 2024 Employee Benefits Survey Report by clicking here.

Research methodology

In November 2023, TransUnion conducted an online survey of 87 of its employee benefit advisor customers from across the United States. Of those advisors, more than half (56%) support organizations with fewer than 1,000 employees (38% up to 499, and 18% between 500–999).

About TransUnion (NYSE: TRU)

TransUnion is a global information and insights company with over 13,000 associates operating in more than 30 countries. We make trust possible by ensuring each person is reliably represented in the marketplace. We do this with a Tru™ picture of each person: an actionable view of consumers, stewarded with care. Through our acquisitions and technology investments we have developed innovative solutions that extend beyond our strong foundation in core credit into areas such as marketing, fraud, risk and advanced analytics. As a result, consumers and businesses can transact with confidence and achieve great things. We call this Information for Good® — and it leads to economic opportunity, great experiences and personal empowerment for millions of people around the world.

About IdentityForce

IdentityForce, a TransUnion brand, offers proven identity, privacy and credit security solutions. We combine advanced detection technology, timely alerts, identity recovery services and 24/7 support with over 40 years of experience to get the job done. We are trusted by millions of people, global 1000 organizations and the U.S. government to protect what matters most.

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