HR Trends for 2019

How employee benefits can help

3 min read

Every year, Morneau Shepell (one of Canada’s top Employee Human Resources services and technology companies) conducts an annual survey of HR professionals to discover Human Resources Trends. Many of the key concerns that came out of their 2018 survey, released in Oct 2018, are things that a well-tailored employee benefits plan can play an important role in.

Attracting, managing, and retaining top employees is an important part of what makes businesses successful.  We wanted to share some of Morneau Shepell’s top findings and how companies are dealing with challenges. You may find your business has similar concerns, and hopefully you’ll be able to find inspiration from solutions employers are already using.

Employee Engagement:

67% of HR leaders wanted to improve employee engagement, and 59% said that attracting employees with the right skills was a top priority.  These go hand-in-hand – employees with good role fit will be able to execute their work with success, and feel engaged by contributing their skills to overall company goals.  Of course, the right fit is only part of the employee engagement equation. You can also inspire employee engagement through providing the right financial rewards and employee benefits that make your staff feel valued. Creating a good company culture can also be key. Another way to engage employees, is by advancement opportunities, company values, or team camaraderie. Furthermore, employers can try to offer a balance of these to engage and attract the right employees.

Employee Mental Health:

Employee mental health and wellness is becoming an increasing concern for HR leaders, and 48% of those surveyed said this was a top priority.  Employers are recognizing the importance of employee mental health for success on the job, and are looking for ways to invest in their employees mental wellness, supporting them with skills to cope with stress, resources like a good Employee Assistance Program, and more. In addition, many HR professionals were concerned about employee turnover.  Helping recognize and support employees before they burnout or disengage is key.

Employee Financial Wellness

In addition to the above, 73% of HR leaders were concerned about their employees retirement readiness and financial planning, and used various approaches to help staff get them better prepared. These approaches include auto-enrolling employees into retirement plans, having default investment options, providing educational materials and seminars to staff to help them understand their financial planning needs, offering online retirement planning tools, and more. Striking the right balance between employee retirement plans, and education seems to be the key to filling in the gaps and ensuring employees are prepared to enjoy their post-working life.

Managing the risk of high-cost drugs in a benefits plan

With increasing costs of pharmaceutical drugs, many HR leaders were concerned about the risk of high-cost drugs to their employee benefits plans. In order to manage increasing, and unexpected drug costs, HR leaders typically use cost management approaches in consultation with their benefits plan provider or consultant. Some of these methods include requiring prior authorization for specialty drugs, using a consultant to review specialty drugs in advance, using a preferred provider network for specialty drugs, using stop loss and pooling arrangements, and more.

Does your business share any of these HR concerns?  Are you are worried about attracting and retaining top employees? There are many things you can do to make your business an attractive and employee supportive place to work, and your employee benefits plan can help. If you’d like a consultation to explore your current benefits plan, and how you could be getting more from it, that’s our area of expertise.  We’d love to get to know you better and find out how we can help be a part of your, and your employees’ success!