Employers are enhancing their employee benefits to recruit and retain highly qualified and high-potential employees in a competitive labor market—even as they balance those costs against the potential value to the organization.

That’s according to data from the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) 2019 Employee Benefits survey, released June 25 at the SHRM 2019 Annual Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas.

The survey, conducted March 31 to April 30, 2019, with a random sample of SHRM members, received 2,763 responses. This year’s results were presented in a series of online reports.

Ensuring Health

Eighty-six percent of employers that responded to the survey believe health-related benefits are very important or extremely important to their workforce, which may explain why only 3 percent have reported a decrease in these benefits, the survey revealed. But with health care costs continuing to outpace general inflation—and with the estimated cost of employer-sponsored health benefits approaching $15,000 per employee—employers remain cautious about spending in this area.

Among survey respondents:

  •  20 percent indicated that their organizations’ health-related benefits have become more generous in the last 12 months.
  • 70 percent indicated that their health benefits have stayed the same.

This year, 20 percent of respondents offered one health care plan, while the majority (79 percent) offered two or more types of health care plans to employees. Many employers have opted to offer a high-deductible health plan (HDHP)—either linked or not to a health savings account (HSA) or health reimbursement arrangement (HRA)—instead of a traditional health plan or as an additional choice.

Preferred provider origanzation (PPO) plans continue to be the most popular health insurance option, available in 85 percent of organizations, followed by HDHPs linked to an HSA or HRA, available in 59 percent of organizations. Offerings of high-deductible health plans that are not linked with an HSA or HRA decreased by 10 percentage points since last year.

Click here to view more benefits that employers are offering their employees.

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