Trends in Executive Benefits for 2022

Now two years into the pandemic, the once uncharted waters of work-from-home have calmed as companies adapt to more lasting work infrastructures. A majority of the burgeoning workforce reports to be happier with their new working situation than pre-pandemic (source: MetLife EBTS 2021), indicating the endurance of flexible and customizable work over the long-term. Funds can be reallocated away from physical, traditional office resources to more meaningful areas like employee benefits, addressing any current limitations expanding to include supplemental disability coverage and new offerings like High-Limit Disability Insurance.  

That leads to the question on every employer’s mind: What do employees want in 2022? Here are the five major benefits trends companies should consider as they alter compensation packages to adapt to the changing landscape.  

1. Safety & Protection

Dealing with COVID-19, we are all too familiar with the comprehensive re-imagining of the ways we go about everyday life, whether it’s heading to the grocery store or into the office. With the disruption of work as a whole, employees have consequently reconsidered what they desire and expect from their jobs: 

  • The Bureau of Labor statistics estimates that about 4 million Americans quit their jobs this past July  
  • According to MetLife, 72% of employees value safety and protection more so than before the pandemic 
  • And 62% of employees place more importance on benefits now than before the pandemic 

Employers are focused on protecting their employees from the unexpected, physically and financially. Employees, particularly highly-compensated executives, are focused on implementing the proper safety nets to ensure their income is protected to care for themselves and their families when the unfortunate strikes. And with a significant concern over retention and attraction of top talent, employers are looking to benefits packages as the differentiator.

2. Mental Health & Wellbeing

Another prominent trend that continues to grow as 2021 wanes is the extension of employee concerns beyond their physical and financial protection. Physical and financial stresses during the pandemic have exacerbated rates of anxiety and depression, with 42.4% of adults reporting experiencing anxiety or depressive disorder during the pandemic. Employees are now forming a more holistic view of their health and expecting employers to provide protections that reflect that view. With studies predicting that employee wellbeing is the leading factor affecting workplace future, followed by remote work and employee mental health, employers are becoming more and more incentivized to address a more comprehensive range of benefit options.  

3. Flexibility in Employment Structures

As mental health begins to take precedence, employees have reevaluated work-life balance with a preference for work-from-home and flexible work schedules. Employees with work structures that extend beyond the standard 9-5 report a myriad of positive benefits: the safety of working from home during a pandemic, a vast reduction in commuting expenses, and increased time spent with family and friends. Over the course of the past two years, more employers and employees than ever before have seen first-hand that when you eliminate “time wasters” like long commutes, lunch breaks, and meetings in the boardroom, more focus is placed on the work itself – not only resulting in higher productivity, but overall job satisfaction.  

4. Broadening Employee Options

Expectations for employers as a whole are changing as the pandemic’s devastating effects, from physical to mental health, are realized. Employees, particularly highly compensated executives, desire security and income protection. Employers’ active participation in protecting employees and their families is becoming the new standard. Looking ahead, the preference towards companies selecting plans with more customizable options will increase as companies and employees steadily look toward plans that are specifically tailored to their needs. Employers must embrace the changed workplace landscape and employee desire for more agency, especially when it comes to benefits. 

5. Representation & Inclusivity

As social issues continue to maintain a steady spotlight in all facets of life, companies face more pressure to prioritize diversity, equality, and inclusion. This reality is reflected in 55% of employers who say creating an inclusive workforce is of major concern to their organization, according to MetLife. As we move into 2022, employers will need to evaluate current initiatives and give consideration to new ways to ensure their workforce feels supported on both a human and financial level. Ensuring that all employees of all compensation levels are offered benefits that provide equal levels of protection will be an integral part of a business’ recruitment and retention strategy going forward.  

Looking Ahead

The expectations and parameters within the realm of benefits has shifted. As customizability takes center stage, companies will move away from copy-and-paste plans toward those with a variety of plan design options to choose from. With physical and mental health at the top of employee checklists and a high demand to attract and retain top talent, employers will offer a more comprehensive range of benefits than ever before in order to fully protect their employees, such as High-limit Disability Insurance. This program can also help to ensure that all employees receive the right levels of protection and financial protection in the event of unforeseen circumstances. 

To gain more insight into benefits for 2022 and to learn how High-limit Disability Insurance can be integrated into your company’s benefits, email to schedule a call with one of TWG’s managing directors, Christopher Kristian & Gary Terry