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2024 SHRM Employee Benefits Survey: Health and Flexible Work Benefits Remain High, Menopause-Related Benefits Conversation is Growing


CHICAGOSHRM, the trusted authority on all things work, is excited to unveil the findings of the 2024 SHRM Employee Benefits Survey, one of the longest-running annual surveys examining employee benefits trends across the U.S. This comprehensive report shows healthcare benefits remain at the top of the list with 97% of employers providing some form of health plan coverage, and, for the first time, highlights the conversation around menopause-related benefits.

Key Findings:

Healthcare Benefits: The Cornerstone of Employee Satisfaction

  • Healthcare benefits remain paramount, with 88% of employers deeming them "very important" or "extremely important."
  • Traditional health plans, such as Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans, are the most prevalent, with 82% of employers offering this option.
  • Additionally, 63% of organizations provide high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) paired with health savings accounts (HSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), or flexible spending accounts (FSAs).

Flexible Work: A Continuing Priority

  • In a labor market that values adaptability, flexible working benefits are increasingly critical. 70% of employers recognize flexible work arrangements as "very important" or "extremely important."
  • The survey indicates a stable preference for hybrid work models, with 63% of employers offering such arrangements.
  • However, there is a notable decline in subsidies for at-home work equipment, now offered by only 56% of employers, down from 62% in 2022.

Menopause-Related Benefits: A Growing Dialogue

  • For the first time, the survey inquired about menopause benefits, finding 17% of employers provide related support, such as counseling and education.
  • However, menstrual leave remains an emerging concept, with only 2% of employers offering specific leave beyond existing sick leave policies.
  • This emerging discussion aligns with a bipartisan Senate Bill introduced in May 2024, advocating for increased federal research and physician training on menopause. With women aged 45-54 comprising 9.3% of the U.S. labor force, addressing these needs is becoming increasingly relevant.

"At SHRM, we recognize that employee benefits are crucial in attracting and retaining top talent, especially in today’s rapidly evolving workplace. The heightened emphasis on health care, flexible work options, and the emerging discourse on menopause-related benefits underscores the need for employers to meet the diverse needs of their workforce,” said Alex Alonso, PH.D, SHRM-SCP Chief Data & Insights Officer, SHRM. “By leveraging these insights, leaders can cultivate a more inclusive environment that values and supports every employee."

New this year, the survey included questions about paid-leave policies for organizations that grant time off based on service time. As an example, the report found employers offer on average 12 Paid Vacation Leave days, 10 Paid Sick Leave days, and 20 Paid Time Off (PTO) days, which includes both vacation and sick time, for a full-time employee’s one year of service.

The benefits survey also found professional development opportunities were deemed “very important” or “extremely important” by 65% of employers, with the rapid advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the need for upskilling and reskilling. Additionally, leave benefits such as paid parental leave steadied, maintaining previous gains with 40% of employers offering paid parental leave.

To stay competitive and compliant, employers should consider staying up to date on federal, state, and local regulations regarding benefits. The report also suggests they should also evaluate and potentially streamline leave policies to address employee needs and clearly communicate the value of retirement options, among other financial benefits.

The full Executive Summary can be downloaded from the SHRM Employee Benefits website. SHRM members can delve deeper into the data, including the full PTO Days Off table, as well as the interactive online benchmarking tool, which offers insight that be filtered by industry, organization, and location (region and state).

Methodology

The 2024 SHRM Employee Benefits Survey was conducted from Jan. 18 to March 5, 2024. Online surveys were sent to U.S.-based professional members of SHRM, which yielded eligible responses from 4,529 participants representing independent organizations. Respondents were asked to provide answers regarding what employee benefits their organizations offered during plan year 2024. A stratified sampling approach was used to ensure coverage of all locations (including states) in the online benchmarking tool. Respondents represent organizations of all sizes—from two employees to more than 25,000—in a wide variety of industries and sectors across the U.S. The data is unweighted.[DS1]

About SHRM

SHRM is a member-driven catalyst for creating better workplaces where people and businesses thrive together. As the trusted authority on all things work, SHRM is the foremost expert, researcher, advocate and thought leader on issues and innovations impacting today’s evolving workplaces. With nearly 340,000 members in 180 countries, SHRM touches the lives of more than 362 million workers and their families globally. Discover more at SHRM.org.

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