As companies continue to struggle to attract and retain talent, new research from Alight Solutions (NYSE: ALIT), a leading cloud-based provider of integrated digital human capital and business solutions, shows that employers can do more to create wellbeing and benefits programs that foster a more inclusive culture.
According to Alight’s survey of more than 2,000 U.S. workers access to employer-provided benefits is a key area of opportunity – particularly to support employees of color and LGBTQ+ employees. According to Alight’s data, 34% of full-time workers do not have retirement or health benefits from their employer and 61% of part time workers lack these basic benefits. When viewed by demographic groups the picture is more concerning, nearly half (48%) of LQBTQ+; 47% of Hispanic; 42% of Asian American; and 40% of Black employees have neither health nor retirement benefits from their employers.
When it comes to accessibility, cost is the primary barrier for all employees. More than half (52%) of full-time employees say the healthcare benefits offered by their employer are unaffordable, and 47% say the same healthcare benefits are not worth the cost. Another barrier for employees is broad accessibility – employees having the time and resources to seek care. Four in ten respondents (40%) reported not receiving regular preventative care because of time constraints, 28% do not due to lack of reliable and affordable transportation, and another 28% say it is because they don’t have access to a physician they can trust / are comfortable using.
“In recent years, companies have increasingly made diversity, equity and inclusion a key priority,” said Alison Borland, executive vice president of wellbeing strategy and solutions at Alight. “Employers have a tremendous opportunity to move the needle on creating a culture of belonging by providing greater access to benefits, and wellbeing programs that speak to the needs of their employees.”
Actions for employers
To provide benefits programs that are accessible and address the unique needs of employees, Alight recommends employers:
Focus on a wellbeing-centric approach to benefits. A holistic approach to benefits that addresses employees’ individual needs across physical, mental, and financial wellbeing allows employers to meet employees where they’re at and provide benefits to meet the wide variety of needs of their workers and their families.
Leverage data and technology to deliver more engaging, relevant employee experiences. By accessing the wealth of employee data on hand, companies can drive more personalized benefit experiences that can boost wellbeing and rebuild employee trust.
Measure and monitor outcomes. Employee needs and priorities differ significantly by age, race, ethnicity, gender, and circumstance. Using integrated analytics to track how wellbeing program usage changes over time will help employers refine their offerings and engagement strategies for optimal results.
“Alight’s research also shows how the right benefits approach and employee experience can enable workers to access the flexible support they need and feel more recognized, and help employers find and keep the talent they need to run and grow their businesses and achieve their DE&I goals,” explained Ali Cusic, VP, DE&I Solutions & Client Advisory at Alight.
For more information, and to access the complete report, please visit alight.com.
About the report
Alight worked with Clarke and Blum Market Research, a full-service research consulting firm specializing in custom, publicly-consumable research. In September and October 2021, eight online focus groups were conducted with select groups of employees, including Hispanic, Black/African-American and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+). In November 2021, Alight surveyed 2,261 U.S. employees from employers with at least 5,000 employees, including both private and public organizations from a range of industries. Respondent data was weighted by employment status, management level, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and location of primary residence. For more detail on Alight’s methodology, please see the full report.