The Ultimate Guide To Employee Benefits In 2023

In today’s competitive job market, employee benefits have become a critical factor in attracting and retaining top talent. You may already provide the basics in terms of pay and hours, but there’s so much more that goes into making sure you’re providing comprehensive employee benefits for your staff– which is why we’ve put together this Ultimate Guide To Employee Benefits In 2023. 


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In this blog post, we will explore the most popular employee benefits that companies are leveraging to create an exceptional work environment and gain a competitive edge in 2023.

We’ll provide insight on everything from health insurance to PTO to retirement savings plans, giving you an inside look at all the options available so that you can create a benefits package tailored to meet the exact needs of your organization!

Health Insurance 

According to SHRM’s 2022 Employee Benefits Survey, health-related benefits, specifically health insurance, remain the top benefit category. These programs encompass a wide range of initiatives, such as health insurance, gym memberships, mental health support, and preventive care services. Companies that prioritize employee well-being often experience reduced absenteeism, improved morale, and increased employee engagement.


Mercer’s 2022 Inside Employees’ Minds study showed 68% of employees have reported challenges in getting proper healthcare. As an employer, offering affordable, comprehensive coverage can go a long way and your staff will thank you with loyalty. If you need help getting started or have questions regarding group health insurance for your small business give us a call at (877) 658-2374 or enter your zip code in the bar below.

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While telemedicine was already growing in popularity, the COVID-19 pandemic made it even more important to employees. Luckily, employers are listening. Of those surveyed by SHRM, telemedicine went from being offered by 73% of companies in 2019 to a whopping 93% in 2022. This convenient method of healthcare is likely not going away anytime soon either. 


Telemedicine leads to cost savings for both employees and employers. Employees can avoid expenses associated with transportation, parking fees, and time off work for medical appointments. For employers, offering telemedicine benefits can help reduce healthcare costs by providing an alternative to expensive emergency room visits for non-emergency conditions. 


In summary, telemedicine as an employee benefit offers convenience, accessibility, cost savings, and timely healthcare services. It promotes work-life balance, expands access to specialists and mental health services, supports preventive care, and plays a critical role during public health emergencies.

Mental Health

In recent years, businesses have recognized the importance of mental health and its impact on employee well-being, productivity, and retention. To provide mental health as an employee benefit, companies have implemented various strategies and initiatives. 


  1. Many insurance companies now offer comprehensive plans that include coverage for mental health services such as therapy, counseling, and psychiatric consultations. This ensures that employees have access to professional mental health support when needed.
  2. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are confidential counseling services provided by employers. They typically offer short-term counseling sessions to address personal or work-related issues. EAPs may cover a wide range of topics, including stress management, substance abuse, financial concerns, and relationship problems.
  3. Some companies recognize the need for employees to take time off for their mental well-being. They provide additional paid leave specifically designated as “mental health days” to allow employees to recharge and address their mental health needs. Flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options or flexible schedules, can also contribute to better work-life balance and reduce stress.

Providing mental health benefits can contribute to improved employee retention because when companies prioritize mental health, employees feel supported and valued. Mental health support can help reduce absenteeism (employees taking time off due to mental health issues) and presenteeism (employees being physically present but unable to perform effectively due to mental health concerns). By addressing these issues, businesses are improving productivity and overall employee performance.

Wellness Programs

Business wellness programs vary in scope and implementation, depending on the organization’s size, resources, and goals. These programs are designed to improve employees’ physical, mental, and emotional health, leading to increased productivity, reduced healthcare costs, and a more positive work environment. Business wellness programs can encompass a wide range of activities and initiatives, including: 


  1. Health Education: Companies provide resources and educational materials on various health topics, such as nutrition, exercise, stress management, and disease prevention. This may include workshops, seminars, newsletters, or online resources to educate employees about healthy lifestyle choices.
  2. Physical Fitness Programs: Many workplace wellness programs encourage physical activity by offering fitness classes, gym memberships, or on-site exercise facilities. Some also choose to organize team sports, walking challenges, or fitness competitions to motivate employees to be more active.
  3. Health Screenings and Assessments: Wellness programs often include health screenings and assessments to identify potential health risks or issues. These screenings can include blood pressure checks, cholesterol tests, body mass index (BMI) measurements, or screenings for conditions like diabetes or cancer. The results help employees understand their health status and make informed decisions about their well-being.
  4. Tobacco Programs: Many wellness programs also offer support and resources for employees who want to quit smoking or using tobacco products. These programs usually  contain a combination of counseling and nicotine replacement therapies.
  5. Financial Wellness Programs: Financial stress can significantly impact employees’ well-being. According to Mercer’s 2022 Inside Employees’ Minds study, covering monthly expenses and personal debt are top concerns for American employees. Therefore, some wellness programs offer resources and guidance on financial planning, debt management, and retirement savings. This helps employees better manage their finances and reduce stress related to money matters.

A large pie graph is labeled "34% of businesses offer incentives to participate in wellness programs"


The Kaiser Foundation’s 2022 Employer Health Benefits Survey shows 34% of businesses even offer an incentive to participate in their wellness programs. These incentives can range from gift cards and prizes to discounted insurance premiums or additional time off. The primary aim is to create a culture that prioritizes employee well-being and supports them in leading healthier lives.

Flexible Work Arrangements

With the rise of remote work and the desire for work-life balance, flexible work arrangements have become increasingly popular. Offering options such as flexible hours, remote work opportunities, and compressed workweeks can enhance employee satisfaction and productivity. By accommodating individual needs, companies can foster a happier and more engaged workforce.

Remote Work

The COVID-19 pandemic forced companies to adapt to new ways of working, with remote work becoming a key strategy to maintain productivity. Employers who embraced this model often saw increased success and productivity. 

According to a summer 2020 study conducted by Stanford University, remote workers were found to be 5% more productive than their in-office counterparts. This productivity gap has only widened over time, with remote workers becoming 9% more productive by the spring of 2022. As companies have adapted to new technologies and learned how to effectively manage remote teams, the benefits of remote work have become increasingly clear.

Remote work is also a wishlist item for many employees. In fact, McKinsey reports that 21% of employees consider remote work as a motivator for finding a new job. By offering this benefit you can boost employee retention, expand your talent pool and save on overhead costs.

Competitive Compensation Packages

While salary remains a significant factor in attracting and retaining talent, companies are now focusing on comprehensive compensation packages. These packages often include bonuses, profit-sharing, equity options, and performance-based incentives. Providing competitive compensation demonstrates a company’s commitment to recognizing and rewarding employees’ contributions.


Professional Development and Training

Investing in employees’ professional growth not only benefits them individually but also strengthens the organization as a whole. Companies that offer opportunities for training, skill development, and career advancement are highly attractive to job seekers. From in-house workshops to tuition reimbursement programs, organizations that prioritize continuous learning create a culture of innovation and growth.


Paid Time Off and Vacation Policies

Employees need time to rest, recharge, and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Offering generous paid time off (PTO) and vacation policies is crucial for fostering employee well-being and preventing burnout. In addition to traditional vacation time, many companies now provide additional leave for personal matters to support employees in various stages of their lives.


PTO allows employees to take time off work and still receive compensation. Businesses usually offer flexible policies with different operational methods, but the most prevalent is the “accruing hours” model, where employees build up hours within a PTO bank. The longer an employee serves at your business, the more hours they accumulate. This bank of hours lets an employee withdraw the time when they need PTO. Companies will also often have policies that let employees roll over unused PTO hours to the following year.


Vacation is a form of time off often used to take a break from work. It differs from PTO, which can also be used for vacation, because it is typically treated as a separate concept by some companies. Other non-vacation forms of time off include sick leave, mental health days, and jury duty. An employee’s years of service and level within an organization typically determine how much vacation time they accrue. It’s also usually accounted for separately from other types of time off, like sick leave.

Unlimited PTO, or unlimited paid time off, is a policy that grants employees the freedom to take time off from work without a specific limit or accrual system. Under this policy, employees have the flexibility to take as much time off as needed for personal, vacation, or medical reasons, within reasonable boundaries and subject to approval by their managers. Unlimited PTO has gained in popularity in recent years because employees value having time off from work. A Qualtrics study conducted in 2022 found 51% of employees said they would most likely stay at a company longer if they got more vacation time. Another company, Timetastic, found, “62% of employees with unlimited PTO reported having a good balance with work and personal life.”


Retirement Plans and Financial Benefits

As employees focus on long-term financial stability, retirement plans and financial benefits have gained immense popularity. Companies that offer these benefits empower their employees to plan for their future. These benefits have several advantages for employers and employees.


  1. Employee Financial Security: Retirement plans, such as 401(k) accounts, pension plans, or individual retirement accounts (IRAs), provide employees with a means to save for their future financial security. These plans allow employees to contribute a portion of their income, which can grow over time through investments. By offering retirement plans, employers help their employees build a nest egg for retirement, reducing financial stress and promoting long-term financial stability.
  2. Tax Advantages for Employees and Employers: Retirement plans often come with tax advantages for both employees and employers. Contributions made by employees to retirement plans are typically made on a pre-tax basis, reducing their taxable income. 

The Secure Act allows for up to $16,500 in tax credits for small business 401(k) plans. If your business is starting its first plan and has fewer than 100 employees, you could receive a minimum of $500 in tax credits for each of the first three years, with a maximum of $5,000 per year. These credits can be applied to up to 50% of your qualified business 401(k) costs, such as plan setup and administration.


  1. Potential Cost Savings for Employers: While retirement plans require employer contributions, offering such benefits can result in cost savings in other areas. A well-designed retirement plan can incentivize employees to stay with the company longer. This reduces recruitment and training costs associated with high turnover rates. Additionally, employers may be eligible for certain tax incentives or credits related to retirement plan contributions.

By investing in employees’ long-term financial well-being, businesses demonstrate their commitment to their workforce’s overall success. This creates a win-win situation for both employees and employers.

Childcare Services

Affordable child care has been a significant challenge for numerous parents, even before the pandemic. However, the crisis has exacerbated the situation, placing more pressure on families.  According to a study conducted by the Council for Strong America, over 60% of parents have left work early due to child care issues. Additionally, 56% of parents have been late to work, while 55% have missed an entire day. 


Offering childcare services requires careful planning, investment, and compliance with relevant regulations. By providing childcare services, employers can help make it easier for parents to balance their work and family responsibilities. This, in turn, increases employee loyalty and reduces turnover rates. Employees are more likely to stay with a company that supports their needs and understands the challenges they face as working parents. 

Employee Recognition and Rewards


Recognizing and appreciating your employees’ contributions is crucial for maintaining a motivated and engaged workforce. Businesses are implementing various recognition programs including employee of the month awards, peer-to-peer recognition platforms, and performance-based bonuses. Naturally, these initiatives boost employee morale, but they also reinforce a culture of appreciation and teamwork.


In today’s competitive job market, companies must go the extra mile to attract and retain top talent. By offering a comprehensive range of popular employee benefits, you can create the best work environment. 


Remember, providing the right employee benefits is not a one-size-fits-all approach. You should conduct thorough research, assess your employees’ needs, and tailor a benefits package accordingly. If you need help finding a plan or talking through options, call one of our licensed agents at (877) 658-2374 or enter your zip code in the bar below. 

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By prioritizing popular benefits, you too can attract and retain top talent while nurturing a thriving and engaged workforce.

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Sydney Berry

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