With 31% of the workforce currently expecting a child or planning to grow their family, comprehensive family benefits are more important than ever for companies to attract and retain top talent. 

In the United States alone, 39 million employees also have caregiving responsibilities, making family benefits essential for many employees and families. In a recent survey, 68% of respondents said they would consider switching jobs for better fertility benefits. Family benefits are no longer a nice-to-have offering for companies; they are necessary to not only attract and retain talent but reduce the industry’s pervasive racial and gender inequities.

The changing landscape of employee benefits in the healthcare industry

However it may seem, the quest for work-life balance is nothing new. In fact, 75% of boomers and Gen X also care more about their life outside of work, but millennials and Gen Z in the workforce are taking a different approach. Even more than previous generations, these younger generations care about flexibility and stability

Nearly 40% of millennial and Gen Z employees have turned down job offers from companies that don’t align with their values. While many companies have made progress in diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging (DEIB) and sustainability efforts, a 2023 study still found that less than half of the millennial and Gen Z workforce believe business is having a positive impact on society. 

According to Maven Clinic’s 2024 annual report, better benefits are essential to attract and retain a high-performing, engaged workforce, especially with younger generations. Gen Z is particularly focused on comprehensive family care—including fertility, maternity, and parenting resources—even if they haven’t started their family yet. Increasingly, companies that don’t offer comprehensive, equitable care risk losing employees to competitors that do: more than 60% of employees are more loyal to their employers if they provide family benefits. 

The importance supporting diversity and inclusion through benefits

By not offering comprehensive family benefits, hospitals and healthcare organizations risk worsening the gender pay gap in the field. Studies show the majority of women in healthcare have experienced gender-based discrimination, including pay inequity, unequal professional advancement, and gendered workload distribution. Even as they make up 76% of the healthcare workforce, women hold less than 25% of leadership positions. 

These numbers are even more dire for women of color. In the last 5 years, the average hospital turned over 100% of its workforce, and many of these departing employees are women of color. While they make up nearly 25% of entry-level healthcare workers, women of color hold only 4% of leadership roles in the industry. If attrition rates continue to trend upward as they have, this underrepresentation in leadership will only become more exaggerated; women of color in manager roles and above have a turnover rate of nearly 50%.

Since the burden of care disproportionately falls on women, they experience higher rates of burnout, with 75% of female healthcare employees reporting symptoms of burnout. In healthcare, 14% of women employees considered switching jobs to a less demanding role or moving from full to part-time employment. The turnover rate for working parents with young children is nearly 10%.

Companies with engaged and supported employees don’t only have better employee retention rates and more productive employees; the companies themselves are more profitable. Across industries, studies have shown over and over that diverse and inclusive workplaces are better for business, making these attrition rates even more costly.

To combat burnout and close the industry’s race and gender gaps, it is imperative to support working women and families by listening to what they need: Employees are asking for comprehensive women’s and family benefits and flexible work options. 

Maven’s State of Women’s and Family Health Benefits 2024

How fertility, maternal health, and Gen Z are transforming benefits decisions.

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Maven’s State of Women’s and Family Health Benefits 2024

Key components of a comprehensive women’s and family benefits program 

Unsure what family benefits actually encompass? Here are some of the key areas where hospitals and healthcare companies can support their employees, leading to higher employee engagement, productivity, and profitability. 

Fertility & family building support

Nearly three in four millennials said they would change jobs for better family and fertility benefits, and 61% reported greater loyalty to their company when provided with these benefits. As healthcare companies enact better benefit policies, it’s important that fertility benefits are holistic and focus on three important pillars: clinical health, emotional health, and financial health

Clinical health includes covering IVF and IUI procedures, giving employees access to a network of vetted fertility clinics, aiding future fertility through egg and sperm preservation, and providing inclusive and educational resources for employees at every step in their fertility journey. 

Emotional health also extends throughout the family-building journey. Mental health specialists can offer invaluable support to employees facing prolonged infertility, pregnancy loss, and reproductive anxiety. This emotional support is also critical for families going through the often arduous adoption and surrogacy processes. 

Since many fertility paths are expensive, the financial health component includes reimbursement for procedures not covered by insurance as well as financial coverage for adoption and surrogacy. 

Inclusive, end-to-end fertility benefits should also include preconception care and coaching for individuals and families trying to conceive. Additionally, depending on where employees live and work, finding a specialist that offers culturally-humble care can be challenging, especially if they are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Access to virtual specialists and coaches can help employees receive best-in-class care regardless of geographic location.

Maternity and return to work support

With a recent survey finding at least 69% of nurses say they put their patients’ health and safety before their own, healthcare companies have an obligation to better take care of their staff as they care for the rest of the population. Due to burnout, one in five female physicians and two in five nurses intended to leave their healthcare jobs.

Providing holistic support for employees at all stages of their parenthood journeys is the best way to mitigate this attrition. Connecting soon-to-be and new parents with OB-GYNs, doulas, lactation consultants, midwives, mental health counselors, and sleep coaches can help mitigate pre- and postpartum health challenges

Additionally, healthcare companies can provide return-to-work resources like personalized, on-demand coaching and childcare support to make parents’ transitions back into their jobs more seamless. This care should also begin before an employee takes parental leave, reinforcing job security when they return.  

Parenting & pediatrics support

Many new parents struggle to balance the many responsibilities of work and family and may be looking for additional support. Intentional 1:1 meetings with employees returning to work after parental leave can help get them up to speed with company developments and ensure they feel capable in their roles again. For additional support, healthcare companies can provide access to specialists who can help working parents achieve a healthier work-life balance

It’s also important for working parents to build community at work with other parents at their company and in the healthcare industry. An employee resource group (ERG) for working parents can provide resources, community, and support, as can virtual forums where they can connect with peers.

Paid parental leave policies

Flexible return-to-work options for new parents can ease the transition for employees and employers alike. To promote gender diversity and inclusion in the healthcare industry, companies can offer paid parental leave for new parents of any gender. These leave policies should also include time away for adoption and surrogacy. Many companies across industries now provide financial support for adoption and surrogacy as well. 

Childcare and dependent care support

Employees and employers alike are feeling the financial, mental, and emotional impact of the current childcare shortage, since nearly five million healthcare workers have children ages 14 or younger. The burden of childcare falls disproportionately on women and thus forces them out of full-time employment, costing the U.S. economy $650 billion annually.

Childcare now accounts for the single biggest line-item expense for the average American family, above housing, healthcare, and food expenses. To help, healthcare companies can offer subsidized or on-site childcare facilities. Since only 30% of working parents have backup childcare, employer support can make the difference between employees staying or leaving. Companies can also offer flexible spending accounts (FSAs) for dependent care expenses to help mitigate the high costs of childcare for working parents. 

Mental health benefits

At least one in five new mothers experience postpartum depression and anxiety. By providing access to mental health practitioners who specialize in working with new parents, companies can help working parents navigate these big life changes and feel less alone.

Flexible work arrangements

While remote work and flexibility is important for many new parents, flexible work arrangements are even more imperative to attract and retain millennial and Gen Z talent. For many healthcare jobs, fully remote work is not feasible, but companies can still offer alternative schedules and more part-time opportunities to make work more accessible for new parents.

Implementing and promoting your family benefits program

Building a strong communication plan

With nearly half of employees reporting that they don’t fully understand their benefits, a strong communication plan is key. To communicate effectively about available benefits, healthcare companies should use their various channels—including intranet, email, Slack, social media, office hours, and live Q&A sessions—and also highlight success stories with employee testimonials. Since good benefits are increasingly important to Gen Z and millennial job applicants, be sure to communicate clearly to prospective candidates too.

Fostering a supportive company culture

Almost half of all healthcare employees report feeling burnt out, and burnout rates are even higher among working parents. To mitigate these issues, encourage leadership buy-in and model healthy work-life balance from the top down. Creating ERGs can help employees find community and share strategies with each other, and ensuring managers have training and resources allows them to spot signs of burnout on their teams and prevent it.

Measuring success and continuous improvement

Once healthcare companies implement a comprehensive family benefits program, it’s important to evaluate its effectiveness to ensure employees are using the benefits and satisfied with them. Evaluation methods include annual or semi-annual employee surveys, focus groups to gather employee feedback, analyzing usage data, and tracking health outcomes among employees. Benchmark against industry best practices and learn from the healthcare companies known for their comprehensive benefits and subsequently higher employee retention rates.

How Maven can help healthcare companies implement effective family benefits

Family benefits are not just good for employees; they are also good for business. Beyond attracting diverse candidates, comprehensive family benefits help to foster a sense of inclusion, belonging, and care. Studies show that diverse and inclusive workplaces see higher revenue growth, more innovation, and better employee retention.

While creating a comprehensive family benefits program can be daunting, Maven can be a valuable partner for healthcare companies and their employees' family needs. As the leading women's and family healthcare company, Maven provides a suite of benefits to support with fertility and family building support, maternity, parenting, and menopause.

To find out more about offering benefits with Maven, request a demo today.

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