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The Future of Employee Benefits: Key Trends Shaping 2024 and Beyond

As we journey into the last half of 2024, the world of HR benefits is evolving faster than ever, driven by new trends and innovative solutions. Drawing on insights from industry leaders like Sequoia and their 2024 Benefits Trends and Benchmarking Report, the team at Upwards is here to help guide you through the latest in HR benefits.

From the growing importance of family and childcare benefits to the strategic focus on employee wellbeing, these trends are redefining what it means to create a supportive and thriving workplace. Join us as we explore these trends and discover how Upwards can partner with your company to ensure you stay ahead of the curve in attracting, retaining, and nurturing top talent.


Benefits Trends: It’s About Holistic Employee Support

Several critical trends are shaping employee benefits in 2024:

1. Core Benefits: Companies continue to prioritize essential benefits such as medical, dental, vision, disability, and life insurance. These core benefits are fundamental to attracting and retaining talent. According to Sequoia’s 2024 Benefits Benchmarking Report, 93% of companies offer these core benefits, indicating their crucial role in competitive benefits packages.

2. Cost Containment Strategies: With healthcare costs on the rise, many companies are looking at strategies to manage expenses. This includes increasing employee contributions, reducing the number of available plans, and eliminating low-utilization programs. Sequoia’s data reveals that 71% of companies plan to implement cost containment strategies in the next 24 months, reflecting a proactive approach to managing costs while maintaining employee satisfaction.

3. Well-Being Programs: There is a noticeable increase in investment towards holistic well-being programs. Companies are focusing on physical, family, and emotional well-being, aligning their offerings with what employees value most. Despite some benefits like financial planning services and meditation apps seeing a decline, Sequoia’s insights highlight a growing investment in family support and emotional well-being programs.

4. Parental Leave & Family Support Policies: Family support policies are becoming more generous, with a significant number of companies offering leave to both parents and providing fully paid leave for extended periods. Organizations are increasingly investing in these areas, with an 11%+ rise since 2022. This trend underscores the growing importance of supporting working parents and caregivers. Plus, Sequoia reports that 94% of companies now offer parental leave to both parents, with 80% providing fully paid leave for up to 12 weeks, emphasizing the importance of supporting employees’ family needs.

The Importance of Family and Childcare Benefits

One of the standout trends is the increasing focus on family wellbeing, parental leave, and childcare benefits. In short, it comes down to supporting your employees in every stage of their family journey, and the results of these benefits speak for themselves:

1. Talent Attraction and Retention: Offering robust childcare benefits gives companies a competitive edge. As parental leave and family support policies become standard, companies that fail to provide these benefits may struggle to attract and retain top talent. Employees are more likely to stay with an employer who supports their family needs, reducing turnover and saving on recruitment and training costs.


30% of employees decide within the first 90 days whether they will stay or leave a job, often influenced by perceived support and wellbeing initiatives.


2. Enhanced Productivity and Mental Health: Reliable childcare support allows employees to focus on their work without the distraction and stress of arranging care for their children. This leads to happier, more engaged, and more productive employees.


Day-to-day breakdowns in childcare arrangements often result in reduced work hours for parents, with as many as 44% reporting such disruptions, according to ReadyNation.


3. Support for DE&I Initiatives: Childcare benefits play a significant role in creating an inclusive work environment, supporting working parents, particularly women and minority groups. This helps reduce attrition and ensures that all employees have the support they need to thrive at work.


The closure of childcare centers during the pandemic triggered the first women’s recession. At its peak, 3.5 million working mothers left their jobs. Even as employment recovered, mothers, especially Black women and Latinas in less flexible roles, continued to experience higher job attrition rates due to slow childcare sector recovery.

Stay Ahead of the Curve with Upwards

At Upwards, we specialize in providing comprehensive childcare benefits that align with the latest market trends. Here’s how we can help:

1. Simplifying the Solution: Upwards handles all aspects of childcare benefits for your employees, from reimbursements to stipends and white-glove service to support adoption across your workforce. Our easy-to-use platform and comprehensive services help your employees find and afford care for their loved ones. This significantly reduces the administrative burden for HR teams, giving them time back to focus on other strategic initiatives.

2. Tailoring Benefits to Employee Needs: We use data and employee feedback to customize benefits programs, ensuring they meet the specific needs of your workforce. This data-driven approach helps in making informed decisions and enhances employee satisfaction.

3. Reducing Burden for Employees and for the Business: By taking full charge of the implementation process, Upwards makes it easier for companies to roll out new benefits programs. We educate employees, run outreach campaigns, and provide ongoing support, making the adoption process smoother and more effective.

Staying ahead of evolving HR benefits trends is imperative for securing and retaining top talent. At Upwards, we are dedicated to equipping your organization with cutting-edge childcare benefits that address these shifting demands head-on and allow you to cultivate a workplace environment that fosters support, productivity, and inclusivity.


Ready to take your employee benefits to the next level? Connect with our team.

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