In 2017, it’s not uncommon to hear about nontraditional (and pretty cool) benefits like commuter benefits, paid family leave (see our latest blog post) and unlimited paid time off. To recruit and retain the best talent, companies stay competitive by offering innovative benefits packages. And the next big benefit to arrive could be fertility support.
One in eight U.S. couples struggle with infertility, making it an important subject for employers to recognize and address. Some companies are offering fertility benefits to not only attract the best and brightest employees, but to also potentially lower healthcare costs for employees who take advantage of fertility benefits. However, lack of employer support during infertility is an ongoing issue.
According to a 2017 workplace infertility report, nearly half of survey respondents who struggle with infertility don’t feel supported by their employers during their fertility journey.
The survey also found an important correlation—those participants who didn’t open up about their fertility struggles in their workplace also reported a poor employee experience.
What it means for employers
Why should employers care about supporting employees with fertility? The report shows that employees who don’t feel strong employer support may do the following:
- Leave. Nearly 30 percent have quit a job in the past due to lack of support at work during their infertility journey.
- Look beyond. About 27 percent are looking for or are open to a new job.
- Stay unhappy. About 32 percent will stay and take advantage of infertility insurance benefits.
But when companies do choose to offer fertility benefits, employees respond positively. Employees from Rackspace and Zynga recounted their personal experiences using company fertility benefits and how it positively shaped their work experience while struggling with infertility.
Adding fertility benefits, or at least communicating the ones you already have in meaningful ways, can impact retention, employee engagement and company loyalty.
How we communicate fertility
So, what does this mean for you? If you do offer fertility benefits to your employees, you may be wondering the best way to communicate them. As you can imagine, infertility can be a touchy subject for employees who may be struggling to start their families. Keep these tips in mind when communicating fertility benefits.
- Make it human. Employee testimonials help employees relate on a personal and emotional level.
- Be empathetic. Tones of empathy have a stronger impact than merely sympathizing with employees experiencing infertility. Carefully craft your communication language to show employees you support them in their family planning journey.
- Commit to total wellness. If total wellness (mind, body and wallet) is part of your EVP, fertility can fit into that communication style. Aside from the apparent physical complications of infertility, couples who experience infertility often experience elevated stress levels and financial concern, meaning you may need offer some guidance on mental health and financial support benefits.
- Stay goal-oriented. Remember what you’re trying to accomplish. Do you want to inform employees about fertility benefits you’re about to roll out? Or do you want more employees to take advantage of the fertility benefits you already offer? Your goals (and objectives) drive the messaging and how those messages are delivered.
With a well-informed communication strategy (and our awesome team to help make it happen), you can help your employees feel supported and valued through your company’s fertility benefits communication.