This past Christmas Eve I spent some time watching “A Christmas Story” with my family — you know, the movie they play for 24 hours straight. In one of the more iconic scenes in all of cinema, the preteen boy, Ralphie, walks downstairs to show-off his “gift” from Aunt Clara — a pink bunny outfit. In the words of his father, “He looks like a deranged Easter Bunny!”

A tween boy sad about wearing a pink bunny suit

*Photo Credit:

Where am I going with this as it relates to employee benefits? Well, I want you to know two important stats as we think about how HR teams and benefits professionals can try not to be an Aunt Clara (giving the wrong gift), even with the best intentions.

According to SHRM, roughly 60 percent of employees are dissatisfied with their employee benefits. Now, I’m not naive enough to think that this is all the employer’s fault. Look at Yelp reviews, and you’ll see some people just like to complain. But 60 percent is a big number, especially when you consider the next stat.

Our organization ballparks that companies spend an additional 30 percent of an employee’s salary in offering benefits. This obviously varies by company, but this is another big number. Think about what a 30 percent salary increase would do for some of your employees.

It’s not a secret, but to put it simply — many employers are providing really expensive pink bunny outfits to their employees as employee benefits. The benefits could be too expensive medical coverage, inadequate prescription formularies, plans that don’t include their doctor, etc. What’s worse, the costs of these pink bunny outfits increase every year (double-digit increases are starting to be the norm). Oddly enough, some employees like these pink bunny outfits.

Therein lies the problem. How do we know which employees want the pink bunny outfit and which would just prefer cash?

How to Do You Meet Every Employee’s Benefit Need?

Here are two ways (among many others) that Holmes Murphy and ACAP HealthWorks help employers not be “Aunt Claras.”

First, our ethOs team consults with HR teams on company culture and how to improve the satisfaction of existing benefits a company provides. Simply said, ethOs helps companies find the perfect gifts employees actually want.

Second, we have partnered with Take Command Health — a group that empowers companies to provide tax-advantaged cash to their employees, so they can purchase the insurance plan that works best for their individual situation.

These are certainly not the only options, and the good news is that Holmes Murphy and ACAP customers “beat the trend” when it comes to those two statistics above. So, if you’re ready to stop the pink bunny outfit madness, give us a call or reach out to us. We’re happy to help!