Between 2020 and 2022, the percentage of companies that offer fertility benefits increased from 30% to 40%, according to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP), a nonprofit educational and research organization. The fertility benefits offered by companies run the gamut from fertility testing to in vitro fertilization (IVF), with some companies offering more options than others.
These benefits are a draw for many employees: Some 45% of workers say that fertility benefits are an important factor for them when they’re looking for a new job, according to a 2022 survey conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of Fortune.
But a new paper in the Journal of Applied Psychology shows that employees don’t respond to every fertility benefit in the same way. Researchers found that company policies that cover egg freezing specifically can evoke negative reactions among prospective employees, in part because some people see the benefit as an encouragement to delay starting a family.
Despite those findings, “We don't want the takeaways to be that companies should not offer this benefit,” says Elinor Flynn, one of the study’s co-authors and a post-doctoral researcher and visiting lecturer at Wharton. The paper does, however, highlight that communication around fertility benefits can be tricky. You want to make such benefits visible and easily accessible to all of your employees without making it look like you’re nudging them toward one benefit over another.
Here’s how to design and effectively communicate an inclusive fertility benefits plan:
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