Nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of American employers offered telemedicine services to their employees in 2017, a rise from just 49 per cent in 2016, according to a new survey by WorldatWork.

Alison Avalos, director of research and certification at the U.S.-based human resources association, noted the dramatic increase is likely due to employers’ efforts to manage increasing health-care costs and offer a broader array of services to employees.

The survey also found an increase in employers offering employee assistance programs, rising to 96 per cent in 2017 from 80 per cent the year before. The majority (94 per cent) of organizations surveyed also reported offering performance-based pay increase to their employees. 

Read: A look at video health-care visits as an option for plan sponsors

“There is no slowdown in the use of performance-based increases,” said Avalos. “Organizations continue to tie rewards to individual contribution and organizational metrics. Employers just aren’t willing to pay out limited bonus and merit dollars when it’s based on something other than performance that leads to business success.”

In addition, the way employers measure performance is changing, according to the survey. Ninety-one per cent of respondents still rely on formal performance appraisals or reviews, down slightly from 94 per cent in 2016. And 80 per cent of respondents used formal performance ratings in 2017, a drop from 85 per cent in 2016.

“This move away from some of the more traditional elements of performance management is consistent with the expectations we had going into the survey,” said Avalos. “There’s been a lot of buzz about organizations moving to non-traditional programs, and while they aren’t abandoning traditional performance management systems entirely, there is evidence that they are looking at emerging practices and implementing individual components of cutting-edge programs.

“What we’re seeing this year is that continued shift toward potentially more effective ways of driving and assessing performance.”

Read: Traditional performance reviews get a makeover

Copyright © 2019 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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