The World Has Changed, So Have Employees’ Needs - Are your benefits keeping up?
The pandemic has changed the world and with it the way we work. Employees now place a greater importance on their well-being than ever before and employers that offer benefits packages that align with the lifestyle needs of the working population have a significant leg up on the competition.
Yes, it’s time to expand your benefits program and the competitive advantages employers get – increased employee retention, engagement, and satisfaction – is well worth the effort.
Workers going through the pandemic have it tough. More than half of American workers have expressed that the financial, physical, mental, or social health concerns they face lead to higher stress levels and lower productivity, while over 90% believe that they become more productive and engaged at work when they feel secure in their lives1. To provide the right support for a workforce’s well-being, employers need to pay closer attention to the benefits employees are asking for.
Benefits are so important to employees that a Prudential Insurance survey during the pandemic discovered that 52% of employees would leave their current job for another with the right benefits for them2. Expanding your benefits program and supporting it with the right tech is a solid strategy to overcome these hurdles and prevent talent loss. And the best part is that there’s already a proven no-cost method that employers can leverage right now to show workers that they’re valued.
Enter voluntary benefits – perks, services, and coverage offered by an employer but paid for by an employee – that give employees the ability to fill the gaps that traditional benefits can’t cover. While voluntary benefits have evolved beyond just supplemental health products, many HR and benefits teams still operate with outdated definitions.
Today, voluntary benefits have four definitive features:
- They must provide a value that’s not available elsewhere
- They extend beyond traditional health benefits
- They are completely employee-selected and either partially or fully paid for by the employee
- They can be purchased via payroll deduction
The demand for voluntary benefits reached a new high in 2021, with 76.3 % of employees surveyed in our annual Corestream Pulse Survey revealing that voluntary benefits positively affected their decision to work and stay with their employer. Services such as identity theft protection, hospital indemnity, pet insurance, critical illness, and group legal were recently identified as the top five fastest growing benefits3. But where do employers begin?
To make implementing voluntary benefits into your existing benefits program hassle-free, employers can partner with tech providers. Leading voluntary benefits SaaS companies help employers create a robust program that caters to their population’s needs, through various offers that range from supplemental insurance and lifestyle services to employee discounts on popular goods. These software providers also shoulder most of the administrative work that comes with expanding and offering voluntary benefits to employees, as well as setting up the necessary communications strategy to promote utilization.
1MetLife (2021) Redesigning the Employee Experience: Preparing the Workforce for a Transformed World. Retrieved February 11, 2022, from https://www.metlife.com/employee-benefit-trends/
2Moran, G. (2020, September 29) 6 Ways the Pandemic Is Changing the Benefits Employees Want. Retrieved February 11, 2022, from https://www.fastcompany.com/90556268/6-ways-the-pandemic-is-changing-the-benefits-employees-want
3Willis Towers Watson (2021, May 13). Pandemic Accelerates Employer Voluntary Benefit Offerings, Willis Towers Watson Survey Finds. Retrieved January 11, 2022, from https://www.wtwco.com/en-US/News/2021/05/pandemic-accelerates-employer-voluntary-benefit-offerings-wtw-survey-finds.
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