Every company is unique. So is every person who works in it. Each employee has different wants, needs and ambitions.
Given the wide diversity of people in the workplace, it only makes sense to offer a wide array of options for coverage. However, there’s a lot of confusion about what voluntary benefits are, and how much employees really value them.
What are voluntary benefits?
Let’s start with what voluntary benefits are. In the past decade, more companies have realized that, just as employees can pick and choose the apps on their smartphones, they also want to pick and choose what kinds of benefits they’d like to get from their employers.
Voluntary benefits meet that demand. These supplemental options can include dental and vision coverage, disability and cancer insurance, group purchasing plans — whatever the employees want.
The good news for employers is that these voluntary benefits can be offered at little to no cost to the company. Administrative services, such as online billing, cost very little, especially if the company’s existing insurance vendor offers the package.
Voluntary benefits lower turnover costs
The largest takeaway for employers that offer a package of voluntary benefits is employee satisfaction. Having a rich array of choices is one way to keep those valued employees from leaving for greener pastures.
The small costs associated with voluntary benefits are insignificant when weighed against the cost of losing a valued employee because someone down the street has a better benefits package.
Research by the Society for Human Resource Management suggests that the cost of replacing an employee can be as high as 60% of the employee’s salary. Total costs, including lost productivity and engagement among remaining staff, can send the cost of losing a good employee as high as 200% of salary.
In addition, SHRM’s 2017 benefits survey found that one-third of employers had increased their menu of benefits over the past year, and the reason why was clear: “Recruiting difficulty has continued to increase over the last five years, and competition for talent is high. To attract and retain top talent, organizations must leverage the benefits package they offer to their employees.”
Here are five reasons your employees may welcome a package of voluntary benefit offerings, according to Colonial Life’s Employer Resource Center:
1. Confidence: When plans are offered at work, employees are more comfortable, knowing that their employer has vetted the carrier.
2. Flexibility: The wide range of options available allows employees to choose those voluntary benefits that suit their personal circumstances and lifestyle, whether they’re age 20 or 75.
3. Bridging the gap: Voluntary benefits complement core offerings such as life insurance or disability insurance.
4. Affordability: As well as potentially being less expensive if purchased through an employer, voluntary employee benefits can usually be deducted via payroll.
5. Portability: Many voluntary benefits are also portable, so the employee can keep the coverage even if they leave the company, as long as they pay the premiums.
Savvy employers look for effective ways to keep their staff and recruit the best talent. When your people worry less about their own lives, they will focus more on the company’s needs and goals.
Offering a personalized package of voluntary benefits is a relatively easy and inexpensive way for companies to make life easier and less stressful for their valued employees.
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