Today's benefits are quite different from those even a mere 10 years ago. With employees now expecting employers to consider their financial and physical needs, coupled with the tight labor market and a generationally-diverse workforce, it can be a challenge for employers to find the right benefit offerings. So, basically, it's a new benefit world today and you can't keep doing or offering the same thing.
So what's an employer to do? Employees have different needs and wants for benefits. Today's workforce includes Baby Boomers, Generation Xers and Millennials. They are married or single. Some have kids and some don't. One person could be caring for their aging parents, while another is paying for college. And this list could go on. The workforce is full of diversity – especially when it comes to lifestyles.
Because of this diversity in the workplace, employers can leverage the Power of Voluntary Benefits to give employees the financial flexibility they deserve – but at no cost to you. Access to voluntary benefits allows employees to choose the ones that they deem most important. Traditional voluntary benefits complement the gaps in their company-sponsored core benefits left by scaled-back benefits, higher deductibles and more consumer-driven health plans. Non-traditional voluntary benefits round-out a benefit portfolio that suits their individual needs by enhancing their lifestyle, protecting their well-being and improving their financial wellness. Both traditional and non-traditional voluntary benefits are now standard inclusions in employee benefits packages.
Because they can select what they want, employees consider voluntary benefits to be valuable offerings even though they are paying for them. Benefit managers are realizing that tailoring voluntary benefits to the diverse needs of their employees is paramount. And many employees have said they are more likely to stay with their current employer primarily due to the voluntary benefits package offered.
The 2018 Aflac Workforces Report shows that a strong majority of employees (85%) see a growing need for voluntary benefits. One of the main reasons for this is that most employees don't have money set aside for unexpected expenses, such as medical emergencies and home repairs. Employees also are showing a growing interest in non-traditional voluntary benefits – such as pet insurance, student loan assistance, legal insurance and employee purchase programs – which allow them to choose benefits that meet their specific needs.
According to the 2017 Aflac Workforces Report, voluntary insurance is more likely to be offered at growing companies than those that are maintaining or declining in terms of sales or revenue. In making the case for voluntary, Aflac reports that employers say they are adding more voluntary benefit options than in years past because of:
• Rising medical costs – 68%
• Rising medical insurance costs –64%
• Insurance deductibles and co-pays – 56%
• ACA changes – 47% and
• Reduced employer benefits/coverage – 29%.
What's the Power of Voluntary Benefits? A benefits package that includes a portfolio of voluntary benefits helps employers acquire and retain a talented, productive workforce while at the same time helping fulfill the diverse benefits needs of employees. By recognizing the value in voluntary benefits and adding to their voluntary offerings, employers not only can provide for their employees' well-being, but can retain a loyal, motivated workforce as well. And in the process, employees can have it their way.
Don't be afraid to harness this power by adding more voluntary benefits. It's a win-win for both employees and employers.
Unleash the Power of Voluntary Benefits!