Boost Your Benefits without Breaking Your Budget
Benefits are crucial to attracting and retaining talent, especially in today’s competitive job market. A recent study by Employee Benefits Adviser reported that among workers who are considering changing jobs, 71% are hoping to find something that offers better benefits. Additional research has shown that many employees would be willing to move to a job with slightly lower pay in exchange for a more robust benefits package.
While most employers are aware of the importance of benefits, it can be difficult to fund a competitive benefits package, especially for smaller businesses. A 2019 study from Bay Alarm Medical found that just under 30% of employee compensation goes towards benefits, with health insurance claiming the largest share. The same study found that total benefits costs have increased more than 350% over the past 14 years. Costs will likely continue to rise, but a business needs good benefits in order to thrive. What are employers to do?
Thankfully, there is a simple way to expand your organization’s benefits offerings without breaking the bank: voluntary benefits.
- A Brief Overview of Voluntary Benefits
Voluntary benefits are benefits which an employee can opt to purchase through his or her employer. Offering voluntary benefits costs employers little to nothing, and while employees do need to pay for these benefits, they will still get a group rate which provides great value. In addition to common voluntary benefits such as dental, vision, disability, and group life insurance, there are also lesser-known options such as hospital indemnity insurance – something which we have covered in greater detail in its own article. Voluntary benefits are a great way to flesh out your organization’s benefits package and keep your team physically and financially healthy at very little cost to you.
- Be Sure to Tell Your Employees!
When offering any kind of benefit, it is important to make sure that your employees understand what is being offered and the value that these benefits hold. Research has shown that many employees do not fully understand their employers’ benefits program, especially when it comes to voluntary benefits. Part of the problem is that while there are a wide range of voluntary benefits out there, employees are often only familiar with the most common versions, such as dental and vision, despite the fact that voluntary benefits can have much broader applications and can be invaluable for things like hospitalization and critical illness. This lack of understanding can undermine even the most robust of benefits programs, as employees are unlikely to appreciate or enroll in programs that they know little about.
The solution is simple, effective communication. This means more than just handing out pamphlets during open enrollment. Employers should keep the conversation going all year and make sure that the information is conveyed in a clear, concise manner that is easily to understand. And don’t just tell your current employees about these benefits, either – make sure to include at least a mention of what you have to offer when interviewing potential team members, as it could play a big role in their decision to sign on. More tips and info on how to spread the word to your employees can be found in our article on Employee Benefits & Communication.
Having a wide range of valuable benefits is essential for employers of all sizes, but it can also be immensely expensive. If you’re looking to craft a more competitive benefits package without spending a fortune, voluntary benefits could be just the solution you’ve been looking for. Look into the myriad types of voluntary benefits available, consider what would work best for your team’s unique needs, and make sure to educate your employees about what you have to offer.