Uncover the hidden gems of voluntary benefits and how they can enhance your employee compensation package.

Key Takeaways:

  • Voluntary Benefits are additional perks or services that employers offer to their employees.
  • 68% of employees agreed that voluntary benefits are an essential part of a benefits packages.
  • Most Popular Voluntary Benefits include fertility benefits, parental leave policies, pet insurance, and more. 

 

Understanding Voluntary Benefits

Voluntary benefits are additional perks or services that employers offer to their employees, beyond the standard insurance coverage and traditional fringe benefits. These benefits are optional and employees can choose to participate in them based on their individual needs and preferences.

They are designed to fill the gaps in typical insurance coverage and address specific needs that may arise in an employee's life. By offering voluntary benefits, employers aim to enhance the overall compensation package and provide a more comprehensive support system for their workforce. This is more important than ever, as workplace studies find that the majority of employees are dissatisfied with their benefits package in 2024

Experts agree that voluntary benefits play a key role - in Buck's 2022 Wellbeing and Voluntary Benefits Survey, 68% of employees agreed that voluntary benefits are an essential part of a benefits package, and 72% of employers plan to expand offerings (1). 

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The Most Popular Voluntary Benefits

There are several voluntary benefits that have gained popularity among employees. Some of the most common ones include fertility benefits, parental leave policies, pet insurance, auto & home insurance, employee purchase programs, and Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). EAPs are programs that offer access to various support services, such as legal assistance and financial planning, helping employees address personal challenges and improve their overall well-being.

Read more about which benefits are rising in popularity in "Key Voluntary Benefits to Improve Employee Retention."

Tailoring Voluntary Benefits to Your Workforce

To maximize the impact of voluntary benefits, it's important to tailor them to the specific needs and preferences of your workforce. Here are some tips to consider:

Conduct employee surveys or focus groups to understand the most desired benefits among your employees. Don't forget to take into account the demographics and life stages of your workforce, as 79% of employees want benefits tailored to life stages (3). For example, if you have a younger workforce, benefits like student loan assistance or fitness programs may be more appealing, whereas a median-age workforce may benefit from parental support programs.

Depending on the unique needs of your staff, offer a variety of benefits to cater to different expectations. Not all employees will have the same priorities, so providing a range of options allows them to choose what suits them best. Lastly, regularly review and update your voluntary benefits offerings to ensure they remain relevant and valuable to your employees.

Communicating the Value of Voluntary Benefits

To encourage employee participation in voluntary benefits, it's crucial to effectively communicate the value they provide. Currently, at least 45% of employees wish they had a better understanding of their benefits (1). To bridge this gap, it is important to clearly explain the purpose and advantages of each benefit, highlighting how it can address specific needs or enhance overall well-being. Use multiple communication channels, including email, intranet, and employee meetings, as a part of regular employee communication to reach a wider audience and ensure that everyone is aware of the available benefits. Most voluntary benefits providers like BenefitHub provide a wide range of educational materials and seasonal reminders about key services. 

Further, provide real-life examples or testimonials from employees who have benefited from the voluntary benefits, showcasing their positive experiences. Offer personalized guidance and support to help employees understand which benefits are most relevant to them and how to enroll or utilize them. The more clear and consistent you can be with messaging, the higher the utilization of these services, and the more benefits for both employee and employer. 

Lastly, integrate benefits within a unified employee experience and consider ways to personalize benefits. Combining benefits and other offerings holistically can enrich the overall employee experience in ways that align to employee preferences. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of employees say benefits integration – linking multiple offerings within a streamlined and cohesive experience – is important to them, and 78% say benefits personalization is important (3). A platform such as BenefitHub is one way to create a unified and personalized benefits experience. 

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Measuring the Impact of Voluntary Benefits

Of course, you can assess the efficacy and impact of your voluntary benefits program through regular tracking and feedback. Providing additional employee offerings and benefits should increase the employee participation rate, overall employee satisfaction and wellness, and retention. Regular employee surveys can help measure these, and identify areas for improvement. Beyond employee happiness, adding voluntary benefits to your compensation package can lead to cost savings for both employees and the company, such as through reduced healthcare expenses or improved productivity.

As competition for talent increases, comprehensive benefit packages are more and more important for recruitment and retention. In 2022, employees were 25% more likely than they were in 2012 to say that benefits are an important reason that they came to their current employer, and 73% say that a wider array of benefits would make them continue working at their employer for longer (4).

How BenefitHub Can Help

If you don't already offer voluntary benefits, or if you want to make the most of your existing BenefitHub platform, contact us to learn more about getting the most value out of our turnkey solution in order to offer your team exclusive perks, discounts, as well as great savings on essentials like auto, home, pet insurance, and more. 

With a wide range of communication tools and customization options, BenefitHub allows employers to create the perfect mix of voluntary benefits offerings based on their unique workforce demographics and needs. With built-in communication tools, seamlessly engage employees through your preferred channels. Learn more about BenefitHub, or contact us today

Sources:

(1): Buck 2022 Wellbeing and Voluntary Benefits Survey Report

(2): Voluntary Advantage: "Key Voluntary Benefits to Bolster Retention Efforts

(3): Metlife's 22nd Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study 2024

(4): Metlife's 20th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study 2022

 

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