How important are benefits to employees?

Voluntary Benefits Team

Employers often wonder how important benefits are to their employees—how much do they value their health insurance? It’s a critical question that helps to shape how employers plan and budget.

A study from the American Psychological Association (APA) makes it clear that benefits are very important to employees. Sixty percent of the respondents in the survey cited their employee benefits package as the primary reason they stay with their current employer.

Which leads to the question, what do employees really want from their healthcare benefits? And the answer is, two things: choice and affordability.

Of course, the nuances of your particular workforce make finding a balance between the typically competing ideas of choice and affordability more complex than just choosing one or the other. It’s important to find the right balance, not just for the employees but also for the organization. Through our BenefitsVIP® employee advocacy center, we gather intelligence on how plan participants use their benefits and the challenges they encounter. This data quickly points to any disconnects between the employer’s intentions and their employees’ needs. Bridging that gap will create happier employees and healthier organizations.

How can you bridge the gap? An annual employee survey is a good way to show your workforce that their benefit needs and financial welfare matter. Employee surveys often reveal a desire for additional benefit protection, which can be achieved with a Voluntary benefits program. Voluntary benefits fill the coverage gap and help meet employee needs at various life stages at little or no cost to you. Read more about voluntary benefits here.

Does gender matter when it comes to appreciating healthcare benefits? The answer, according to the APA study, is “no”, both men and women value benefits about the same. But age does seem to matter, which is logical when you think about it. Employees between the ages 35 and 44 are typically raising a family and are more focused and concerned with pay and benefits. They might appreciate a Voluntary Supplemental Life policy. Older workers may appreciate Voluntary Short- or Long-term Disability, Critical Illness and Hospital Confinement plans.

Additionally, how you address your workforce needs impacts how to implement and manage the benefits program. For instance, giving employees choices but not providing them with some real hand-holding guidance is almost sure to backfire. Healthcare benefits jargon can be very difficult to wade through, leading to a lack of understanding and ultimately to decisions that leave employees dissatisfied. Targeted employee communications, online support and personal advocacy go a long way to bridging the information gap and providing employees with the knowledge they need to be better benefits consumers.


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