By Steven Bearak
Life insurance. Dental insurance. Vision insurance. 401(k) plans.
As a chief human resource officer or C-suite leader, you’re well aware of these traditional employee benefits, and today’s workforce expects you to have them. However, with employee benefits playing such an essential role in attracting and retaining top talent, it’s time to get more creative and progressive in addressing the holistic employee experience—considering the emotional, financial, and physical well-being of your most valued asset.
Expanding your organization’s portfolio of voluntary benefits is a way to show your employees you are committed to hiring and keeping them—while also giving you the ability to negotiate a discounted price for employees than if they had gone out and purchased the benefit themselves.
According to Sun Life Financial, 88 percent of employees like the idea of having choices to customize their benefit packages. And talent that feels heard, respected, and appreciated is more likely to stay. Take the time to create a collection of voluntary benefits that would appeal to employees at all different stages of their lives, and that align with your budget.
The one voluntary benefit that’s leading the pack right now is identity theft protection. Willis Towers Watson found that by 2018, 70 percent of employers will be offering it as a benefit—and it couldn’t be more essential in today’s world.According to Javelin Strategy & Research, in 2016 alone, $16 billion was stolen from more than 15 million U.S. consumers and employees between the ages of 20 and 59.
As more voluntary benefits come to the forefront, these are eight popular voluntary employee benefits you may want to consider:
- Identity theft protection. When one of your employee’s has his or her identity stolen, it doesn’t just affect their personal lives—it can roll over into your business as well. Restoring a stolen identity without any help from an identity protection service can take countless hours (ranging anywhere from 30 to over 600 depending on the nature of theft), which can be demoralizing and exhausting for anyone. An employee dealing with having their identity stolen may need time off from work or show up to the office tired and distracted, preventing them from fully doing their jobs.
- Financial counseling services. Don’t just pay your employees; help them manage the money they make. Financial counseling can help them decrease debt, increase wealth, and learn to budget.
- Tuition assistance. Support your employees in professional development opportunities by offering tuition assistance for degrees or programs that relate directly to their jobs.
- Student loan repayment. Student loan debt may be crippling many of your employees—especially the Millennials—financially. Show them you care and help them chip away at their monthly payment.
- Critical-illness insurance. Even with health insurance, an unexpected critical illness, like cancer or a heart attack, can clean out an employee’s bank account. Critical illness insurance will help them cover any direct or indirect costs.
- Pet insurance. 65 percent of your employees likely have at least one pet, and unexpected veterinary costs can be a lot to handle financially. Prove you care about their furry family members and offer pet insurance.
- Gym memberships. Employee wellness initiatives are huge, and one great way to keep your team healthy is by securing a discounted rate for gym memberships.
- Onsite childcare. Juggling childcare is extremely difficult for working parents. While finding space and staff can be a challenge to offer this benefit, the rewards are exponential time savings for parents in terms of drop off and pick up coordination, and provides parents a sense of security knowing their children are nearby. Offering this benefit to employees gives them more time to focus on work.
By offering one or a few of the voluntary benefit listed above, you’re showing your employees that you care for their entire world, not just the parts related to the office, and you’re protecting your company’s bottom line in the process.