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  • Writer's pictureMike Riska

Tips for Evaluating a Voluntary Benefits Program

While the cost of labor is frequently associated with employing workers, the expenses related to providing employee benefits comprise a whopping 31.2 percent of overall labor expenses, as stated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Benefit options are also increasingly more important to employees when deciding to stay with or work at a company.

Since your voluntary benefits program is one of your company’s most valuable offerings, it’s essential to ensure your benefits meet your employees' needs and that employees understand their benefits. A solid benefits program can even assist with your employee retention efforts.

Here are a few tips to help you evaluate your company’s voluntary benefits program.

Research Your Workforce Demographics

The voluntary benefits preferred or valued by an employee will vary depending on their age, where they live, their gender, and their salary.

For example, if your workforce includes young adults, tuition reimbursement or student loan assistance programs are a valuable benefit offering.

If most of your employees are middle-aged or nearing retirement, a cost-effective retirement savings plan will meet the needs of this demographic.

Understanding your employees' demographics can offer benefits that better fit their needs.

See If Your Voluntary Benefits Program Is Falling Short

You need to know if and where your voluntary benefits program falls short of your employees' needs.

If your company-sponsored health insurance has a deductible that’s too high for many of your employees, supplementing it with a health savings account (HSA) that’s partially funded can help bridge this benefits gap.

Or, you might offer additional types of insurance, like critical illness coverage, that help employees cover their medical expenses.

Compare Your Plans to Other Industry Benefit Offerings

It’s important to regularly compare your voluntary benefits program to those provided by your industry peers to confirm that you’re still offering first-class options. Carriers may introduce new benefits options that aren’t added to existing plans.

This comparison helps you see if your voluntary benefits program is competitive and identify ways you can make it more attractive to your employees, potentially assisting your employee retention efforts.

Encourage Feedback from Your Employees

Invite employee feedback and communication to help you better understand what shortfalls you may need to address in your voluntary benefits offering.

One way to do this is to email an annual survey that invites employee feedback; you can even offer prizes or incentives for employees who take the time to complete the survey to encourage participation.

Sometimes, employee dissatisfaction with your voluntary benefits offering is due to a lack of information or misinformation; they don’t understand their benefits or how they can best use them to meet their needs.

Other times, there’s a genuine shortfall in your voluntary benefits program that you need to address.

How to Evaluate Your Voluntary Benefits Program

Do you want to know how to enhance your voluntary benefits program and increase employee retention? Contact us to learn how we can help you improve your voluntary benefits offering.


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