EMPLOYERS: OFFERING VOLUNTARY BENEFITS RESULTS IN HAPPIER EMPLOYEES

According to research from WellPoint Inc., 83% of American employees have a strong appreciation for employers that offer voluntary insurance benefits, compared to employers that do not. This appreciation also holds true with job seekers. Nearly 90% of those looking for employment believe it is important that companies offer health benefits, including voluntary benefits. Furthermore, more than half of job seekers rate health benefits including voluntary benefits as a very important factor to consider before accepting a position.

Why all the fuss over Voluntary Benefits? Voluntary benefits will usually improve a worker's overall perception of his or her benefits package. A full 82% of employees who are offered voluntary benefits are happy with their benefits packages. For employees who work for companies who fail to offer voluntary benefits, that satisfaction declined by 30%. These numbers show that employees clearly understand and place value on voluntary benefits. And happy employees are nothing to sneeze at. Studies show that the benefits of a psychologically healthy work force include higher job performance, less turnover, and better working relationships among employees.

Filling the Gap. Voluntary benefits can provide additional financial security to employees, with little or no direct costs incurred by employers. And employers who offer these benefits set themselves apart from those who do not. Voluntary benefits can include life insurance, disability insurance, accident insurance as well as wellness programs and dental and vision benefits.

Communicating the Advantages. It is important to note that although a significant amount of companies offer voluntary benefits to their employees, only about 50% of workers say they are knowledgeable about the details of the offerings. Just offering the benefits is not enough. If employees are not participating, then voluntary benefits add little or no value to the benefits package. Furthermore, 60% of employees surveyed felt that voluntary benefits offerings can be more important that increases in pay.

The main reasons employees give for enrolling in voluntary benefits include cost savings (54%), better protection for their families (50%), and overall peace of mind (44%). And peace of mind promotes better productivity, and a healthier happier workforce.

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Further Reading
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