Optimize Your Employee Benefit Portfolio With Voluntary Benefits

According to BusinessNewsDaily.com, employers in 2019 must do all they can to entice job seekers in today’s “extremely competitive” job market. As the article points out, “As much as the interview process is aimed at finding the right candidate for an open position, the candidate is also interviewing the company to ensure they can envision a future there for themselves.”

So, what should employers do? According to the Society for Human Resource Management, many companies are responding to this competitive talent market by “shifting voluntary and supplemental benefits into a more prominent, strategic role to attract and keep employees.” In other words, increasing numbers of employers are now perceiving voluntary benefits as a key part of employee engagement strategies.

Ways in which voluntary benefits are helping employers in recruitment and retention efforts include how they provide employees with meaningful choices, which helps to boost satisfaction. These benefits meet the needs of a diverse workforce, whether you define diversity as “generational, cultural or economic.” Contrast that with one-size-fits-all benefits and it’s easy to see how offering a menu of voluntary benefits dovetails more effectively with the needs of diverse workforces. Voluntary benefits can also contribute meaningfully to employees’ financial wellbeing, “making them happier and more productive at work.”

Nearly 70 percent of participants in a survey of employees from 600 small businesses said that supplemental benefits and perks were “at least as important as employer-based health insurance and retirement benefits,” with more than 70 percent agreeing that fringe perks would be a significant consideration when considering future job possibilities.

Why Voluntary Benefits, and Why Now?

Voluntary benefits are not new; they’ve existed in some form as enhancements to benefits packages for decades. What is new, however, is the evolution of voluntary benefits along with the evolving needs and expectations of a changing workforce. And, although this article by BenefitsPro.com isn’t new, either, it lists several classic reasons why voluntary benefits continue to provide advantages to employees and employers alike. These include how companies can leverage the purchasing power of a group to obtain low benefit rates for employees, along with how these benefits come with little or even no cost to the company itself.

Plus, when companies offer benefit choices, it can promote a sense of goodwill in employees, even those who may not take advantage of all of the options available.

Changing Workplace

Traditionally, these voluntary benefit choices had Baby Boomers and their priorities in mind. As people from this generation continue to retire, though, companies are needing to focus more and more on recruiting and retaining Millennial employees—and an article in BenefitNews.com explains that, to make this happen, you should “unleash voluntary benefits.”

Legal insurance plans, for example, can help employees in this generation as they are buying homes. It can also help if there are divorce, child custody, and/or child support issues to address. Plus, the reality is that younger generations experience more of the lion’s share of traffic violations, and quality legal benefits plans can help them with all of these issues.

Relief From Stresses of Modern Day Life

Life can get very hectic and, when you’re in a situation that creates ongoing stress, this can actually cause physical health problems—sometimes serious ones—as well as emotional and psychological ones. According to WebMD.com, stress can lead to high blood pressure, depression, abnormal heartbeats, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, and more. And, personal stressors can spill over into the workplace.

Take identity theft stressors, for example. According to a 2019 article on CNBC.com, one in three victims of identity theft ended up having “difficulties at their place of employment, either with their boss or co-workers, as a result of the crime.”

And, 13.8 percent of identity theft victims stated that their ability to find employment had been negatively affected by the theft, with some of them unable to even find a job because of the complications that arose. In fact, 8.5 percent of them first found out they were victimized when they were denied a job because of ramifications from the identity theft.

“How,” a consumer advocate asked, “do we put a dollar amount on that opportunity cost, and put a quality of life measurement against that?” And, we’d add, how can you even begin to measure the amount of stress this would cause?

Voluntary Benefits Plans from U.S. Legal Services

Making voluntary benefit plans available to protect employees can be crucial. This is why we offer Identity Defender™ to help people protect their identities and have a resource to immediately reach out to for help if this type of crime occurs. Plus, our Family Defender™ legal benefits plan can include Identity Defender™ as an add on.

Our Family Defender™ plan provides members with a wide range of legal services, including those that are needed during some of the most stressful times of life—during a divorce, for example, or bankruptcy, as just two examples. And, because financial stressors can be among the most damaging, such as when debt collectors call, we also include financial planning services in the voluntary benefits package.

How Group Legal Services Benefit Employers

Most of this article shares how legal benefits can help employees, but these plans also help the workplace as a whole. As employees need to spend less time and attention on legal issues, or identity theft issues, they can focus more on the work at hand. This can translate into many benefits for employers, including:

  • less wasted work time
  • better job performance
  • lower healthcare costs
  • less absenteeism
  • and more

Our plans provide benefits that can appeal to top candidates, helping with recruitment, and can satisfy current employees, helping with retention. Plus, our benefits are easy to administer, available at employers at no cost for the company. Here’s more information about how a legal benefits plan can help your company to build a better workforce.

Contact us online for a quote or call us at 1-800-356-5297.