03/07/2018 Today's Employee Benefits Aren't One-Size-Fits-All
Alli Walsh, Social Media Strategist
Today's Employee Benefits Aren't One-Size-Fits-All
Today’s most competitive benefits packages are customizable, offering a little something for everyone. They really have to be, considering there are now five generations in the American workforce. The idea that a company could offer the exact same set of benefits to every employee is simply outdated.
Here are a few reasons why companies should consider offering a “menu” of benefits:
To attract and retain talent
What do employees want from their workplace? They want job satisfaction, a healthy work/life balance and a valuable employee benefits package. And since employers are looking for loyalty and engagement from their workforce—all the better for productivity, performance and morale—they’re answering their talents’ call with customizable benefits.
2017 Health Care Consumerism in a Marketplace Environment report by Willis Towers Watson found that 98% of employees find choosing their own benefits—rather than have their employer choose for them—to be important. What’s more, 75% of employees say they are more likely to stay with their employer because of their benefits program.1
To accommodate different life stages
Consider the range of ages you can find in today’s workplace. You’ll find people from…
- Generation Z (under 18 years old)
- Gen Y/millennials (18 to 33 years old)
- Gen X (34 to 50 years old)
- Baby boomers (51 to 70 years old)
- Greatest Generation (over 70 years old)2
And consider the life stages ranging from single to married/partnered with kids and caring for an aging relative—and everything in between. These life stages are represented across nearly all of these generational divides, and the needs of every individual and family can vary widely.
Each employee requires completely different levels of compensation, insurance, retirement accounts and work/life benefits. To meet everyone’s needs, employers have to offer a wide breadth of options and ensure each employee has the support they need to select just the right mix.
How to offer the right mix of benefits
What’s right for your company? You can dig into your workforce’s demographic stats and review third-party research to explore general trends and uncover what benefits are standard in your industry—but you need more customized guidance. That’s why your best resources for planning your benefits strategy are usually your employees and benefit advisers, including your insurance agent.
- Talk to employees. It’s particularly helpful to survey employees or meet with them directly. And ask them what types of benefits they need and want. Find out what they value—and what makes a difference to their employee satisfaction.
- Talk to industry professionals: advisers and agents can help you determine the best way to manage your employee benefits spend as well as communicate your offerings effectively to employees. They can also connect you with other resources to help you streamline benefits administration. Explore our worksite solutions.
Try these benefits out for size
This day and age, employers can get creative with their benefits offerings. You’ll find ways to provide benefits for telecommuting, student loan repayment, genetic testing, pet insurance, gym membership, onsite daycare, credit union access and you guessed it: supplemental insurance plans.
Supplemental insurance plans are ideal for a mix-and-match benefits approach. They supplement the employees’ existing insurance, and can help people dealing with an unexpected illness, accident, or disability. Some plans’ benefits can provide income replacement or be used to help cover unexpected medical bills. And what’s more, supplemental insurance can fit into just about anyone’s benefits portfolio.
They can be a great match for employees with high deductible health plans or for those with multiple dependents, both good candidates for accident and/or critical illness plans that pay cash benefits if the “unthinkable” happens. And since employees pay for them —in most cases, with affordable rates—they’re not a cost burden for employers. They help round out an employer’s insurance offerings to provide peace of mind and cash benefits when they’re needed most.
1 “Does one-Size-Fits-All work when it comes to employee benefits?” Willis Towers Watson, willistowerswatson.com/en/insights/2017/09/Does-one-size-fits-all-work-when-it-comes-to-employee-benefits.
2 Starner, Tom. “Study: For the first time, HR must manage 5 workplace generations.” HR Dive, 12 Sept. 2016, hrdive.com/news/study-for-the-first-time-hr-must-manage-5-workplace-generations/426050/.
Workplace benefits are issued by Combined Insurance Company of America (Chicago, IL) in all states, except New York. In New York, life, policies are issued by Combined Life Insurance Company of New York (Latham, NY). Combined Insurance Company of America is not licensed and does not solicit business in New York. Policy availability varies by state.
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