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Voluntary Benefits: Educate Your Employees

In an era of record-low unemployment rates, many companies are struggling to attract and retain the best employees. Of course, a great way to set your firm apart from competitors is to offer a comprehensive benefits package, but many employers fail to consider the value of not only employer-provided benefits, but voluntary benefits as well.

Very simply, voluntary benefits are paid for by the employee, although the employer assumes the burden of administering the overall plan. Asking employees to dig into their own pockets for protection can be a tough sell, but a robust set of voluntary benefits can set you apart from other employers, and a successful employee participation effort comes down to two main areas of focus: education and value.

Education

Very few people will purchase something they can’t comprehend. For example, your employees may have a certain amount of disability coverage under your employer-sponsored plan, but chances are they don’t fully understand its limitations, or the impact that supplemental disability coverage could have in seeing their family through an extended period of time when they’ve been injured or taken ill.

Consider scheduling regular sessions for your team with representatives from your benefits providers, perhaps semi-annually or annually. Make sure existing employees are invited, even if the sessions are focused on new hires. Circumstances change, and someone who had no interest in a supplemental coverage last year may find themselves in a different position this time around.

Value

As noted above, you should be prepared for an uphill battle when you’re asking employees to finance their own benefits. Once you’ve educated them on exactly what a given program covers and why they might want to consider it, you must demonstrate its value.

Make sure your team understands the savings they’ll realize by purchasing coverage through the company instead of individually (using a side-by-side cost comparison if possible), as well as the convenience, and sometimes the tax advantages, of paying for the coverage via payroll deductions. For many, it’s much less painful to never see the money in the first place than to have to write a check for every renewal period.

Questions about voluntary benefits? Contact Consolidated Insurance.