Blog 3/11/2019

Creating a Popular Menu of Benefits Choices that Satisfies Employees’ Taste for Benefits

Did you know that Wendy’s founder, Dave Thomas, was adopted when he was six weeks old and that his company became the first to offer proper adoption assistance benefits to its employees?

Like a restaurant offering a menu of tasty, interesting food options to customers, employers need to take a customer-focused (employee-focused) approach when deciding which voluntary benefits to provide to employees. Employers need to create a menu of benefits options that are both diverse and high-quality, or else risk employees leaving unhappy and sharing a bad word of mouth on Glassdoor, the employees’ Yelp!.

DirectPath’s 2019 Medical Plan Trends & Observations Report, done in partnership with Gartner research, highlights voluntary benefits that are both increasing and decreasing in popularity amongst employer-sponsored health plans. Which of these increasingly popular benefits should you consider adding to your company’s menu? Here are some benefits on the upswing and why they might interest your employees:

  1. Adoption assistance and backup child care services (offered by 19% and 7% of employers, respectively)

Why employees care:

  • Adoption: 135,000 children are adopted each year in the United States, and your employees might want to give some of them a good life.
  • Child Care: The days of the “stay at home mom” are on the decline, as 70% of mothers with a bachelor’s degree and 80% of mothers with a master’s degree return to work after having kids.

Like when a family goes to a restaurant, you can’t ignore the needs of the children! Adoption assistance and backup care can help give your workplace the “family-friendly” atmosphere it needs.

2. Financial wellness (offered by 7% of employers)

Why employees care:

  • 71% of employees say that uncertainty about money is the most significant stress they face in the workplace.
  • 20% of employees admit they’ve skipped work in the past year to deal with financially-related stress.

With financial stress being a productivity killer at work, 38% of employees feel their employer should help them solve their financial security concerns. Keep them happy by providing them with tools to help manage their finances to the best of their abilities.

3. Auto and home insurance (offered by 28% and 27% of employers, respectively)

Why employees care:

  • Beyond retirement plans, 46% of employees said auto insurance helps reduce financial stress, while 41% said home insurance does the same. Both were in the top four responses when asked which non-medical benefits help relieve financial stress the most besides retirement plans.

With almost 65% of Americans being homeowners and 88% owning cars, home, and auto insurance give employees financial protection of property that is extremely valuable to their day-to-day lives.

4. Supplemental Life & Accidental Death & Dismemberment (offered by 75% and 60% of employers, respectively)

Why employees care:

  • When asked which non-medical benefit besides retirement plans help reduce financial stress the most, life insurance was the most popular answer, with 48% of respondents mentioning it.
  • Accidents claim the lives of 15 Americans every hour, on average.

While everyone wants to live a full and happy life, people want to protect their families in case of a tragic accident. If your company wants to be “family-friendly,” good supplemental life and AD&D insurance is a good way to promote that image.

With all this in mind, how can you go about designing and serving a fantastic “menu” of benefits options? Consult with your head chef, your benefits broker, to discuss your company’s needs and learn which benefits and carriers they’d recommend based on your discussion. Don’t forget to survey your employees (i.e., restaurant customers) to discover which benefits they desire the most. Offering benefits your “customers” desire will keep them happy and productive at work, as 87% of employees say good benefits give them peace of mind for the unexpected and keep them returning to work.  Put this plan together, and you’ll have a variety of tasty dishes that’ll keep your employees hungry for more!

Want to learn more about what other employers are “serving” to their employees when it comes to their benefits menus? Download our 2019 Medical Trends & Observations report here to learn about more trends driving employer-sponsored health plans in 2019.

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