Subject Line: From the Desk of Ochs
Welcome to the first edition of Och's quarterly newsletter. Every three months we'll recap the latest insights from our blog on workforce benefits and insurance. Take a look at what we've been up to!
Employees are financially stressed — but voluntary benefits can help
Studies show employees across generations are stressed out about their finances. That’s especially true of the millennials who are already burdened by student debt, concerned about healthcare costs and worried about saving for the future. In fact, one PWC study of millennial employees found that a third were distracted by personal financial issues while at work. To help attract and retain workers in this tight labor market, many employers are responding by offering voluntary benefits that can help them better prepare for future financial demands. Those solutions have included offering financial counseling, help in repaying student loans and extra health insurance such as accident and critical illness policies to supplement traditional health care policies as protection against unmanageable costs.
6 tips: Choosing the best employee benefits for your valued workforce
U.S. employers are struggling to control the costs of employee health insurance in this volatile market. At the same time, it’s important for them to offer workers choices in their benefits packages if they wish to attract and retain key talent in this tight labor market. Now that they have a greater number of employment options, employees are demanding more highly personalized benefit plans. In fact, one study shows 64% of younger employees in the U.S. will pay more for benefits in exchange for having more choice, flexibility and customization.
To meet that demand and come up with highly effective offerings, employers may wish to poll their employees about their preferences; optimize data to compare the costs of various benefits; eliminate underused benefits that may be wasting money; research what their competitors are providing and continually evaluate new benefit options as the market evolves. Company culture should also be a factor when establishing key benefits.
Cause and effect: 7 tips for talking to employees about life and disability insurance
Because many Americans lack a clear understanding of how life and disability insurance can be used, it’s important for employers offering those benefits to explain their functions to their workers in clear terms. One survey of Americans without individual life insurance found 58% see it as too expensive and 35% don’t see the benefit. Another found only two of three American workers can correctly identify the function of disability insurance.
When it comes to demystifying such benefits, industry experts recommend being clear on cost-benefit scenarios; using real-life examples; providing lists of what kinds of expenses can be covered; explaining the difference between short-term versus long-term disability and what such policies cover; citing key statistics where appropriate; and providing take-home materials that can supplement presentations.
A menu of options: Should you offer your employees more voluntary benefits?
As employers and employees struggle to make their money stretch further, both are looking for ways to control and manage expenses. And that’s especially true when it comes to grappling with the costs of healthcare.
At the same time, it’s important with today’s labor shortage for employers to offer attractive benefits packages that compare favorably to those of their competitors. A recent MetLife survey shows 53% of workers across generations now see employers as partly responsible for their financial well-being. As such, 57% of U.S. organizations (compared to 50% in 2018) are committed to offering employees a wider range of voluntary benefits, MetLife reports.
Not only do they make workers feel more empowered by giving them a greater level of choice but they provide additional protection from the financial vulnerability that comes with high-deductible health plans (HDHPs).