One of the most interesting findings is this:
Ten years ago employees expected benefits, but were far less engaged in their true value. Today, new economic realities are driving employees to more fully appreciate the coverages that their employers provide – even if they have to pay more of the costs themselves. [Emphasis mine.]In addition: Younger workers entered the workforce at a time when employers were starting to shift both cost and risk to employees. Perhaps because of this experience, younger generations do not appear to have the same sense of entitlement for employer-paid benefits as older workers. As a result, almost two-thirds (62%) of younger workers are willing to bear more of the cost of their benefits rather than lose them.
Surprisingly, employers are not yet taking full advantage of this important fact. Only 41% consider voluntary benefits to be a significant part of their benefits strategy (ranging from 27% of companies with fewer than 50 employees to 58% of companies with 10,000 or more employees). However, 62% say that the importance of voluntary benefits is growing.
What sorts of voluntary benefits do employees want? From 46% to 53% of Gen Yers were interested in buying the following through work: auto, home, life, dental, disability, vision, and critical illness insurance. For boomers, the percentages were only 21% to 34%, but that’s still a significant chunk of the workplace interested in benefits they have to pay for.
And, of course, the bottom line is this:
Employees who are very satisfied with benefits are nearly three times as likely to say they are very satisfied with their jobs and less likely to plan to leave.
Does your organization offer voluntary insurance options? Which ones? Do you plan to offer more in the future?
--by Wendy Caster
Wendy Caster is a senior writer at Harris, Rothenberg International.