Employers faced with the challenge of attracting and retaining top talent are looking beyond the usual benefits of yesteryear, like life insurance (snooze) or paid vacation (yawn). Employers these days are all about getting creative with voluntary benefits.
What are voluntary benefits?
These are programs that go above and beyond the norm to get the attention of today’s workforce — think financial wellness programs, meditation rooms, and student loan assistance.
In a recent Willis Towers Watson survey, 95 percent of clients of the risk-management financial firm said that voluntary benefits were going to be a huge strategy in the next several years.
The survey illustrated three major goals of voluntary benefits:
- Provide meaningful choice to employees.
- Meet the needs of a diverse workforce.
- Ensure employees’ financial well-being.
Finding the right benefits for your company and its employees can be a challenge, but keep in mind that you don’t have to offer a complicated program as part of your cafeteria plan. Ideas might include helping employees build an emergency fund through payroll deductions, offering seminars on getting out of debt, or sponsoring a weight-loss program. By taking a broader approach and adding some ingenuity, you can find the right fit that works well for everyone. This may be something to meditate on (perhaps in your company’s meditation room).
Michelle Higgins is an Associate Editor on the Human Resources Publishing Team and she creates content on a variety of employment-related topics including benefits, compensation, overtime, wage deductions, exempt/nonexempt employees, health and retirement plans, independent contractors, and child labor.
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