Customize a voluntary benefits strategy for employee retention

Kelsey Stacks

General brokers can take a look at your long term care organization and tell you what your benefits should look like based on what has worked in the past for their other clients. But, benefits that are not suitable for your employees does not resonate. And, ultimately, they don’t lead to higher engagement or retention for your organization.

(PS input today’s talent warit’s kind of a deal breaker.)

Your organization needs a customized voluntary benefits strategy that considers your employee population’s biggest challenges and offers solutions through benefits.

What Long-Term Care Employees Want From Their Benefits

Your industry is unique, and so are your employees. Unlike organizations in manufacturing or education, for example, your employees don’t value traditional healthcare at such a high rate. In our experience, we have found that less than 70% of long-term care facility employees enroll in the health insurance option offered by their employers.

So what should an employer do to engage and retain their employees with their benefits?

The first step is to understand the challenges and obstacles your faced by employees in their daily lives. It may even change in your industry due to geographic factors, socio-economic factors, etc. It is therefore imperative that you spend time learning the wants and needs of your employee population from their benefits package.

Here are some challenges for employees that we have encountered while working in your sector:

  • food cost
  • Childcare costs
  • affordable housing
  • Transportation
  • Need higher education to progress
  • Financial security
Katie Ott

All of these challenges affect your employees in their daily lives, and the extrapolated effects of these trials result in lost productivity, let alone overall retention in your workplace. If your employees do not feel able to live a safe life due to any of the above obstacles, they will not be able to devote themselves fully to their work.

You have the opportunity to meet these challenges for your employees. Voluntary benefits are only one category of products that can help you customize your benefits strategy to solve your employee challenges, engage your employees and contribute to talent attraction and retention efforts.

Examples of optional benefits for long-term care

Personalization is key to developing a benefits strategy that works for your organization. To help you visualize the impact, we’re sharing a few examples of how our consultative approach to workplace benefits can help long-term care organizations like yours in particular.

Student loan repayment

Many long-term care employees face financial hurdles in their lives, from the rising cost of living to childcare costs, and beyond. At the same time, these employees feel the need to pursue higher education to progress in their field.

Student loan repayment programs have recently gained traction with organizations like yours for these same reasons. This benefit can relieve pressure from employees who may already be struggling financially, but want to advance in a career within your industry through continuing education.

Repaying student loans is a solution that stimulates the attraction and retention of key employees. It addresses one of the most pressing wellness needs we see in the long term care industry and is a solution that directly impacts social determinants of health associated with your employee population. Student loan repayment programs can also encourage employees to stay with your organization for longer periods.

If you, as an employer, can alleviate the stress of student debt, you can have a positive impact on your employees’ experience, their perception of your organization, and their overall financial security. Essentially, this solution is a meaningful way to impact an employee’s budget without touching salaries.

Customizable benefits card

Personalization is key for the retirement home and social services employee demographic. And, what could be more customizable than a customizable benefits card?

This solution allows employers to give each employee a fixed dollar amount (pre-tax) on a debit card that can fund specific categories such as food, housing, childcare, and transportation. The employer can customize the categories that make the most sense for their employee demographics and get to the heart of the social determinants of health that affect their population, and employees can distribute the money however they see fit based on their circumstances. .

When traditional healthcare is undervalued by your employee pool, a benefit like the customizable benefits card could allow you, as an employer, to better engage your employees with a benefit that matters to their style of work. specific life.

Workplace Benefits to Fund Enrollment Solutions

Workplace benefits can be more than a specific product that you fit into your benefits portfolio – they can also be used to fund an elevated enrollment solution for your employees, which can ease the burden on your overloaded HR team.

One of our clients recently used this method to provide an online registration solution that they did not yet have access to through their payroll provider. The site benefits they brought at no cost to their organization were able to help them gain leverage to get a communications solution they needed at no cost.

In addition to the technology element, the enrollment solutions provider they partnered with offered them unpaid benefits enrollment advisors who could meet with employees one-on-one, in person, or via Zoom. to discuss benefits and help them make educated benefits. the decisions. This solution, funded by workplace benefits, relieved the work of their overworked HR team and provided a consistent message across the organization about the value their benefits package was bringing to each employee and their families. . This client was able to essentially scale their HR team to meet the needs of their entire population, simply by providing workplace benefits.

Key points to remember

While Perks may be sold as a pre-packaged solution, a one-size-fits-all approach won’t get you there.

Organizations looking to engage their workforce with voluntary benefits should work with a broker who can provide a comprehensive, personalized strategy that aligns with your overall benefits philosophy.

Kelsey Stacks is account manager at M3 Insurance.

Katie Ott is the director of field practice at M3 Insurance.

The opinions expressed in McKnight Long Term Care News guest submissions are those of the author and not necessarily those of McKnight Long Term Care News or its editors.

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