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Personalized benefits empower – and protect – employees

We live in an increasingly customizable world. Our post-pandemic times reflect that even more. The media we consume, the food we eat, the beds we sleep in and the soap we use all can be personalized just for us.

It’s no wonder, then, that employees expect their benefits to be personalized, too. Employees want a well-rounded, personalized benefits package that helps them achieve their goals. Such “lifestyle benefits” create personal connections to the organization and increase interest and engagement.1 For employers, personalized benefits can be a tool to manage costs while attracting and retaining top talent.

Customized benefits fit neatly into the new ethos of flexibility precipitated by the pandemic. Within any business, no two employees are working exactly the same way at the same time with the same motivations. Each employee is unique; now their benefits can reflect that.

Employers can no longer take a one-size-fits-all approach to benefits. Leveraging personalization strategies to enhance traditional benefits ensures everyone wins.1

Employees demand more from benefits

According to Aflac's most recent Workforces Report, 3 in 5 employees approach their benefits decisions differently because of the pandemic. As a result of their changed perspective, almost half of them plan to purchase at least one new benefit.2

One third of employees see supplemental insurance as more important now due to the pandemic; with more than half of them considering supplemental benefits to be a core component to a comprehensive benefits program.2

So what do employees expect on an employer’s menu of benefits? The most commonly selected supplemental benefits are life, dental, vision and accident insurance.2 But they’re not stopping there, and employers can’t, either.

Personalized benefits can provide a financial cushion

Today’s employees aren’t just thinking about physical health. They’re also focused on their overall well-being, primarily around emotional and mental health, as well as financial stability.3 Eighty percent of employees want support and guidance on personal finances, not just for retirement and financial education, but digital budgeting, financial planning and access to financial advisors.3

Eight in 10 U.S. workers surveyed by the American Psychological Association said an employer's approach to employee mental health will be an important consideration when job hunting.4

Many businesses told Aflac that their top challenge when it comes to benefits is “offering robust benefits while staying within budget."2 But despite the budget challenges, 70% of employers are more likely to offer more types of benefits options than they are to reduce the options they currently offer their employees.2

Personalized benefits seem to be a good answer, often at little or no cost to the employer. And employees can pick and choose based on their needs and concerns: help with mental health treatment, identity theft protection, access to legal plans for people interested in buying real estate or writing a will, or pet insurance.

Employers also see that supplemental insurance is another way to offer more, with less impact to their budget. They know it can help keep their most valuable asset: their employees. Seventy percent believe supplemental insurance helps them recruit employees and 75% say it helps with retention.2

As difficult as the last few years have been, they led to greater realization that each employee is unique, with different needs and expectations. And employers are shifting their benefits programs to give employees the choices that offer them the best protection.