Can better employee benefits help employers battle the Great Resignation?

The pandemic altered the workplace as we know it, and in the process, prompted a massive re-examination of the nature of work itself. Increased workloads, hiring challenges, transitions back to the office, and general pandemic exhaustion have employees questioning their jobs and careers. And for millions, the answer has been to quit.  

Welcome to the Great Resignation. Nearly 4 million Americans left their jobs in July 2021, an increase of 800,000 from the prior year, according to the most recent research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The resignations have contributed to 10.9 million job openings, a figure that dramatically exceeds the number of job seekers.1

Amidst this labor shortage, leveraging workplace benefits to improve retention has never been more important. You can start by offering an open enrollment process that encourages less employee stress and can helps employees better optimize benefit offerings for their health and financial wellness.

Employee benefits matter, but what if they’re a chore?

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The reasons that employees are leaving varies by industry, career stage, and of course, individual. Some may be experiencing burnout after a frenetic two years. Others may have put off finding a new job during the pandemic and are now resuming their search. Still, more may be rethinking their careers, looking for ways to find more balance, stability or satisfaction.

For employers experiencing an employee exodus, uncovering what’s driving the departures is one piece of the puzzle. The other is developing retention plans that prioritize the benefits your employees want and offerings that incentivize them to stay. Consider that 60% of employees report the pandemic has made them think more carefully about their workplace benefits. Additionally, 68% of employees agree that benefits will play a more critical role in their future job selection, and 61% agree benefits are going to play a large role their household financial decisions.2  

Yet, despite the importance employees place on benefits, most still view selecting and enrolling in benefits as a chore. A recent Voya survey shows that 72% of employees eligible for benefits report they would prefer visiting the dentist, servicing their car or preparing for tax season to reviewing their benefit options.3  

“The open enrollment experience can be daunting for employees,” says Andrew Frend, Voya Health Solution’s SVP of Strategy and Product. “So it’s logical that some individuals—even with the growing appreciation of their workplace benefits due to the pandemic—would still opt to spend their time on other important tasks.”  

In our experience, employees make dozens of decisions during annual enrollment. They’re often juggling competing financial priorities, and many are concerned about how they can maximize every dollar from their paycheck, Frend adds. In fact, nearly three-quarters of Americans report their money doesn’t go as far as it used to go.4 It’s a lot to navigate, but employers can help by improving the process. And that support goes a long way by empowering employees to make the most of their benefits and strengthening loyalty at a time when it matters most.

Making benefits even better

Employees have been asking themselves big questions, and now employers need to as well. For example, can the enrollment experience be on par—or perhaps even better—than going to the dentist? Of course, the answer is an unequivocal yes (no offense to dentists).

“There’s a huge opportunity for employers and benefit providers to simplify and personalize the annual enrollment experience—so employees can act with more confidence in how they allocate their next dollar,” Frend says. “In addition to year-round education and communications efforts, innovative technology and decision-support tools can be a game-changer.”  

This is where Voya comes in. We provide a range of solutions and tools that can make benefits selection easier, less cumbersome and more meaningful to your employees, including:   

  • myHealthMoney Digital Assistant. myHealthMoney, powered by SAVVI Financial, LLC, guides employees through their employer-sponsored benefit options during enrollment.  Based on the employee’s stated variables such as family size and healthcare usage, the tool presents employees with personalized combinations of employer-offered medical, dental, vision and supplemental health insurance for their consideration. It also calculates contributions for employees to consider for their health savings and flexible spending accounts. Instead of calculating and comparing insurance options manually, the employee receives personalized scenarios that illustrate the cost of each option.  
  • myOrangeMoney. This interactive enrollment experience changes the way employees manage and engage with their retirement plans. Our solution is designed to effectively engage employees about their retirement benefits with the right message at the right time. myOrangeMoney provides personalized guidance that helps individuals take the next best action for their financial situation and future goals. And users of myOrangeMoney save 31% more for retirement than non-users.5
  • Voya Learn digital educational platform. For employers, providing education and resources in various formats helps you reach more of your employees. Voya Learn offers live and on-demand digital financial education sessions. The streamed events and videos cover a broad range of financial wellness and retirement topics — all aimed at driving increased employee engagement. The sessions are available 24/7, all videos provide closed captioning and are available in Spanish.
  • Emergency savings fund. In addition to a range of enrollment and engagement tools, a strategic relationship with Millennium Trust Company provides the ability for Voya’s workplace clients to offer an emergency savings fund that helps employees avoid financial hardship due to unexpected expenses. The emergency savings fund empowers workers to start or increase emergency savings via education, guidance and after-tax contributions. Emergency savings funds can help give employees the ability to absorb short-term financial shocks without drawing on their hard-earned retirement savings.
  • Voya budget calculator. This budgeting tool helps individuals create a monthly budget for spending and saving. Our calculator is built on the “50/30/20” concept, which suggests that individuals put up to 50% of income toward needs such as housing, utilities, healthcare, childcare; 30% toward “wants” including entertainment, dining, and hobbies; and 20% toward saving for retirement, emergency funds, and other savings goals. The tool supplements our other enrollment education and guidance resources, giving employees yet another way to prepare for their future.   

The Great Resignation is yet another unexpected consequence of the pandemic. But it doesn’t have to be the reality at your organization. Show your employees how they can thrive financially, physically and professionally by optimizing their benefit options—and give them the enrollment tools to get there. These efforts can help you build a culture that encourages happy, healthy employees who are motivated to stay and grow with you.

Reach out to your Voya Relationship Manager to learn more about how our participant engagement solutions can help you navigate the Great Resignation.


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2. Based on the results of a Voya Financial survey conducted August 27-30, 2021, on the Ipsos eNation omnibus online platform among 1,003 adults, featuring 475 working Americans and 291 eligible for benefits, aged 18+ in the U.S.

3. Based on the results of a Voya Financial survey conducted August 27-30, 2021, on the Ipsos eNation omnibus online platform among 1,003 adults, featuring 475 working Americans and 291 eligible for benefits, aged 18+ in the U.S.

4. Based on the results of a Voya Financial survey conducted August 27-30, 2021, on the Ipsos eNation omnibus online platform among 1,003 adults, featuring 475 working Americans and 291 eligible for benefits, aged 18+ in the U.S.

5. Retirement Customer Analytics and Insights - data as of 03/31/21 (7.2% vs 9.4%)

Voya is making available to you the myHealthMoney software offered by SAVVI Financial, LLC (“SAVVI”). Voya Financial, the parent company of Voya, and a number of other Voya Financial affiliates, have financial and business relationships with SAVVI which create an incentive for Voya to promote SAVVI’s products and services. You should access and read SAVVI’s Firm Brochure which is available at this link: It contains general information about SAVVI’s business, including conflicts of interest.

Voya Financial and Millennium Trust are separate, unrelated entities and are not responsible for one another’s products or services. Millennium Trust is solely responsible for the offering of the emergency savings solution and all services provided in support thereof. The emergency savings solution is offered outside of the employer’s retirement plan. Voya Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company receives a referral fee as a result of the use of the emergency savings solution by its and its affiliates’ plan sponsor clients.

This material has been provided for educational purposes only for sponsors and prospective sponsors. This material was created to provide accurate and reliable information on the subjects covered. It is not intended to provide specific legal, tax or other professional advice. The services of an appropriate professional should be sought regarding your specific situation.

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