The future of workplace benefits starts with a connected experience

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In its new perspectives paper, Voya’s Thought Leadership Council explores how employers can realize greater value by getting their workplace benefits and savings in sync. By adopting an integrated approach that’s personalized and technology driven, companies can boost employee engagement, save time and help improve outcomes by simplifying decision making.

When it comes to attracting and retaining top talent, offering a comprehensive employee benefits package has always played an important role. This includes both workplace benefits (health insurance, dental, vision, life, disability and voluntary benefits) as well as workplace savings — primarily employer-sponsored retirement plans — plus Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Emergency Savings solutions.

However, employers have traditionally presented benefits as a fixed menu that appeals to a broad employee population. The paper discusses the potential advantages of a more integrated, holistic approach to workplace benefits and savings — and how technology-driven personalization can help employees find the right balance for their distinct needs.

Below are some key insights from the research paper. For complete details, view the full Voya Perspectives paper: The future of workplace benefits starts with a connected experience

Employees want help improving their financial well-being

With COVID-19, people began to reevaluate the importance of workplace culture and their relationship with their jobs. People were changing their values and priorities, including how they value employee benefits.

The 2021 EBRI Workplace Wellness Survey found that employees wanted more flexibility in their benefit offerings and more help improving their financial well-being — prompting employers to add more flexibility and choice to their benefits menu.1

In a diverse workforce, one size does not fit all. To truly help meet employees’ needs, they must be viewed as not just a collection of workers, but as individuals with various levels of stress and life events inside and outside of the workplace that can affect their health, which, in turn, can impact their productivity.

Employees need to understand how each choice — across both workplace benefits and savings — may affect another, and how the whole package may potentially impact their overall financial wellness.

A holistic approach can help get workplace benefits and savings in sync

Employers recognize the dynamics around the convergence of workplace benefits and savings and are reevaluating their programs to understand how they can more fully support workers’ financial, physical and emotional well-being.

The goal is to offer easy access to information, tools and guidance to support financial decision-making, resources that help workers manage both physical and mental health issues, and guidance and advice for long-term holistic wellness planning. By integrating workplace benefits and savings to more closely align with how employees attempt to manage these stressors in their lives, employers may be able to help reduce employee stress, improve productivity and lower staff turnover.

HSAs can help sync workplace benefits and savings

The Health Savings Account (HSA) can be part of the solution and is a good example of the symbiotic relationship between workplace benefits and savings. Increasing awareness of HSA benefits can help employees utilize their benefits, as well as potentially overcome any negative biases associated with high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). If more workers enroll in HDHPs and utilize HSAs, plan sponsors could realize health care benefits cost savings.

How to evolve the employee experience

We believe workers are looking for speed and hyper-personalization along with a seamless and integrated experience to help meet their holistic financial wellness goals. But current benefits programs too often serve up a confusing experience — too many seemingly independent and competing choices with little guidance on how they all should work together as a package.

Here are three ways for employers to consider evolving the employee experience to be more hyper-personalized:

  1. Connect the unconnected through technology
  2. Ramp up benefits communication and education
  3. Offer holistic guidance and advice

The role of intermediaries

Plan sponsors can turn to intermediaries, such as benefits brokers, financial professionals and consultants, to help guide them through the evolving benefits landscape and implement an integrated benefits program designed for a diverse employee population.

How Voya is changing the future of workplace benefits

Traditionally, savings across the retirement plan, nonqualified deferred compensation plan, HSA and emergency savings have been regarded in silos.

Voya’s personalized digital solutions connect workplace benefits and savings to address competing financial needs. These solutions help employees make optimal decisions around their workplace benefits, including health benefits, HSAs, student loan debt, emergency savings and retirement savings.

Our suite of connected workplace digital solutions includes myVoyage personalized enrollment experience, which helps employees make benefits choices, and myVoyage, which is our next-gen, mobile-first experience that considers the complete employee picture across an employer’s total benefits ecosystem. Our comprehensive decision-support tools are built using Human-Centered Design — addressing the core needs of employees to help drive engagement and outcomes.

To learn more about how you can realize greater value by syncing your workplace benefits and savings program, contact your Voya representative.

This is the second article in a three-part series, where we explore how companies can realize greater value by syncing their workplace benefits and savings. Read related articles:

1. 2021 Workplace Wellness Survey; Employee Benefit Research Institute; Greenwald Research.

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