The Right Benefits Matter More Than Ever

The Right Benefits Matter More Than Ever

The American workforce is restless. A recent survey indicated a majority of Americans in the workforce — 55% — expect to look for a new job in the next 12 months1. While benefits have always played a major role in a company’s ability to attract and retain new talent, it’s never mattered more than now.

What’s driving the change? Unsurprisingly, this influx of new job seekers is looking for a specific title and salary. Historically those have both been primary drivers to shop for a new job. During the pandemic, many workers got a taste of what it’s like to work from the dining room table in a dress shirt and gym shorts and would prefer to keep it that way. Others are simply looking for a new challenge and change of scenery.

Regardless of why they’re looking, you can be sure this new wave of skilled workers is sizing up all leads to ensure the benefits package is reliable, robust and provides the security and financial wellbeing they rely upon. “A well-structured benefit plan enables you to contend for top talent in an increasingly competitive market,” said George Burks, group market segment lead executive at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield. “If you don’t have robust benefits, there are plenty of other companies that do, and job seekers know it.”

If you’re an employer, here are some tips to make sure your benefits are competitive. With the right benefit mix and mindset, you’ll have a leg up on keeping your existing employees around while looking more attractive to the 55% of job seekers looking for a new gig.

Be adaptive

Health and ancillary benefits are surprisingly changeable. They can be changed year in and year out—allowing you to toe the line between employee expectations and your bottom line—until you strike the right balance for your business. Don’t feel pigeonholed into a specific set of benefits. Consider a broad and flexible range of plan options and benefits. Be confident in your ability to try new things and remember, the end goal is to find the most competitive benefits for your company.

Take a whole person approach to health

Dental and vision coverage is a vital part of a benefits package—and overall health. Uncorrected vision problems can reduce employee productivity by up to 20% and dental and vision exams can help detect serious illnesses and signs of other serious medical conditions2. People expect dental and vision coverage to be part of their benefits, and as an employer, you probably rely on those benefits to keep them healthier, happier and more productive.

Showcase your ancillary offering

Focusing on financial wellbeing is the best way to round out your benefits. An attractive suite of ancillary benefits, including life and disability coverage, and supplemental benefits such as accident, critical illness and hospital indemnity plans, lead to higher employee satisfaction and peace of mind. These ancillary benefits are a vital part of a well-rounded benefits package and something your employees count on to protect themselves and their family in the event of the unforeseen.

Break it all down

Your employees think they have a higher benefits IQ than they do. A 2016 study showed that 80% of employees said they understood their benefits very well, while only 49% could prove it on an exam3. This knowledge gap means you may be offering some exceptional benefits, but your employees don’t understand them, aren’t using them to their fullest, or aren’t electing to participate at all.

Your benefit strategy should include time and effort in teaching your employees about their health and ancillary benefits. Think beyond spreadsheets and premiums. Help your employees learn more about their benefits with glossaries, scenarios, town halls and meetings with Human Resources.

Great benefits could be your difference-maker

Let everyone else play musical chairs with the growing number of people looking for something else. Build a benefits package that keeps your employees satisfied and sticking around and makes it easy to hire new talent when you need to.

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield is a not-for-profit mutual insurance company dedicated to improving the health, financial security and peace of mind of the members and communities it serves. USAble Life brings the power of partnering to its health plan owners and partners, businesses and their employees, and individual customers. The two have partnered for more than 40 years to help Arkansas companies offer benefits that make a difference. Visit to learn more about employer benefits.

USAble Life is an independent company providing life, disability, and supplemental products for which it is solely responsible. USAble Life does not sell Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield products.

1Bankrate Job Seeker Survey, Bankrate, July 28-30, 2021.
2"Vision in Business Report," Vision Council of America, July 2007
3The Guardian Workplace Benefits Study (Fourth Annual), Guardian Insurance, 2016.