human resources

Six Rising Trends in Voluntary Benefits for 2019

By Thomas Broderick

Voluntary benefits have shown great promise in supplementing traditional benefits packages that include health insurance and retirement savings plans. However, attracting top talent means that companies must continuously refine which benefits they offer employees and how they roll out these benefits. For this reason, employers must keep up to date with the latest trends in voluntary benefits – trends that have a significant impact on employee retention.

That said, let’s look at six rising trends that employers should pay close attention to for the remainder of 2019.

Voluntary Benefits Are Expected Benefits

The first trend is not so much a type of voluntary benefit but an essential fact that all employers should know. By the end of 2019, most employees will want to work for companies that offer flexible benefits packages that provide some choice. Voluntary benefits provide employees agency, and even the smallest amount of agency can forge a bond between employees and their employers. 

Student Loan Relief

Students loans take years if not decades to pay back, and the stress of paying off loans can have a detrimental impact on your employees’ work performance. Also, consider retention. Employees burdened with loans are more likely to leave for another company that pays them a higher salary.

To offer student loan relief, your company matches student loan repayments up to a set dollar amount. The system works in much the same way as retirement matching. A student loan relief program can instill employee loyalty, as employees can pay off their loans faster than they would have been able to otherwise. Your company can also supplement this benefit by holding seminars on student debt – educating employees on other strategies they can use to pay off their loans and build excellent credit.

Financial Guidance

Young employees have more financial difficulties than student loans. Many employees struggle with saving, budgeting, and other skills. An automated savings plan costs your company very little and can go far in convincing employees that you have their best interests at heart.

In addition to savings plans, professional development courses and other tools can help your employees build their financial skills. No longer worried as much about savings or debt, they can focus more on their jobs.

Multi-Generation Support

In the generations since the Second World War, companies that offer childcare services have attracted employees with young families. However, as America ages, more and more employees find themselves caring for elderly parents and grandparents, as well. These responsibilities can negatively affect even the most talented and hard-working employees.

You can offer multi-generation support through discounts on elder care (e.g., nursing services, physical therapists) and additional financial assistance for employees who act as a family member’s sole caregiver.

Multi-generational support means much more than aiding employees’ infants and elderly family members. It also means helping employees’ school-aged children.  myKlovr created our virtual college counseling service as a voluntary benefit that prepares high school students for college admissions success. Employees receive this benefit at a low cost and can use the app to check in on their children’s college preparation goals at any time of day.

Professional Development

Employees in hundreds of professions take professional development courses to maintain their professional licenses. These courses can cost hundreds of dollars a year, even if employees receive other discounts through professional organizations. Employers who provide group rates on professional development courses can save not only their employees money but also time. Employees without their employers’ support often waste hours researching professional development courses that meet recertification requirements. By helping their employees save time and money, employers can further raise their employees’ loyalty and job satisfaction

Keep Employees Informed

Making voluntary benefits a success at your company requires much more than a company-wide email or form. To ensure that voluntary benefits become a cornerstone of your company’s corporate culture, you have to invest the time and money to ensure that all employees understand voluntary benefits and stay up to date with the latest benefits your company offers. Consider investing in professional development, seminars, videos, and simple ‘how to’ guides. Once employees become acclimated to voluntary benefits, you can release more periodic updates.

Finally, keep prospective employees up to date by prominently displaying your latest voluntary benefits on your company or organization’s website.

Final Thoughts

Trends evolve, which means that companies must update their benefits every year to meet employees’ changing needs. This way, companies never lose out on attracting and retaining the best talent.

[Press Release] MyKlovr, World’s First Ever Digital College Counselor Announces Two Major Strategic Additions to its Advisory Board

By myKlovr

(New York City, June 18, 2019) MyKlovr is delighted to announce the appointment of two new advisory board members who bring more than 65 combined years of business, benefits, and human resource experience. MyKlovr’s new board members are pillars in Fortune 500 companies, industry leaders, and humanitarians.

Nancy Newman is SVP of HR at Viacom Inc. Ms. Newman leads all HR-directed practices throughout the organization and previously served as the EVP and Chief of Staff to the divisional president of MTV Networks, VH1, CMT, and LOGO, acting as a senior strategic partner to the president for all business and organizational decisions within the $2 billion enterprise. Ms. Newman is a member of Viacom’s Executive Global Inclusion Advisory Board and was named Working Mother of the Year by Working Mother Media. Ms. Newman holds an M.A. in organizational psychology from Columbia University and a B.A. in psychology with a minor in business from Trinity University.

Ms. Newman praised the myKlovr platform by saying, “I have never seen a product that can do so much, for so many, at such a low cost. The fact that myKlovr can be offered as a Total Rewards Benefit package makes it a compelling proposition for Benefits Managers. Kudos to myKlovr, you fixed one of the most pressing HR issues, how to attract and retain talent.”

Larry Kirshner is Co-President at Frenkel Benefits – an EPIC Company. Joining Frenkel as EVP and an equity-holding partner in 2001, Mr. Kirshner has played a significant role in the exponential growth that Frenkel Benefits has achieved along with the firm’s leadership position in the industry. Mr. Kirshner graduated from State University of NY at Oneonta with degrees in history and political science. Mr. Kirshner has been recognized as an Alumni of Distinction after establishing the Kirshner Family Scholarship in 2017 for first-generation college students.

“As a parent who has recently gone through the college admissions process, I appreciate the incredible weight that myKlovr takes off families’ shoulders. As a benefits provider, I am thrilled to offer the first ever virtual college counselor to our dedicated workforce and clients alike,” Mr. Kirshner commented.

MyKlovr’s founder and CEO, Gustavo G. Dolfino added, “It is a privilege and an honor to have Nancy and Larry join our advisory board. Their guidance and expertise will prove crucial to myKlovr’s scalability.”

With a rate of nearly 500 children per high-school counselor, college admissions is a major issue facing most families. MyKlovr’s artificial intelligence driven virtual college counselor, helps students get admitted to the school of their dreams, by focusing on both EQ and IQ, and doing so at an early age, where strategic interventions are more likely to succeed.

The myKlovr benefit is provided by companies to their employees for the benefit of their families, either on a company paid basis, as part of a total rewards benefit offering, or employee paid, on a voluntary after-tax basis.

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