As of January 2019, the unemployment rate in the United States was as low as 3.8 percent. This, combined with a younger labor market has made competition more fierce between employers as of late, forcing them to become innovative in the ways that they go about attracting and retaining talent. According to a Glassdoor survey, around 60 percent of respondents said they would strongly consider perks and benefits offered before accepting a job offer. In addition, 80 percent prefer additional benefits over a pay increase.

If it isn’t apparent yet, traditional and voluntary benefits are becoming more sought after each year over annual salary due to employees becoming more aware of the advantages of them and the flexibility they can provide to themselves and their families. Continue reading below to see the benefits packages that motivate employees the most.

Why benefits packages may be more important than salary to employees

Simply put, the benefit offerings an employer can provide their employees can be more impactful in several ways compared to just offering a higher salary. These include:

  • Traditional and voluntary benefits provide numerous avenues of coverage for employees which help to offset overall costs for them and their families
  • Benefit offerings come in all shapes and sizes, giving employees the customizable options they want
  • A good benefits package relays to employees that the employer cares about them and their families

benefits packages that motivate employees

A good example includes the current state of the U.S. healthcare system. In 2019, the cost-0f-care per employee will be nearly $15,000. As healthcare costs continue to skyrocket, and with employers typically paying 70 percent of the tab, both they and employees are in need of relief to help offset these costs.

This is where additional benefit offerings come into play. For this example, some great supplemental healthcare options including Critical Illness Insurance, disability insurance, Hospital Indemnity insurance and more can be a boon for these stakeholders because they provide extra coverage where their traditional healthcare option will not.

Benefits packages that motivate employees

Great benefit offerings help employees, employers and brokers simultaneously – here’s how:

  • Voluntary benefits give employees more customization options so they feel they have the full coverage they need
  • Most voluntary benefits can be added to an employer’s benefits program for little to no cost to the company
  • These programs are huge in an employer’s ability to attain and retain top talent
  • Voluntary benefits offer brokers an additional route of revenue that can be long-lasting

Now, let’s take a closer look at which benefits packages are the most motivating to employees.

Healthcare, dental and vision

Even with the rising popularity of a variety of voluntary benefit offerings, medical, dental and vision are still hanging on as a top priority for employees. Employer-based plans help employees avoid paying the astronomical costs often associated with medical care, and to an extent, dental and vision. Typically, an employer will cover 70 percent of the costs.

According to SHRM, 95 percent of employers surveyed chose healthcare benefits as the most important to the majority of their employees. A strong healthcare, dental and vision package can be used by employers to attain and retain talent for them. It’s important to review their offerings periodically with employees to make sure that coverage being offered actually meets their needs.


Since the 2008 financial crisis, everyone has been stressing the importance of savings, especially for retirement. An employer-sponsored retirement plan helps employees by:

  • Deducting savings directly from paychecks
  • Offering various tax breaks based on program signed up for
  • Matching contributions by employers help to build up savings faster

benefits packages that motivate employees

According to Investorjunkie,  there are seven types of employer-sponsored retirement plans that employers may offer. Those include:

  1. Benefit Pension Plan
  2. 401(k) Plan
  3. Roth 401(k) Plan
  4. 403(b) Plan
  5. 457 Plan
  6. SIMPLE Plan
  7. SEP Plan

Aside from retirement plans, some businesses also offer their employees stock options too.

Other voluntary benefits

According to Colonial Life, voluntary benefits fall into four “life needs” categories:

  • Health
  • Wealth accumulation
  • Security
  • Personal

Voluntary benefits are used to supplement the coverage of traditional benefits offered to employees who may be in danger of being financially devastated in the result of unexpected circumstances hitting them. A common example includes employees purchasing extra voluntary healthcare benefits to help support their current healthcare plan. Some of these plans offer cash assistance to help pay for bills not associated with the medical bill.

benefits that motivate employees

Some examples of voluntary benefits that are rising today include:

  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Hospital Indemnity Insurance
  • Student Loan Assistance
  • Financial Wellness Planning
  • Pet Insurance


There are a lot of things employers can do to offer intrigue within their businesses to attain and retain top talent without breaking the bank. The following examples should cost employers little to nothing to implement as part of their benefits packages:

  • Flexible work hours—The typical 9-5 days are over. People want the ability to choose when they come and go to work based on their schedules. Kids, pets, life circumstances, etc. are all variables to account for with employees. When they have the option to come to the office when it works for them, they’ll be happier and more productive.
  • Bonuses—These can come in all shapes and forms and people love them. Offer traditionally paid bonuses, gift cards, hotel stays, lottery tickets or whatever. A bonus program can be easily created that employees will want to participate in.
  • Wellness programs—Employers can create these programs to help employees adopt a healthier lifestyle. They can incorporate healthy living/eating initiatives, bring in healthcare professionals to educate, create contests for employees to participate in such as stop smoking initiatives, walking challenges and more.
  • Gym memberships—Employers can offer fully covered or discounted gym membership opportunities to employees to promote wellness.

These are a few examples of benefits packages that motivate employees. Employers need to reach out directly to their employees to figure out exactly what they want in their benefit offerings. This can be done through surveys, assessments, 1-on-1’s and more.

Managing employee benefits with a cloud-based benefits management module

Many employers encounter issues when it comes to managing employee benefits, navigating ACA compliance, working through Age-Banded benefits and sending crucial data files to appropriate carriers. In turn, this motivates them to look for cloud-based, automated modules to streamline these efforts for administrators and employees. By incorporating this, it helps to create workforce harmony and promotes higher levels of communication, transparency and engagement throughout.

Cloud Payroll Systems

Benefits brokers can help solve these problem-areas for their clients by partnering their offerings with a scalable, cloud-based human capital management (HCM) platform via a full suite, or a la carte solutions for those who only need a few components of HR Management technology. An HCM platform corrals all data into a single, secure location that promotes efficiencies to both end users and administrators by automating manual tasks and workflows, reducing the need for paper, customizing impactful reports, therefore saving hours of time, money, and more.

Benefits brokers win by bolstering their overall sales and by providing their clients with technology that scales to meet the needs of their ever-changing requirements. By providing clients with HCM technology that works, over time, they will continue to want to use it, as well as add more modules to improve other areas of their HR operations.

To learn more about how Benefits Management can help you hire and retain workers, read our guide “Employee Benefits Can Give You the Competitive Edge”

Read the Guide