With the U.S. unemployment rate at its lowest in decades, combined with a labor market that is younger and more skilled than ever before; this has pushed employers in every industry to become more forward-thinking and inventive in the direction they go in when attracting and retaining elite talent to work for them. It turns out that inspiring your workforce begins with employee benefits.

You heard that right. It’s not just the salary that motivates your workforce, it’s the benefit offerings they can pick and choose from. Today, it is becoming more-and-more apparent that the key to unlocking employee happiness and productivity begins with how well employees feel supported not just inside of the office, but outside too.

According to a Glassdoor survey, around 60 percent of respondents said they strongly consider perks and benefits offered before accepting a job offer. In addition, 80 percent prefer additional benefits over a pay increase. Benefits offer employees and their families more flexibility to bolster coverage in areas of need, whether that be healthcare, retirement, college saving funds or other categories..

Continue reading below to see the which employee benefits are most sought after today.

employee benefits

Why Employee Benefits Are More In-Demand Than Salary

Simply put, employee benefits are more flexible compared to just a higher salary. Depending on the selection(s) by an employee, the offerings can help employees offset out-of-pocket costs. A workforce benefits when they have more selections available to them to choose from. The positives of more options include:

  • Benefits come in all shapes and sizes, giving employees greater customization
  • Employees that are happy with their offerings are more productive and loyal
  • Employee benefits purchased through an employer are generally cheaper
  • Benefits can be deducted directly through payroll

In 2019, the cost-of-care for healthcare in the U.S. will average out to nearly $15,000 per employee. As healthcare costs continue to blast-off, combined with the fact that employers typically pay 70 percent of the tab, both employers and employees need relief to help offset these unstoppable costs.

To help address this healthcare crisis, employers should consider adding voluntary employee benefits, some examples include critical illness insurance, hospital indemnity insurance, disability and others. The great thing about these supplemental options is that they provide the enrolled employee a cash benefit in the event they meet the criteria for their insurance due to an unexpected illness for example. The cash benefit is something their traditional healthcare would not provide them.

Employee Benefits That Inspire, Attract and Retain Employees

Employers that want to create an extraordinary employer brand to attract and retain high-performing workers to their business should make focusing on their employee benefits offerings a high priority. Let’s take a closer look at what the most sought-after benefits and perks are for employees today.

Healthcare, dental and vision

As voluntary benefits are becoming more abundant and available, employees still put the “big three” as their top priority when looking for their next place of employment. Those are healthcare, dental and vision.

According to SHRM, 95 percent of employers surveyed chose healthcare benefits as the most important to most of their employees. With this knowledge, employers can pick the focus on finding a great healthcare options, as well as find a few supplemental ones like critical illness insurance to support their healthcare even further.


Retirement savings is another area of importance for today’s workforce. The 2008 financial crisis caused damage and ruined many peoples’ retirement plans across the U.S. Since then, the focus on savings has been greater.  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

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

  • Benefit Pension Plan
  • 401(k) Plan
  • Roth 401(k) Plan
  • 403(b) Plan
  • 457 Plan
  • SIMPLE Plan
  • SEP Plan

Successful employers not only look at retirement plans, but they may offer stock options to their employee too.

Alternative employee benefits

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

  • Health
  • Wealth accumulation
  • Security
  • Personal

Voluntary employee benefit offerings can help your workforce from being financially devastated in the event of unexpected life circumstances take over. Many of these alternative options offer employees a lump-sum cash benefit if they or their dependents get sick or injured. Supplementing their core benefits with voluntary options helps to provide more security to employees.

Another example could be the benefit of student loan assistance. Some employers will reimburse employees for the credits that they earn in college too.

Some examples of voluntary benefits that are rising today include:

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

Office perks

To obtain and retain high-performers, employers don’t have to break the bank to do so. They can build strong employer brand with some of the following perks added to their employee benefit packages.

Bonuses— A bonus program can be easily created that employees will want to participate in by offering traditionally paid bonuses, gift cards, hotel stays, lottery tickets or whatever.

Flexible work hours—Nobody has the same life schedule, so why do they have to be on the same work schedule? Today’s workforce does not want to work 9-5, they want flexibility. Kids, life, hobbies, etc., you name it. Giving them the option to come in and get their work done on their terms is taking hold into today’s offices.

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.

To find out what their workforce wants in benefits, employers need to reach out directly to their employee.  This can be done through surveys, assessments, 1-on-1s and more.

Manage Employee Benefits with the Arcoro Cloud-Based Benefits Management Module

Many employers encounter issues when it comes to managing employee benefits, ensuring communication and compliance is met during Open Enrollment, sending employee selections to appropriate carriers and more. The issues the have stem from performing these tasks with manual workflows, or that their current technology is simply limited in capability.

With the help of the Arcoro cloud-based Benefits Management module, powered by Arcoro, businesses can streamline the management of all benefits-related data for HR administrators and end users. The technology helps to promotes higher levels of communication, transparency and engagement throughout the business.

The entire platform features a built-in integration to over 300 partners. Such partners include connections top insurance carriers, payroll providers, ERP systems and more. This allows end users to scale the system quickly and easily as their requirements change over time.

The Arcoro 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 your employers.

Arcoro—HR Management, Talent Management and Payroll Processing

The full HCM platform can be offered as the whole suite, or by individual module:

  • Benefits Management
  • Core HR (Employee Portal and more)
  • ACA Compliance
  • Payroll Processing
  • Time and Attendance
  • Applicant Tracking System
  • Onboarding
  • Performance Management
  • Learning Management
  • Succession Planning
  • Job Posting and more

Want to learn more about the cloud-based Arcoro platform? Contact us today, and we’ll show it to you in action.