Incorporating Diversity and Inclusion into Voluntary Benefits

Diversity and inclusion have varied views, depending on the generation you ask. For example, “Millennials view workplace diversity as the combining of different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives…”[1] In addition to modern workplaces, those famous for having relaxation pods, full-service food courts, and slides from one floor to the next, employees are looking for greater inclusion when it comes to insurance and other voluntary benefit options.

 

In order to attract and maintain a diverse and hungry employee base, organizations are looking to revamp their voluntary benefit programs to reflect the needs of individual employee experiences and needs. Direct impacts to the business include a larger recruiting pool, improved office culture and employee satisfaction, and a boost in the public perception of the organization’s brand and views on employee happiness.

 

When making the conscious effort to incorporate programs that support diversity and inclusion at your organization, it is important to underline the different groups to which these benefits will be extended. For example, instead of focusing on just one group, employers will be urged to address gender, race, age, education, and religion. This allows the employer to extend benefits to a more broad range of employees rather than further singling individuals out of the plan.

 

Examples of voluntary programs that fall into the diversity and inclusion category include:

 

Mental Health. As a global issue, companies are finding it helpful to offer support to employees with varying degrees of mental health needs. This could include professional counseling or therapy to remote support and additional medication coverage programs.

 

Senior Care. Anywhere from 13% to 22%[2] of employed persons is acting as a caregiver while also being employed. Providing employees access to resources through a senior management program can reduce the number of lost workdays that come as part of the at-home caregiver responsibility.

 

Fertility, Adoption, and Foster Care Assistance. A growing trend among employers includes the addition of employer-funded polices for fertility, adoption, and/or foster care. These benefits include financial reimbursement and paid or unpaid leave in addition to that provided by FMLA.

 

On-The-Go Telehealth Solutions. According to the America Hospital Association, “76% of U.S. hospitals connect with patients and consulting practitioners at a distance through the use of video and other technology.”[3] Telehealth solutions are affordable and work with most insurance plans. Employees are able to access medical professionals including general practitioners, mental health providers, and some specialties, including dermatology, through a convenient, private, and secure technology.

 

Voluntary benefits that center on improving the livelihood of employees through diversity and inclusion-focused programs increase employee loyalty and retention, brand recognition and public perception, and help make life easier.

 

Combine traditional benefits with unique voluntary benefits that promote diversity and inclusion among your employees. Contact Human Capital to learn more about voluntary benefits programs you can add on to further improve employee culture.

 

 

 

[1] Ideal: Diversity and Inclusion: A Beginner’s Guide for HR Professionals

[2] Family Caregiver Alliance: Caregiver Statistics

[3] American Hospital Association: Fact Sheet: Telehealth