Educating Employees on Voluntary Benefits: A Comprehensive Guide for HR Professionals

Human resources professionals play a critical role in shaping employee experiences and ensuring their well-being. Voluntary benefits are an essential part of the total benefits package, and educating employees about these offerings is crucial for helping them comprehend available choices. In this guide, we’ll explore strategies specifically tailored for HR professionals to effectively communicate voluntary benefits.

Understanding Voluntary Benefits

Before diving into the strategies, let’s recap what voluntary benefits entail. Voluntary benefits, also known as supplemental or fringe benefits, are offerings that employees can choose to participate in. Unlike core benefits (such as health insurance), these auxiliary benefits are elective and typically funded by employees through payroll deductions or direct billing. Here are some common voluntary benefits:

  • Life Insurance: An insurance policy delivers a benefit to beneficiaries when the insured person passes away, in exchange for the premiums paid during the coverage period.
  • Cancer Insurance: Provides financial aid for both medical and non-medical expenses related to cancer treatment.
  • Medical Bridge Insurance: Offers benefits to cover deductible costs, coinsurance, and everyday living expenses.
  • Accident Insurance: A type of supplemental insurance that pays out when the insured is injured in an accident.
  • Disability Insurance: Provides monthly payments to individuals with a disability that stops or limits their ability to work, short- or long-term.
  • Critical Illness Insurance: A type of insurance that provides a lump sum payment to the insured upon diagnosis of a specified critical illness.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs): Employer-owned accounts allow employees to set aside pre-tax money for medical expenses, but they cannot be rolled over to the next year unless the employer’s plan permits carryover up to the IRS maximum limit.
  • Dependent Care Accounts (DCAs): Empowers individuals to manage expenses for qualified dependent care, such as childcare and adult daycare facilities, while simultaneously reducing their taxable income.
  • Health Savings Accounts (HSAs): Controlled by individuals, more flexible than FSAs, and allow contributions to be rolled over to the next year plus long-term savings and investment options.
  • Telemedicine: Enables healthcare providers to consult with patients remotely via phone or video.
  • Pet Insurance: Covers medical and certain non-medical expenses if your pet is sick or injured.
  • Identity Theft & Legal Assistance Plans: Services that help protect against identity theft and provide access to legal advice and representation.
  • Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs): Resources that offer support for employees’ well-being, including mental health services, counseling, and work-life balance assistance.
  • Student Loan Assistance Programs: Offers professional advising for student loan relief and strategies to optimize loan savings.
  • Home: Provides financial protection against damage to your home and legal responsibility for injuries and property damage caused by you or your family.
  • Auto: A contract that protects you against financial loss in case of a vehicle accident or theft.

Why Educate Employees on Voluntary Benefits?

  • Awareness: Many employees are unaware of the full range of voluntary benefits available to them. Educating them ensures they make informed decisions.
  • Retention and Satisfaction: Offering a robust benefits package contributes toward employee health and satisfaction and reduced turnover.
  • Financial Well-Being: Voluntary benefits provide financial security during unexpected events.
  • Customization: Employees can choose benefits that align with their unique needs and circumstances.

Effective Communication Strategies for HR Professionals

  • Workshops: Host workshops specifically for your HR department. Equip them with in-depth knowledge about each benefit to address employee queries.
  • Benefit Fairs: Organize benefit fairs where employees can interact with providers and learn about available options.
  • Personalized Emails: Send targeted emails based on life events (e.g., marriage, parenthood) to highlight relevant benefits.
  • Intranet Resources: Create a dedicated section on your organization intranet with detailed benefit information.

As HR professionals, your role extends beyond administration. Educating employees about voluntary benefits creates a more informed workforce. Remember, voluntary benefits aren’t just extras—they’re essential components of a comprehensive benefits package.

Partner with Pierce Group Benefits

At Pierce Group Benefits (PGB), we empower human resources professionals to support their organization’s employees, enhance benefit communication, and offer comprehensive resources for individuals to fully understand the range of benefits available to them. Reach out to your Pierce Group Benefits Account Executive or contact a PGB Representative at to explore how PGB can support your organization’s human resource’s department.