The Importance of Employee Benefits and the Emotional Connection

Beyond Coverage April 24, 2023

Are your benefits helping you attract and retain talent? Or are they a stumbling block for your recruitment and retention?

Across industries and roles, employees are rethinking what they want from work, including from their employers. This shift is shaping their expectations about everything from where they work (remotely, in the office, or hybrid) to their benefits. It’s also enhancing the importance of employee benefits. Employers that can enhance emotional connection and engagement through benefits that have an edge—and it can help them attract and retain talent. This article looks at why emotional connection matters and how to create it.

The importance of employee benefits

Put simply, benefits matter to talent. Research data reveals that employee benefits rank as the #2 reason to look for a new job.1 Robust employee benefits can contribute to greater employee engagement,2 higher job satisfaction, lower turnover rates, increased productivity, and better workplace morale, among other positives.

Here’s the thing that many employers overlook: engagement doesn’t start on the job. It actually begins during the recruiting process, especially in the current hiring market.3 It’s during this period of mutual exploration that employers have the opportunity to nurture that emotional connection with prospective hires—and the right benefits can help.

Why? Of course, employee benefits are not inherently emotional, but what you offer as an employer feeds into both the rational and emotional pathways in decision-making. And it’s this that establishes an emotional connection with a potential candidate.

Think about the candidate experience. Before accepting a position, a candidate does extensive research. This may include visiting the company website and social media channels, talking with friends, and reading Glassdoor reviews. From this research, a candidate can begin to form an idea of what the company stands for, its goals, the nature of the role, and what it would be like to work there. The experience during the interview process further solidifies this (or begins to create tension).

Then the offer comes, with information on the salary and benefits package. Now, imagine that the employee benefits fail to align with the candidate’s expectations. All of a sudden, what was discussed during the hiring process can ring empty when there is nothing to support it. The emotional connection is gone. 

How to attract and retain talent with benefits

Benefits convey a message about whether or not an employer cares about its people. When it comes to health insurance, voids in coverage may cause financial strain even for routine or everyday care. Enhancing primary health insurance plans with innovative supplemental health insurance plans can boost benefits, helping employees feel valued and rewarded. Consider, for example, how offering coverage for brand-name Rx formulary can lower out-of-pocket costs and ease financial strain for families. Coverage for age-and-stage needs like orthodontia, prescribed massage therapy and Executive Physicals can serve as an ongoing reminder of an employer’s appreciation.

The right benefits can also help employees feel supported. Over the last three years, employers and employees alike have confronted the consequences of workplace stress and its toll on mental health. Supporting employee well-being has become a corporate priority, and for good reason. Younger generations, including millennials and Gen Z, now make up nearly 50% of the full-time workforce in the United States—and they are more likely to rank well-being as the #1 thing they value in an employer.4 Certainly this speaks to the importance of employee benefits in supporting well-being.  

Moreover, employers may be juggling the differing needs of as many as five generations in the workforce. The key to meeting them—while managing health plan costs—is to create benefit diversity through flexibility. Unique employer-sponsored supplemental health insurance plans can give employers this valuable flexibility while helping them control costs. 

Creating an emotional connection

Ultimately, the mutual exchange looks simple. Employers are looking for talent to help them achieve business success. And many employees are looking for work with purpose, at a company that cares for them and that will provide compensation and benefits that help them afford the care they need, when they need it. Add in the right benefits, and it all becomes a win-win—with the emotional connection glue that holds the employee and employer together. 

The right supplemental health insurance benefits can help to create that connection. Plans like Ultimate Health® by ArmadaCare can help employers close coverage voids, meet specific benefit expectations, provide support for employee well-being and more, all while controlling benefit costs. These benefits can help employers hold onto key talent: our enrollment data shows a fourfold improvement in retention for employees who are members of an ArmadaCare plan compared to the national average.5

Now that you know more about the importance of employee benefits and the emotional connection, learn more about Ultimate Health by ArmadaCare.


1 PwC, 2021

2 HBR, 2021

3 Forbes, 2021

4 Gallup, 2022

5 ArmadaCare Engagement Survey, 2022

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