Voya: Supporting Caregivers in the Workplace
Voya | Cares
Voya Financial helps Americans plan, invest and protect their savings — to get ready to retire better. Through their retirement, employee benefits and investment management businesses, Voya is helping millions of Americans plan for life’s milestones — whether that’s starting a new family, supporting aging parents or caring for a loved one with special needs. Beyond helping Americans get ready to retire, Voya is committed to making a positive difference.
Realizing the Opportunity
In 2016, through its Voya Cares® program, which helps caregivers and those with disabilities and special needs plan for the future they envision, Voya started holding employee focus groups on a quarterly basis to gain a better understanding of the special needs community and its members’ unique challenges. High-level opportunities that emerged from the sessions included:
- Helping employees and customers with special needs or disabilities, as well as their caregivers.
- Raising awareness about its internal accommodation policy among managers and employees.
- Reaching out to the special needs community via volunteerism, sponsorships and partnerships.
- Sharing Voya Cares’ overview and strategy with all employees.
Through the focus groups, Voya gained a better understanding of the needs of employees who have disabilities or who are caregivers. “We kept hearing from employees how hard it was to balance work and caring for loved ones, or even managing their own chronic condition,” said Kim Shattuck, vice president, HR Benefits, Voya. “We’re proud of the resources we offer families, and we now recognize the unique needs of this employee group.”
In addition, Voya Cares recently conducted an external, proprietary survey, in collaboration with Lieberman Research Worldwide, that assesses the complex realities and needs of caregivers and employees with disabilities in the workplace. According to the study, employers tend to underestimate the impact caregiving has on their employees’ productivity at work, as well as the direct and indirect costs of caregiving to their organization.1
Other key findings include:
- Nearly one-in-five caregivers (17%) is afraid to disclose their situation to their employer, and (22%) have quit their job due to caregiving responsibilities.
- 81% of caregivers report experiencing added stress or anxiety at work as a result of their caregiving responsibilities.
- 83% of caregivers have taken time off work to provide care — double the amount of days taken off by their non-caregiving colleagues.
- 90% of caregiver employees feel that they lack company support in some areas.
Voya is dedicated to doing all that it can to help caregivers and those with disabilities and special needs plan for the future they envision — both the near- and long-term future.
As a result, in March 2019, Voya announced it was providing Wellthy’s offerings as an extension of the internal portion of the Voya Cares program, giving Voya employees and their families access to Wellthy at no cost.
The new benefit helps families caring for loved ones who are aging, chronically ill, disabled or need medical care, as well as employees with their own health care needs. Wellthy aims to relieve some of the day-to-day logistical and administrative caregiving tasks from families.
With Wellthy, Voya employees and their families are matched with a dedicated care coordinator who helps schedule appointments, refill prescriptions, handle prior authorizations, source and vet in-home aides, handle a move into a care facility, research insurance bills, and much more.
The response following the launch of Wellthy was quite positive — there was a higher-than-expected number of employees contacting Wellthy for assistance. Offering Wellthy was just another example of Voya’s dedication to support families throughout all of life’s milestones.
Wellthy has supported many Voya employees and their family members caring for loved ones ranging from parents, children, spouses, and employees themselves. Wellthy’s support has been largely across the financial, housing, and medical pillars of the Wellthy Care Framework.
Voya quickly recognized the impact of Wellthy’s offering. “Hearing quotes like, ‘Everyone thus far has been fabulous!’ is amazing in just three and a half months,” said Shattuck. “Bringing on Wellthy as part of our Voya Cares program was a great decision, and I’m so thrilled that our employees are getting the support that they need.”
Soon after the internal rollout, Wellthy was further extended as part of the Voya Cares offering to Voya’s clients. Through this collaboration, they can differentiate their benefit offerings to help attract and retain top talent, maximize employee productivity, address employees’ family care and financial wellness needs, and create a more supportive and inclusive workplace.
By offering a variety of resources focused on education, planning and solutions, the Voya Cares program has become a differentiator in the marketplace. As Voya shared during its Investor Day event last fall, approximately 20% of Voya’s retirement plan wins in 2018 were meaningfully impacted by its Voya Cares program, and this same trend continues in 2019.
1) Findings of an online survey of 510 HR Decision Makers respondents and an online survey of 1,815 employee respondents, both conducted by Voya Financial in partnership with Lieberman Research Worldwide (LRW) during the period of Dec. 2, 2018 – Jan. 14, 201