A new day is dawning for employee benefits: are brokers ready?


If you are a broker in today’s fiercely competitive world of employee benefits and want to keep your current business, increase your share of the portfolio, and gain new clients, you need to carefully consider how the employee-centric model for benefits management technology and the service is growing in popularity considerably.

Increasingly, the trend is for employers (and your competitors) to rely on fewer and more comprehensive partners to deliver the administration, benefits, and technology that the new benefits business model demands. They seek to meet three critical needs:

  • A modernized user experience (for the employee and the benefits manager)
  • A full suite of benefits that nurture and nourish the entire employee – and the experienced support that employers and employees demand around those benefits
  • Effective and employee-specific communication that promotes employee understanding and appreciation, engagement and return on investment

A quick explanation of the new service model

HR systems are being redesigned from the perspective of employee needs, rather than the needs of medical claim payers and HR processes. They also stopped focusing so much on the main medical, dental and visual benefits.

Yes, this transformation has been evolving for several years, but now it is igniting and not going to change direction. The COVID-19 pandemic has made employers and employees much more focused on needs for benefits that are more holistic and easier to access.

Employees and employers alike look for benefits that put the employee at the center; benefits and platforms that make life easier and better for employees in all aspects of their lives.

It goes beyond making the employee portal and user experience more user-friendly; the actual benefits offered change. More and more large organizations are experimenting with broader portfolios of benefits and tools for everything from financial well-being to physical health to mental well-being. The lines are blurring between narrow categorization of benefits and even between who in an organization is responsible for which program.

See who gets all the love now: voluntary benefits

As the demand for integrated health care benefits continues to grow, voluntary products are now in the spotlight. Once the isolated perks are combined, the voluntary perks open up in a big way as employers and brokers rush to modernize the perks to resonate with the younger generations of today’s workforce and do so. in the face of the ramifications of the pandemic.

Related: Voluntary benefits thrive in times of uncertainty

For example, employers’ investment in employee well-being increased by more than 500% in 2020 compared to 2019, according to a employee wellness landscape analysis by The Starr Conspiracy. New benefits now cover a wide range, including:

  • Flexibility of workplace and hours
  • Identify and make your voice heard in the values ​​and mission of a company – two-way communication
  • Community orientation
  • Support for non-traditional and multigenerational families
  • Student loan repayment
  • Financial planning and advice for all employees
  • Lifestyle flexibility
  • Lifestyle benefits, such as subprime loans from employers

What should a broker do?

By now, it may be clear why we started this article with the bold claim that the trend is towards employers – and your competition – relying on fewer trusted partners (or maybe just one. ) that can provide the administration, benefits and technology of the new business model. This partner must provide:

  • A modernized user experience for employee and benefits administrator
  • A full range of benefits – essential and voluntary, focused on delivering an employee-centric experience and supporting the whole employee
  • Effective and targeted communication that helps employees understand their benefits and drives employee engagement and return on investment

Is there truly integrated and automated software for benefit administration and employee engagement? What are the key things to look for in these three critical areas?

Let’s start at the bottom and work our way up.

Without the right communication delivered to the right people at the right time, the chances that a program or initiative will gain traction and be successful are dramatically reduced.

  • Look for a solution provider that allows employers to truly connect with their employees. After all, half of all employees are dissatisfied or only partially satisfied with their current benefits.
  • Look for a platform provider with built-in engagement software to create impactful, personalized communications and a user-friendly registration experience.

When it comes to a range of benefits, look for a partner who has not only the products but also the technology to seamlessly manage all of an employer’s benefit plans, regardless of their location. complexity.

  • A solutions provider with a large and in-depth inventory of essential and voluntary / workplace benefits will reduce the hassle, headaches and compliance risks for employers.
  • The right technology will also allow HR to access employee and group structure history, electronic document storage and more with just the push of a button. Look for a solutions provider who has years of experience and can manage life events, eligibility, compliance, and demographic changes in one convenient place.
  • If that partner also has built-in employee engagement capabilities, you’ll have a double whammy in solving the dilemma many employers face. Make sure your partner can handle large and complex setups and benefit business rule sets.

User experience for admin and employees goes way beyond a smooth user interface (although it’s nice to have).

  • Make sure your technology partner has a team of first-class, highly experienced and dedicated service experts working with your customers from setup to implementation and beyond.
  • Make sure the partner you’re going with provides a 24/7 experience for employees simply with an internet connection from any device, without the employee having to download another app.

It is a difficult bill to complete. You will find benefit administration technology providers who are strong in one or more of these three critical areas. You’ll find that some employee engagement solutions can knock communication out of the park. But brokers who want to position themselves as a trusted advisor in the future need a partner who covers all three bases in a solid and expert manner.

Craig stephens is vice president of sales at Selerix, a leading provider of benefits administration and employee engagement software.


About Author

Comments are closed.