As the workforce diversifies and mobile technology continues to entrench itself in all major markets, coupled with the rise of voluntary benefits as a critical component of job satisfaction, offering attractive employee benefit plans is more important now than ever before.
The workforce is evolving, with a greater percentage made up by younger workers who don’t plan or prioritize like their parents did; recruiting and retaining employees has become increasingly difficult for many employers due to noncompetitive and old-fashioned benefit offerings.
One way to ensure that they can stay competitive and attract the best talent is by leveraging aggressive benefit strategies.
The insurance and voluntary benefits markets are catching up and you can stay ahead of the shift by leveraging these 4 benefit strategies to satisfy your clients.
Stay in touch with evolving technology
Industry leaders are leveraging technology and mobile apps to support benefits, drive enrollment, increase retention, and enhance the employee experience. Staying up to date with the latest advancements and solutions will provide you with a competitive advantage.
Your clients may be in any range of industries and decision-makers may not always be technologically savvy or understand the payoff that tech adoption can yield.
To help keep clients and their employees current, set up training sessions to inform them of available product options, software solutions, mobile self-service applications, and other technology they may not be familiar with. This will help increase adoption, provide added consultative value for your clients and enable your own business to be more efficient.
According to the ADP RI, only 9 percent of HR managers believe that their employees are knowledgeable about the benefits their company offers.
One of the most important steps in building a successful benefit strategy is developing an effective communication plan that will help all parties involved understand the value of what is being offered. This will be a process, and it is a process that should begin well in advance of open enrollment. Whether your products are constrained by open enrollment periods or not, that is when employees and employers have benefits on the mind and it’s your job to nudge them into action beforehand.
With a diverse workforce, investing in a communication plan means providing meaningful insight into how your clients can augment their employee’s lifestyles with valuable benefits. Gathering data about how employees choose to engage at work will enable you to select the channels you will use to reach them.
For example, Gen X employees and Millennials prefer different means of communication. While Millennials may be active on all mainstream social media channels, Gen X employees are more likely to be reached via phone or email.
By effectively communicating with employees, focusing on what their needs are and where to engage with them, you can help to overcome passive reenrollment and enable your clients to achieve higher utilization.
Greater enrollment and employee retention (and thus client retention for you) can be achieved through thoughtful, targeted educational communication plans.
Address multi-generational needs
In the insurance and voluntary benefits industry, the adage, “you can’t please everyone,” can seem like its carved in stone.
Afterall, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all benefit plan. However, there are ways to enhance benefits strategies so you can come close. Getting close means being able to differentiate between groups within the workforce, paying particular attention to generational priorities.
Broadly speaking, generational groups have different habits, natural tendencies, and critically, communicate differently. With a workforce made up of Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z, there’s no question that there is a need for a variety of plans that cater to generational differences. More than that, technology platforms have enabled employers to offer customization on a deeper level.
Traditional insurance products have always been the backbone of any employee benefit offering, but with the ability to sell those products alongside lifestyle benefits on a customizable platform, like the one that Genius Avenue offers, enables employers to easily provide employees with the benefits they want.
While Millennials and Gen Z will have the upper hand in adapting to these systems in the digital era, don’t count the older generations out. Organize training sessions to ensure they understand the significance of the new technology moving forward and keep the focus on the benefit and control, not the shiny new gadgets.
Costs and value
Preparation, intuition, data, and communication can help you and your clients create the right package for their workforces. As with everything in life, there will still be misfires. Rolling out benefits and not meeting enrollment expectations means that your clients are spending money and not getting the returns they’re paying for.
One way to mitigate that is by offering discounted products, that have value to the employee base, alongside shared-cost products. Lifestyle benefits and enhanced benefits like telehealth and identity protection provide real benefit to employees with no requirement for employers to contribute to the cost.
According to the 2018 Willis Towers Watson Emerging Trends study, 69% of employers reported that voluntary benefits will become more important or very important to their benefits strategies over the next 3-5 years. Adding these products into your portfolio is a great way to stay in line with client expectations both in terms of quality and value.
Developing targeted benefit strategies and having access to the emerging technology will transform the employee experience. This will count towards structuring a cohesive approach and contribute to the development of a strong benefits platform for your clients. Leveraging these benefit strategies will help you stay competitive and help attract potential and existing employees.
Genius Avenue offers a platform for insurance, voluntary, and lifestyle benefits providers, brokers and consumers. Want to learn more about it? Click here.