As the workforce diversifies and mobile technology continues to entrench itself in all major markets, offering attractive employee benefit plans is more important now than ever before. Voluntary benefits are on the rise as a critical component of job satisfaction.

The workforce is evolving to encompass a greater percentage of younger workers who don’t plan or prioritize the same way 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 you stay competitive and attract the best talent is by leveraging aggressive benefit strategies.

The insurance and voluntary benefits markets are evolving quickly, 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 come from 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 new technology. This will help increase adoption, provide added consultative value for your clients, and enable your own business to be more efficient.

Communicate, educate

According to the ADP RI, only 9% of HR managers believe that their employees are knowledgeable about their company benefits.

One of the most important steps in building a successful benefit strategy is developing an effective communication plan. This will be a process that should begin well in advance of open enrollment. Whether your products are constrained by open enrollment periods or not, that is the window when employees and employers have benefits on the mind, and it’s your job to nudge them into action.

With a diverse workforce, investing in a communication plan means providing meaningful insight into how your clients can augment their employees’ lifestyles with valuable benefits. Gathering data about how employees choose to engage at work to select the right channels to reach them.

For example, Gen X employees and Millennials may 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 and focusing on their needs, you can 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 old 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 to come close. This 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. Technology platforms have enabled employers to offer customization on a deeper level to accommodate these differences.

Traditional insurance products have always been the backbone of any employee benefit offering, but companies like Genius Avenue offer the ability to sell those products alongside lifestyle benefits on a customizable platform.

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 new technology, and keep the focus on 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 workforce. 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 without getting the returns they’re paying for.

One way to mitigate this 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 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 in terms of quality and value.

Developing targeted benefit strategies and having access to emerging technology will transform the employee experience. This will help in structuring a cohesive approach and contributing to the development of a strong benefits platform. Leveraging these benefit strategies will help you stay competitive and help attract potential and existing clients and their employees.

Genius Avenue offers a platform for insurance, voluntary, and lifestyle benefits providers, brokers and consumers. Want to learn more? Click here