13 Jul 2022
Help Your Group Clients by Enriching Employee Benefits
Have you touched base with your group clients lately? As their benefits advisor, you are uniquely equipped to help them. Recent studies indicate that offering a competitive employee benefits package can help businesses improve their recruiting and retention results.
It goes without saying: the COVID-19 pandemic changed people’s priorities— the existential threat posed by the pandemic has opened people’s eyes to the health risks around them, leading to a fresh appreciation of life and health insurance—a trend you’ve undoubtedly already witnessed on the individual life and health coverage.
Now, that perspective is impacting the employee benefits landscape, by offering employees access to the coverages they want, employers can better attract and retain those workers.
That’s where you come in.
What Workers Want: More Employee Benefits Options
Several recent studies have demonstrated a growing link between competitive employee benefit plans and increased employee satisfaction—as well as employers’ desire to leverage this relationship.
For example, in a recent survey conducted by Voya Financial, 70% of employees surveyed said they are more inclined to work for an employer that offers employee-paid voluntary benefits, such as critical illness, hospital indemnity, disability income and accident insurance.
Recently, AON reported a 41% increase in group clients offering new and/or additional voluntary benefits. Furthermore, enrollment increased in more than 50% among the most popular voluntary benefits, which in this case, included critical illness, accident and hospital indemnity and life insurance.
Not surprisingly, Willis Towers Watson found that employers’ commitment to making voluntary benefits a key part of their benefit package has increased dramatically, skyrocketing from 36% in 2018 to 94% last year.
Furthermore, industry research indicates that the more voluntary benefit options employees are offered, the greater their satisfaction with their employers.
Because voluntary benefits do not represent an additional expense to employers, it’s hard to imagine why any employer wouldn’t want to take advantage of this phenomenon.
Help Your Clients Enhance Their Employee Benefits Offerings
If you haven’t already, now is the time to touch base with your group clients, discussing the link between expanding employee benefits and improved recruiting and retention results.
Be sure to contact clients who have not been receptive to voluntary benefits in the past. It’s a new world. If they’re wrestling with a talent shortage—and most companies are—they may be ready to rethink their position. In fact, they may be thinking about reaching out to you.
Even clients who aren’t ready to expand their portfolio may be motivated to do a better job of promoting and explaining their current employee benefits package. Because the better employees understand their benefits, the more they value them.
Consider this: in the Voya survey, nearly one-third of employee respondents admitted that they don’t fully understand their elected benefits. In most organizations, there’s plenty of room for improvement.
You can help your group clients maximize their employee benefits in a number of ways, including:
- Work with your clients to develop a year-round benefits communication strategy. Once a year at enrollment—when both employees and HR are likely under strict time constraints—isn’t enough. The key to truly educating employees (and maximizing enrollment when it does come around) is to serve up a consistent flow of messaging delivered in small doses.
- Make sure your clients are providing information to employees in a range of formats and media, accommodating different demographics and types of learners. While most employees prefer digital communications now, a mix of webinars, emails, videos, intranet posts, posters and live meetings will help ensure that everyone gets the message.
- Help your clients promote their employee benefits package effectively to applicants as well as current employees—whether that translates to updating the boilerplate benefits summary in job posts or expanding the career sections of their websites.
- Be willing to take a more active role in the enrollment process, given the opportunity. Make yourself available to answer questions and offer employee consults. Research indicates that workers welcome one-on-one opportunities to discuss benefit options in light of their own specific situation.
At this point in time, group producers have both an obligation and an opportunity to help their clients seize this moment. Pan-American Life offers a number of competitive, innovative Group products. If you need help brushing up on your PALIG product knowledge or support regarding a particular situation, your PALIG sales team is here to help.