How Benefits Brokers & Consultants Can Capitalize on the Employee Experience Trend

How Benefits Brokers & Consultants Can Capitalize on the Employee Experience Trend

In today’s increasingly competitive labor market, employers are looking for every available advantage to drive employee attraction and retention. As the expectations of the workforce continue to evolve, providing a first-rate employee experience is a major area of focus for employers who want to compete for top talent.

Benefits brokers and consultants are in a great position to positively impact the employee experience for their clients and, in doing so, strengthen their client relationships, improve client retention and create additional revenue opportunities.

What is employee experience and why is it so important?

Back in January, a Forbes article dubbed 2018 the Year of Employee Experience, defining employee experience as the "sum of everything an employee experiences throughout his or her connection to the organization—every employee interaction, from the first contact as a potential recruit to the last interaction after the end of employment."1

Several factors in the workforce have elevated the importance of employee experience:

  • The skills shortage and low unemployment rate have given talent a great deal of power within the market. Offering a first-rate employee experience can give employers a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent.
  • Recruiting and employee review websites like Glassdoor and Indeed give job candidates an unprecedented level of insight into the employee experience at companies they're considering. An employer with a weak employee experience can no longer hide it.
  • The employee-employer social contract has evolved as workers, driven by a number of societal forces, have developed a tendency to change jobs more frequently. For organizations, embracing this new reality means maintaining a strong employer brand that can keep their talent attraction cycle moving indefinitely.

How can benefits brokers impact employee experience for their clients?

Benefits are a key area where employers can enhance the employee experience, and brokers and consultants can be of enormous help in two primary initiatives:

1. Benefits Customization 

According to a recent study from MetLife, nearly three-fourths of employees say that having benefits customized to meet their needs is important when considering a new job, and 72 percent say that a customized benefits package would increase their loyalty to their current employer.2

One size simply does not fit all in benefits. Employees want and need options to put together a benefits package that fits their unique circumstances. Employers who offer a robust set of benefits – products that address the wide array of health, wealth and lifestyle situations present in the workforce – are in a better position to both attract new employees and make current employees think twice about going somewhere else.

Brokers and consultants are indispensable partners in helping employers evolve their benefit strategy to improve the employee experience. And with solutions like Benefitfocus BenefitsPlace™, it's never been easier for brokers to enable their clients to expand their benefit offerings and help employees customize their benefits to protect every aspect of their well-being. 

By empowering clients to provide employees with the benefits they want and need, brokers can both increase client satisfaction and create additional revenue opportunities from new products.

2. Engaging Benefits Technology

Employees expect the same empowerment in their work lives that technology affords them in their personal lives. Workers are increasingly expecting their work technology to be as useful and convenient as their consumer technology. Employers that don't accommodate these expectations are at a significant disadvantage in the war for top talent.

When it comes to benefits, employees are in desperate need of tools to help them make smart decisions. According to Aflac, less than a quarter of employees fully understand their benefits, with the vast majority pointing to a lack of decision-support resources during the benefits enrollment process.3

Brokers and consultants are in a position to help address that issue, as employers often look to them for recommendations on benefits technology. For the past several years, much of the focus in this area has been on simply automating benefits enrollment and administration. While that has certainly helped employers save money and increase efficiency, more is needed to help employees navigate the complexity of the process on their end.

By introducing an engaging benefits management system that educates employees on their benefit options, guides them through the enrollment process and enables data-driven decisions relevant to their specific circumstances, brokers can help their clients make sure that employees are getting the most from their benefits offering. When that happens, brokers significantly increase the value of their services in the eyes of their clients—and in the eyes of prospective clients.

Every day, brokers partner with Benefitfocus to help their clients enhance the employee experience. Learn more about Benefitfocus technology for brokers

 

1. Forbes: 2018 Will Be the Year of Employee Experience

2. MetLife’s 15th annual U.S. Employee Benefits Trends Study

3. Aflac Workforces Report